The season has officially gone bonkers. There is still a lot of football left to play, but these rankings will reflect how the committee should rank the teams. The committee’s first rankings come out this Tuesday.
1. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0)
Georgia has finally made the jump up to number one. The Bulldogs were able to destroy Florida 42-7 to get through two-thirds of their season unbeaten. Florida isn’t a great team, but Georgia looks like a dominant team and has a great case to be the number one team.
Their win over Notre Dame is continuing to look better as Notre Dame shoots up these rankings. Mississippi State will also be in the committee’s initial rankings at 6-2 and Georgia destroyed them. The other wins for the Bulldogs aren’t great, but they are undefeated still, which goes a long way.
Every single game left for Georgia will be tough in different ways, but they look like one of the best teams in football.
This week: vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)
The Crimson Tide were off this week and were able to prepare for a couple crucial games at the end of the season.
Alabama doesn’t have any great wins. Florida State has completely fallen off. Texas A&M is an ok win, but they just lost to Mississippi State to fall to 5-3. Their best win might be over Colorado State, who is 6-3 and will probably finish with eight or nine wins. They still have played some decent teams, which is more than a lot of undefeated teams in these rankings can say.
Can the Crimson Tide stay undefeated through three more tough games?
This week: vs. 19 LSU Tigers
3. Clemson Tigers (7-1)
Clemson beat a decent Georgia Tech team this weekend in the rain. Defending the triple option is never easy but they were aided by a bye week last week and the weather. They needed to get back on track after their only loss of the season to Syracuse.
Even with the loss to Syracuse, Clemson has a great case to be a top four team. Their wins over Auburn and Virginia Tech are still very good. The win against Louisville looks worse, but is still a solid road win. Heck, even their wins over BC, Wake Forest and the recent victory over Georgia Tech help their case.
The Tigers will have one of their stiffest tests this weekend against N.C. State, who is coming off of the loss to Notre Dame.
This Week: at 20 N.C. State Wolfpack
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1)
Another week for Notre Dame and another big win for the Fighting Irish. This week they were able to pull away from N.C. State in the second half. The Wolfpack were rated at number 14 in the AP poll, but likely won’t drop too far as a result of the loss.
Notre Dame’s loss by one to Georgia makes them look like they can compete with any team in the country, which will appeal to the committee. They also have some solid wins over Michigan State, USC and now N.C. State. Michigan State did lose to Northwestern this week, but that is just their second loss of the season. USC got back on track with a domination of Arizona State 48-17. With those three wins and the one point loss, Notre Dame is right on the cut line for the top four.
More tests still remain for Notre Dame, but they have put themselves in a good position after week nine of college football.
This week: vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
First four out:
5. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1)
The Sooners put up a lot of points and beat an average Texas Tech team. They have looked sluggish as of late,which will scare some committee members, but looked better in this game.
How good does the Sooners’ win over Ohio State look now? With Ohio State stepping up big time, Oklahoma’s win has them right back in the CFP picture. They beat out Ohio State because of their win head to head. Their loss to Iowa State looks a lot better now that Cyclones upset TCU. Their wins over Texas, Kansas State and Texas Tech are decent, but won’t turn any heads.
Oklahoma has a back-loaded schedule that they will have to get through.
This week: at 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys
6. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1)
Ohio State has been the loser and winner of two of the best college football games of the season. This week they had an unbelievable comeback win over Penn State and won 39-38. The Nittany Lions were ranked highly and the win drastically helps out Ohio State’s case to be in the CFP.
So they lost to Oklahoma and beat Penn State, but the Buckeyes don’t have too much more going on. The best team they have beat outside of Penn State is a 6-2 Army team. Other than that they have beaten average Big Ten teams or worse. The good news for Ohio State is that if they win out, they likely will be in the CFP, which is something only a handful of teams can say.
More big games are coming for the Buckeyes in the last third of their schedule.
This week: at Iowa Hawkeyes
7. TCU Horned Frogs (7-1)
TCU drops as a result of their loss to Iowa State this weekend. The Cyclones are on a tear and were able to win at home 14-7. This loss is bad for TCU, but they still can make the Big 12 Championship and play their way back into the top four teams with some help.
The Horned Frogs still have a great win that came on the road over Oklahoma State. With the Cowboys winning every other game of the season, it sets TCU up nicely. TCU also has nice wins over Kansas State and West Virginia. The problem for TCU might be that they will have to play a team for a second time in the Big 12 Championship.
Oklahoma is still on the schedule, but TCU should be able to win any other game on their schedule.
This week: vs. Texas Longhorns
8. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1)
Penn State played Ohio State tough, but ended up losing 39-38. It was a great effort on the road, but they could not finish off the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions move way down and have to hope for a lot of help to make the CFP.
James Franklin’s squad moves down as a result of the loss and the lack of big wins on their resume. They beat Michigan, who is a borderline top 25 team. They got wins against Iowa and Northwestern, but those teams are just barely above .500. All they can do is keep winning and take the help of other teams ahead of them losing.
The Nittany Lions have another big game this weekend against Michigan State.
This week: at 24 Michigan State
Next four out:
9. Wisconsin Badgers (8-0)
Wisconsin got another easy win this week to stay undefeated, which is about their only case to the committee at this point. They got a victory over Illinois 24-10.
The Badgers have won games against two teams that are over .500: Florida Atlantic and Northwestern. Their wins over teams that are .500 include Maryland and Nebraska. They play some tougher teams down the stretch, but when it’s all said and done, they have to run the table.
Games still remain against Iowa and Michigan, which will be their best games to show to the committee what they can do before the conclusion of the regular season.
This week: vs. Indiana Hoosiers
10. Miami Hurricanes (7-0)
Miami got another close win this week, but it did not make them look too good. They beat North Carolina 24-19, which will do nothing for their case in the CFP committee’s eyes. North Carolina is now 1-8 on the season and a good team should have blown them out.
The problem with the Hurricanes is that they don’t have any good wins. They have beaten Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Toledo and Duke. Toledo is their best win. They beat the Rockets 52-30 and Toledo is now 7-1, while receiving votes to be in the top 25.
Everyone will find out if Miami is for real in the next two weeks when they take on Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.
This week: vs. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-1)
The Cowboys outscored West Virginia 50-39 to take their winning streak to four games. West Virginia was ranked at number 22 in the AP poll and is a solid win. The problem is that the Big 12 is beating up on each other, which will result in a lot of these wins to look worse as the season goes on.
Oklahoma State dropped the game to TCU, but doesn’t have too many wins to make up for it. They have solid wins over Texas Tech, Texas and now West Virginia. Like the other teams in the Big 12, they have some key games down the stretch and a tough rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game.
The next two weeks are going to be brutal for the Cowboys, as they play Oklahoma and Iowa State.
This week: vs. 8 Oklahoma Sooners
12. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1)
Virginia Tech has worked their way back into these rankings after beating Duke 24-3. Duke is 4-5, but is on a five game losing streak and likely won’t be bowl eligible, meaning the win won’t do much for the Hokies. They moved up as a result of other teams losing.
The Hokies have solid wins over West Virginia and Boston College, but that’s about it. They lost at home to Clemson, but were able to stay close, losing 31-17. Virginia Tech still needs to probe they can beat a very good team before the committee will move them too much higher in the rankings.
Fortunately for Virginia Tech, they will get the chance to play a good team this weekend.
This week: at 9 Miami Hurricanes
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