The second CFB Playoff Rankings were released last night and, as expected, many fan bases across the nation were unhappy with the Committee's decisions.
For the full rankings, click here.
#1 Clemson 9-0
11/14 @ Syracuse (3-6) – Clemson is a 27.5 point favorite over the Orange, but the Carrier Dome is a tough place to play. If Clemson looks past this team, it could prove disastrous.
11/21 Wake Forest (3-6) – Wake Forest has beaten Elon, Army and Boston College. With the Nation’s 110th best offense, they don’t have the horses to run with Clemson.
11/28 South Carolina (3-6) – The annual rivalry game will have a little less shine on it this year, as the struggling Gamecocks are trying to find a new head coach.
12/5 ACC Championship Game vs #23 North Carolina (projected) – The Tar Heels have been on a roll since opening the season with a loss at South Carolina. There is no guarantee Clemson exits this game unscathed.
Clemson has three games that could be dangerous in front of them. Lose one, and they likely lose their spot in the final four.
#2 Alabama 8-1
11/14 @ #17 Mississippi State (7-2) – MSU has zero victories over teams currently in the Top 25. Their two losses have come from #9 LSU and Texas A&M. Their best win is @ Auburn (17-9). They're ranked #17 in the polls and will give Alabama no challenge on the field, but confirmation in the polls.
11/21 Charleston Southern (8-1) – This FCS powerhouse lost to Sun Belt power Troy (3-6 on the year) 44-16 for their only loss on the season. Another bump in the polls for Bama.
11/28 @ Auburn (5-4) – Okay, it’s a rivalry, so anything can happen, but Auburn is not a good team this year even if they just beat Texas A&M on the road. But, it’s the SEC, so another bump for Bama.
12/5 SEC Championship Game vs #11 Florida (projected) – This could actually be a challenge for the Crimson Tide. Although they come from the SEC East, which has been about as strong as the B1G West division, the Gators do hold a win over Ole Miss, which beat Bama earlier in the year. So, a loss should only drop them to #3.
I am close to believing that Alabama could lose out and still make the playoffs somehow. However, only the Florida game should be cause for concern for the Bama faithful.
#3 Ohio State 9-0
11/14 @ Illinois (5-4) – Sadly, this is one of the tougher games Ohio State has played this season.
11/21 #13 Michigan State (8-1) – Now we’re talking. Much like the Big 12’s top dogs, Ohio State saved the best for last. First up, an 8-1 Spartans’ team two weeks removed from their humiliating loss in Lincoln. Michigan State has Maryland at home to whip on before heading to Columbus for this very important game.
11/28 @ #14 Michigan (7-2) – In their first season under new head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines have had success. I am positive his passion will permeate through those players dressed in his Alma Maters’ colors for this heated rivalry game. The Buckeyes should fear this game.
12/5 B1G Championship game vs #5 Iowa (projected) – I wouldn’t necessary count on the Buckeyes being here, but if they do, Iowa (as much as I hate them) could do some damage on a team that is coming off of back to back big games.
I believe Ohio State loses at least one of its last two games – my pick is Michigan. Their Strength of Schedule should not allow them a spot in the playoffs.
#4 Notre Dame 8-1
11/14 Wake Forest (3-6) – Apparently, the road to the National Championship goes through Wake Forest, as both Notre Dame and Clemson share this less-than-formidable opponent. The Fighting Irish get the first crack at the Demon Deacons this weekend in South Bend and are 27 point favorites.
11/21 @ Boston College (3-7) – Another bottom-dwelling ACC team stands between the Irish and a spot in the Playoffs. This clash of the Catholics should be anything but entertaining.
11/28 @ Stanford (8-1) – The winner of this game has an opportunity to play on New Year’s Eve and it will be Notre Dame’s last chance to woo the Playoff Committee.
If Notre Dame crushes Stanford on the road, I don’t see them getting bumped out of the final four spots. The Irish will bring too much money to the table to be passed over by any team currently in the top ten.
Outside Looking In
#5 Iowa 9-0
11/14 Minnesota (4-5) – The winner of this game takes home a trophy of a pig, which is fitting since Minnesota has stunk it up this season.
11/21 Purdue – Not worthy of analysis.
11/28 @ Nebraska – The Cornhushers silenced Michigan State’s fans last weekend at home. If there is any pride left in Lincoln, they could end Iowa’s bid for the Playoffs.
12/5 B1G Championship Game vs (TBD) – I’m not sure if a one loss Hawkeye team would win the tie breaker over one-loss Wisconsin (I believe they would due to head-to-head), but Iowa would face their toughest conference opponent to date should they reach the title game in December.
Iowa does not go undefeated and those fans with black in their hearts (and gold in their pants) will forever wonder "what-if".
#6 Baylor 8-0
#8 Oklahoma State 9-0
#12 Oklahoma 8-1
#15 TCU 8-1
The Big 12 staged the month of November to be a showcase, and the Playoff Committee is waiting to see how it plays out before welcoming anyone to the table.
Oklahoma State fans feel slighted after simply switching spots with the team (TCU) they dominated last weekend at home. Their schedule sets up the easiest with both Baylor and Oklahoma coming to Stillwater to close the season.
Baylor still needs to face the three powers, plus Texas. Their journey begins this weekend against a visiting Sooners program that is destroying everything in its path.
Oklahoma will make an interesting case for inclusion if it wins out. Will the strength of its schedule be good enough to jump an undefeated Iowa (Alabama and Notre Dame say "yes") if it wins out? Or would that be another Doomsday scenario for the Big 12’s championship hopes?
TCU likely lost its opportunity with the disappointing loss to the Cowboys.
I live on the West Coast and even that can’t get me to care about the Pac 12 or its assumed champion. A win over Notre Dame would make things interesting, but I don’t see Stanford getting in without the Big 12 cannibalizing itself and Iowa stumbling along the…
Never mind. Win and you’re in, Stanford.
There are still four weeks and lots of football left before the final rankings are released on December 6th. Plenty will happen between now and then, especially in the Big 12. The time to panic is not now. Let the games play out and the chips fall into place. Then you may freak out.