College Football Playoff’s First Rankings

College Football Playoffs First Rankings

Noah Curd, Spear Contributor

Let the debate begin. The College Football Playoff first ranking of 2015 came out and definitely sparked a lot of questions and arguments. All the analysts from ESPN to Fox Sports were disagreeing and even questioning the committee and their choices to fill the top four spots. The committee has many factors in choosing the teams like strength of schedule which left a few teams unhappy with where they stand.

Let’s start at number one. The Clemson Tigers are on fire, undefeated and their biggest win coming against number five ranked Notre Dame. Other than the Fighting Irish the Tigers have not faced a another strong team, but it seems like the powerful blowout performances against teams like Miami have drawn the vote of the committee. They have been leading in all their games for over 80 percent of the game. A very strong case although they only have one more strong opponent coming up in Florida State this weekend.

Sitting at number two is the LSU Tigers. The Tigers also undefeated are lead by their strong and powerful running back Leonard Fournette. He has helped LSU to power past teams like the Florida Gators. LSU playing in the Southeastern Conference gives them a very strong schedule and their biggest opponent is this weekend fellow top four team Alabama. There is reason to believe that whoever wins that game will stay in the top four, the other will be booted out.

At number three is the defending National Champions Ohio State. The Buckeyes have not played one strong team and although undefeated, have not been dazzling in the games they have played so far. They will have big games in the month of November with ranked teams in Michigan and Michigan State. Both of teams would love to kick Ohio State off their Big 10 Champion pedestal. Ohio State took a big blow in losing J.T. Barrett for at least one game so they will have to rely on backup but very proven Cardale Jones.

Finally rounding out the final four is Alabama, the only one loss team in the top four. The committee is giving them props for their wins against teams with more wins than loses. Alabama has the third best schedule in College Football which is a strong deciding factor in the committee’s mind. No doubt having the name of the Alabama Crimson Tide does give them some style points.

On the outside looking in is Notre Dame and Baylor. Notre Dame has only one loss but they are still an independent team, so they cannot win a conference. Even though they are down to the third string quarterback they are still showing they have superb talent and depth which could help them later in the season. Baylor is very unhappy with their ranking considering their undefeated record and being ranked number two in the Associated Press poll. The Bears have blown out the first seven teams they have played. The one factor that has really hurt Baylor is their strength of schedule. November is a big month for them as they will take on three ranked opponents all being in the top 20. Baylor will have to rally around their backup true freshman Quarterback Jarrett Stidham who had a strong first start of the season, throwing for over 400 yards with three touchdowns, If Baylor wins out they have a strong shot at the playoffs.

Teams to watch are Florida and TCU. Florida has surprised a lot of people with their seven and one record and have a strong shot at playing for the SEC conference championship, which would almost guarantee them a spot in the playoff. Texas Christian University started off at number two and have dropped every week. They are number eight and are undefeated. TCU have had the same struggle as Baylor with a low strength of schedule. Although similar to Baylor they have a strong November schedule and if they can win out they have a strong case for the playoffs also. We will see if Trevone Boykin can keep of his Heisman caliber season up and lead the Horned Frogs up the rankings.

If your team is not in the top ten, no need to worry just yet. At the last ranking last year, only one of the original four voted in the original rankings was in it at the end. Ohio State was also able to climb from their ranking to number four in the last ranking, and they ended up winning the whole thing. It will be interesting to see what the committee will come up with as the weeks go on, all leading up to the final rankings on December 6.