We’re one week away from the College Football Playoff Committee releasing their first ranking of the year, which will clarify all sorts of questionable AP and Coaches rankings. However, I think my rankings will compare nicely to the Committee’s (if I do say so myself!). Big wins this past weekend for Penn State and Notre Dame, who both put on impressive displays for their fans as they dismantled Michigan and USC. Who will be the newcomer in the rankings this week and will we have a reshuffled top four? The rankings are here, folks!
Rankings # (Last Weeks #): (1) = First place vote from yours truly
1. (-) Alabama (8-0) (1) – Well… Alabama didn’t take it easy on the Vols, topping them 45-7. The Tide keep rolling and are off this week as the prep for LSU next Saturday. Questions are starting to rise about how strong the SEC really is, which may hurt Alabama in the case of an unexpected loss.
2. (-) Penn State (7-0) – Penn State has cemented their status as a top four team. I should never have doubted that the Nittany Lions would take care of business emphatically vs. Michigan. They had a big win last week – a great way to start their season-defining three-game stretch (Michigan-Ohio State-Michigan State). PSU travels to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes in what is certainly a divisional, conference, and CFB playoff elimination game.
3. (-) Georgia (7-0) – The Dawgs were off this past weekend as they prepare for their annual trip to Jacksonville, FL to take on the hated Florida Gators. This is usually a tricky game for Georgia, but this team seems to have a very different mentality than previous editions.
4. (-) TCU (7-0) – TCU took care of Kansas 43-0 and now travel to Ames, IA to take on the now ranked (for the first time in 12 years) Iowa State Cyclones, who seem to have built on their upset of Oklahoma by beating Kansas (who hasn’t done that?) and routing Texas Tech in Lubbock.
5. (-) Oklahoma (5-1) – Oklahoma is losing some credibility with how close their games have been over the past month: one-score games at Baylor (W), vs. Iowa State (L), vs. Texas (W), and this past weekend at Kansas State (W). Playing with fire is never good, and it seems like the Sooners are doing so. This week they play Texas Tech before the Bedlam game at Oklahoma State on Nov 4th. Going to be difficult for them to not look ahead.
6. (-) Clemson (6-1) – The Tigers licked their wounds after their loss to Syracuse two weeks ago with a bye last week. Clemson takes on Georgia Tech this week before divisional showdowns at NC State on Nov 4 and vs. Florida State on Nov 11.
7. (NR) Notre Dame (6-1) – Notre Dame had a huge win vs USC that now gives them wins over another quality opponent to add to their win by 20 at Michigan State (who is 6-1 right now). Compare that to Ohio State’s schedule and I think it’s a mismatch.
8. (7) Ohio State (6-1) – “Ohio State hasn’t played anyone!”Except for Oklahoma, who beat them by multiple touchdowns at home. We’re going to find out this weekend if Ohio State is the paper tiger that I think they are vs. Penn State this weekend. Winner gets a nearly decisive lead in the division and pretty much knocks out the other team from playoff contention.
9. (-) Wisconsin (7-0) – They just keep winning and pounding inferior competition. Good chance that they won’t have a ranked team on the schedule until the BigTen Title game (yikes!).
10. (-) Miami (6-0) – Miami is finding ways to win, keeping their season and playoff dreams alive with their win vs. Syracuse 27-19 on Saturday. We’ll find out if the ‘Canes are for real in a few weeks as they play #13 Virginia Tech on Nov 4th, and follow that up with Notre Dame the week after (Nov 11th).
Checking ID’s: Virginia Tech, NC State, Oklahoma State
Kicked out (for now): USC
Not too much movement overall here, but we’re seeing some solidifying performances and great indicators of the strength of some of these teams. It is guaranteed we’ll have some movement following this week with that titanic clash between Penn State and Ohio State. Keep your eyes on these games people – there is going to be a photo finish!