College Football Playoff Rankings week 2


Noah Curd, Spear Contributer

With the second week of the college football rankings out, we have a glimpse of what could come on December 31st. The top four right now are Alabama at the top spot, Clemson at number two, Michigan holding a high spot at number three, and undefeated shocker Washington sitting at number four. There are many interesting storylines to each of these teams.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have not lost a game since September 19, 2015. They have continued on from where they left off last season being the national champions. They have a young freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts, who, with the help of Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin, has been able to successfully lead the offense. Hurts may be better running the ball than he is throwing the ball. The strongest part of the Alabama team is their amazing defense. This unit is in the top two in scoring on defense, team sacks and total defense giving up barely over four yards per play. The defense has scored a total of 119 points this season. Although Jalen Hurts is a very good dual threat quarterback, the reason for Alabama’s success has been their defense.

Next game: vs. Mississippi State

Clemson is right on Alabama’s tail at number two. Clemson has barely missed a beat this year as the only game they have lost between this year and last year was the national championship game to Alabama. Deshaun Watson is back to a Heisman candidate after starting off the year really slow. He has with him on the offensive side Wayne Gallman at running back, and returning from injury is star wide receiver Mike Williams who was definitely missed last year. The Clemson defense has been the only defense who has been able to contain leading Heisman candidate quarterback Lamar Jackson from Louisville; Clemson handed Louisville their only loss of the season. Clemson would like nothing more than to go back to the national championship and reverse what happened last year by beating Alabama.

Next game: vs. Pittsburgh

Michigan comes in at number three. In just two years, Coach Jim Harbaugh has totally turned the program around from being unranked to now being a favorite to be the championship game. The former quarterback of the Wolverines and now head coach has found a winning formula in Ann Arbor. The key piece to his puzzle has been an amazing season by Jabrill Peppers. Peppers is a special talent; he is listed as a safety but has played linebacker and has also played on the offensive side of the ball. The defense that can compete with Alabama’s is Michigan. They are in front of Alabama in total defense giving up less yards per game than Alabama. Jim Harbaugh, along with the impressive play of Jabrill Peppers and the strong defense, may be able to bring the Michigan Wolverines back to glory.

Next game:@ Iowa

Washington has shocked many people and is rounding out the top four. Washington has been able to win the games with their offense. Their defense was able to silence Christian McCaffrey, former Valor High School standout and 2015 Heisman finalist from Stanford. Washington recently slipped by Utah with a last-second punt return to win the game.  Jake Browning, quarterback of Washington, helped show their offensive power in beating Cal 66-27 this past week. If Washington can keep up on the pace they are on offensively, they should stay at that number four spot and end up in the playoff on December 31st.

Next game: vs. USC

The common theme is the powerful defenses for each team, and all of them have a special offensive player that is carrying them on that side of the ball. The two teams on the outside looking in are Ohio State and Louisville. Louisville needs Clemson to lose and hope that Ohio State loses to Michigan. The Ohio State vs. Michigan game could be the biggest regular season game; if Ohio State wins, they will take the spot of Michigan in the Big 10 championship game. All conferences have a chance at the playoffs, although the Big 12 seems to have almost no chance.

With each of the top-four teams having big games this coming week, could the playoff picture be changed for next week? Stay tuned.