College Football Playoffs – Week 3 Update

College Football Playoffs - Week 3 Update

Noah Curd, Spear Contributor

The third College Football Playoff rankings have come out, and there is still a lot of debate and disagreement with all the college football experts and analysts. Week 11 of the season really shook up the rankings for sure. The number six, seven, nine and ten teams all lost and many of them lost their playoff hopes. Baylor lost at number six and now is at number ten. Not all hope for Baylor is lost for them to win the Big 12 and have a shot at the playoffs, but they still need a lot of help to qualify. Stanford lost a heartbreaker to Oregon, which ultimately eliminated them from playoff contention. LSU has lost two weeks in a row and has fallen all the way to fifteen. The Tigers of LSU are out. Utah, who also suffered a loss, has been eliminated as they lost in two overtimes to Arizona. It looks like the Pac-12 conference has been eliminated from the conversation. Now let us get to the top four. Although nothing has changed from last week, there are still some shocks and big games coming up for these four teams..

Clemson still sits at number one. I do not think that there is any way that they could get bumped out of the top spot. Deshaun Watson is really leading the Clemson team. In the last game, he was their leader in passing and rushing. With his performance he has moved himself into the Heisman conversation. The last team that really is seen with any chance to trip these Tigers up is North Carolina, whom they would meet in the ACC Championship. Also, I would not put it past South Carolina to put up a big fight when they meet Clemson for the final game of the regular season.

At number two is Alabama. They were able to jump from four to two after their big win over LSU two weeks ago. Alabama, although they have one loss, is at number two because the committee is in love with their strength of schedule. Ever since their bad loss, Alabama has come back strong beating opponents handily. Running back Derrick Henry is just running over defenders; he is very hard to tackle. As a result, he is rumbling into the Heisman Trophy running. Alabama has to face archrival Auburn, and Auburn is not the strongest team this year. If you know college football, you know that crazy things can happen when rivals meet, so do not count Auburn out just yet. Chances are Alabama will be playing for the SEC championship versus very lightly talked about Florida who could cause some problems.

Ranked at number three is the Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State has not been really talked about, but they just keep winning.  They have not lost a game since the first game in 2014. J.T. Barret is back with the team after his one game suspension two weeks ago. He is the solid starter. Ezekiel Elliott is still one of the best running backs in the country. Ohio State can lean on him to deliver in big situations, which he did in last years National Championship. Ohio State has two big games coming up before the Big 10 championship. Michigan State this weekend will be a very big test, and then the next week they have a scrappy team in Michigan. Both teams do not have a chance at the playoff but would love to knock the Buckeyes out.

Notre Dame is holding on to the most talked about spot, number four. Notre Dame has powered through an injury-plagued season. The Irish are playing with their number three starter at quarterback but continue to deliver and win. Notre Dame has only lost one game to none other than Clemson. Notre Dame has only one tough game left in Stanford. This game will be closely watched. This will make or break the Fighting Irish season.If Notre Dame loses, they are no doubt out of playoff contention, but if they win, they will vying for a playoff spot.

Teams on the outside looking in are the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Both teams are undefeated this season. The Hawkeyes have been flying under the radar this whole year. Iowa should make the playoffs if they win out, which means winning the Big 10 Championship against possibly Ohio State. Oklahoma State has two huge games in front of them, Baylor this week and Oklahoma next week. Baylor is a team built on offense, and the Cowboys have already beat the high powered-offense of TCU. Now the Cowboys of Oklahoma State will go up against Jarrett Stidham and Baylor’s high-octane offense. The Big 12 will be in a big jumble if Oklahoma State loses because there will be four, one-loss teams.

Week 12 will shake up the standings as has every week so far and will cause more debate as people make predictions on the top four. Only the committee has the final say.