Tonight, the College Football Playoff Committee will unveil its first top 25 of the season. It’s unlikely the committee will agree on everything (our staff certainly couldn’t), but the initial set of rankings should provide some clues to what the committee is looking for when it evaluates playoff candidates.
Here is the top 11 that our panel created.
1. Clemson (2) (8-0)
2. LSU (1) (7-0)
3. Ohio State (8-0)
3. Baylor (7-0)
5. TCU (8-0)
6. Notre Dame (7-1)
7. Alabama (7-1)
8. Florida (7-1)
9. Michigan State (8-0)
10. Stanford (7-1)
11. Iowa (8-0)
Here is how our predictions ended up.
Sean Landry Kelly Ward Tyler WaldrepClemson1st1st2ndLSU4th4th1stOhio State3rd5th3rdBaylor2nd2nd7thTCU5th3rd4thNotre Dame6th6th5thAlabama7th7th6thFlorida8thNR8thMichigan StateNR8th9thStanford10th9th10thIowa9th10thNR
Last but not least here is the “committee’s” reasoning.
Sean Landry- Editor-in-Chief
1) Clemson- It seems strange, but Clemson has low-key put together the best playoff resume so far. The undefeated Tigers have handily outscored most of the teams they’ve played, including a 58-0 beatdown of Miami two weeks ago. They beat fellow playoff contender Notre Dame and are favored to finish the season undefeated. Perhaps most importantly, they actually played last weekend, while most of the other contenders took a bye week.
7) Alabama- Alabama has perhaps the best defense in the country, but also has to escape a brutal November slate and get some help along the way to make it 2-for-2 on College Football Playoff selections. The Crimson Tide is slated to win out, but nothing is certain in the SEC.
8) Florida- Florida will win the SEC East, and if the Gators win the SEC outright, they’ll make the playoff. Best to put them in position now so nobody’s surprised in December.
9) Iowa- ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Kelly Ward – Digital Managing Editor
3. TCU – Maybe a little Big 12 bias, but TCU has one of the best quarterbacks in Trevone Boykin and the best receiver in the country in Josh Doctson. Plus, that team finds ways to win. (Also, who doesn’t want to see TCU and Baylor meet again in the Playoff? Do you not like offense? Don’t you want to find out who the One True Champion is?)
4. LSU – Have you seen Leonard Fournette?
5. Ohio State – Ezekiel Elliott has carried this team. If the Mets taught us anything this postseason, it’s that you can’t ride one player to win it all (Daniel Murphy).
7. Alabama – Sure.
Tyler Waldrep- Assistant Sports Editor
1. LSU- Even in a down year the SEC is perceived to be the best conference around and LSU more than anyone else in the SEC West division controls its path to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. If Leonard Fournette can keep his ridiculous pace up this weekend against Alabama then the Tigers just might stay here for good.
6. Alabama- Yeah the team lost to Ole Miss, but Coker’s growth has elevated the offense. Also would you want to hold on to the football with Reggie Ragland on the other team? How about A’Shawn Robinson or Reuben Foster? That’s what I thought.
7. Baylor- Yes the Bears are unbeaten, and yes they probably could have scored 100 points a few times, but I don’t think the committee is ready to put Baylor anywhere near the playoff just yet. Quarterback Seth Russell is out for the remainder of the season, and a freshman Jarrett Stidham will take his place going forward. The committee will want to evaluate the team without Russell this week. Plus it also should have an axe to grind with the Bears for scheduling such a weak non-conference schedule.
9. Michigan State- The Spartans are unbeaten and have probably the best win (over Michigan) of anyone in the top 10. However, the team was beyond lucky to win that game, and Michigan State hasn’t looked dominant in its other performances either.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports