It’s year number two for the College Football Playoffs and last was a huge success overall and especially for the University of Ohio State. The Buckeyes seeded fourth and dominated in the semifinal game against No. 1 seed and Alabama and against No. 2 seeded Oregon and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota in the National Championship game.
In the previous BCS (Bowl Championship Series) format the question was always raised did the computers put the right teams in the championship game. When there was a one loss team in the mix the questions spiked even more. How could a one loss team get in over another 1 loss team or over an undefeated team? There were so many factors that went into the “formula” half the time you just didn’t know what was going to come out of it.
Last season, if there was any question about why the Buckeyes were allowed in over TCU or Baylor, who had phenomenal seasons themselves; the Buckeyes answered the questions on the field. The College Football Playoff committee in turn looked like geniuses when the Buckeyes won it all last season. The committee came under such scrutiny choosing Ohio State instead of TCU or Baylor.
Now with a year in the CFP system teams know how important to state their claim on the field on why they should be considered in the Top four. So many factors come into play; strength of schedule, win-loss record, and play on the field. Teams know to relieve all doubt they have to be convincing and impressive on the football field, because the committee takes all that into account.
November 3rd marks the first CFP committee rankings to see where the top 4 teams rank and the first two out. This is how I see it as of this week:
- Ohio State Buckeyes – no they haven’t been as impressive as we thought they were going to be coming into the season with two dynamic quarterbacks. Cardale Jones has lived up to the hype that surrounded him coming off of the 3 game run finishing the season last year, which led to the Buckeyes winning the National Championship, but when you haven’t lost despite the frustration play of your quarterback you can’t switch up the positions just yet.
- Clemson Tigers – Head Coach Dabo Swinney has this team playing inspired football. They have been taking it one game at a time and a focus that appears unwavering. The Tigers have already had some impressive wins on their resume for this season that the committee will have in their favor. Most notably at this point No. 8 Notre Dame who was ranked 6th at the time.
- Baylor Bears – Art Briles has been determined since last season to right the wrong that he felt the Committee did his team in leaving them out of the playoff by coming back and dominating the competition on the Bears schedule to give no doubt that the Baylor Bears are one of the best teams in the country. The only problem with that is; they once again have the weakest schedule amongst Power 5 conference teams. Even though they have one of the best wide receivers in the country Corey Coleman, who can beat you deep or hurt you in the open field; they did lose their quarterback Seth Russell for the season to a neck injury. So the jury is still out on the Bears.
- LSU Tigers – What can I say except Les Miles is up to his old tricks again? The “Mad Hatter“ is winning again with the run game and good defense. Riding the shoulder of his sophomore running back Leonard Fournette who right now is the front-runner for the Heisman, Miles is running heavy and passing enough to balance the offense so the opposition defense don’t put 11 in the box to stop Fournette. Quarterback Brandon Harris is making good decisions and not losing the game by making mistakes.
This is week one. With the number of match ups that are coming up this weekend; it’s possible that there could be a major shakeup right off the bat. Most notably LSU having to travel to Tuscaloosa to play the No. 7 ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama. Upset alert: Thursday night Baylor going to Manhattan, Kansas to play the Kansas State Wildcats. Kansas State is a gritting bunch and would love to spoil any hopes of Baylor staying in the top 4 rankings. They gave Trevon Boykin and the TCU Horned Frogs a run for their money before Boykin took over in the 4th quarter. The Wildcats will pin their ears back and rush Jarrett Stidham until he shows that he can beat them with the pass.