Breaking news, rankings, predictions and analysis all in one place.

College Football Playoff Projections after Week Eight

A lot has changed since my last official Playoff Projections about a month ago. Texas A&M is falling apart in front of our eyes, Oklahoma appears to be out of the race and my No. 1 seed at the time, Oregon, has obviously not looked invincible. So here we are, a week before the Selection Committee will unveil their first ever rankings, which will eventual decide the College Football Playoff. So without further ado:

The Four

1 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Dak Prescott
Led by Heisman frontrunner Dak Prescott, a number of explosive offensive playmakers and a quick, smart defense, the Bulldogs have made a historic rise to the top of college football which has included big victories against LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn. While the Texas A&M victory does not look as great as it once did, there is no denying how dominant Mississippi State has played on the road against LSU and against Auburn, where they jumped out to a 21-0 lead. While the SEC's scheduling (especially the brutal West) makes it hard to go undefeated, Mississippi State has an already stocked resume that will hold up even in the event of a loss. Though, with Prescott under center, Josh Robinson running the ball, De'Runnya Wilson catching and a stout front seven, chances are, they might not lose at all in 2014.

2 Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles' hold on a Playoff spot had been shaky at best, considering their unspectacular performances against both Oklahoma State and Clemson, before a strong performance against No. 5 Notre Dame. The victory over the Irish not only gives FSU their strongest resume booster, but it also gives them momentum and pushes them through a second half that is not very difficult at all. The 'Noles lone tough game remaining (other than an ACC Championship game) would be next Thursday against 6-2 Louisville on the road. While trap games like these are worrying for a team that can have scary ups-and-downs like Florida State, Jameis Winston and company should get the job done. With two nice non-conference victories (Florida could add another) and a win against the ACC's second best team, Clemson, without Winston, the Seminoles certainly have enough claim to a 1 or 2 seed in the Playoff.

3 Ole Miss Rebels
While Mississippi State's ascension to the No. 1 ranking has been truly amazing, lets not forget about their Egg Bowl rivals, Ole Miss, who continued their dominance with a beatdown of Tennessee this weekend. Senior quarterback Bo Wallace has been terrific since a dazzling performance in Ole Miss' huge victory over Alabama and the defense is among the nation's best, headed by hard-hitting safety Cody Prewitt and rising sophomore Robert Nkemdiche. While Mississippi State's schedule is relatively soft (outside of Alabama) before these two team's Egg Bowl meeting, Ole Miss has two tough ones against LSU and Auburn, not to mention a sneaky Arkansas team desperate for their first SEC win in the Bielema era. While the committee might be hesitant to put two SEC West teams in, they have to realize just how strong these teams are. Even with an Egg Bowl loss, Ole Miss is going to be very much in the mix.

4 Oregon Ducks
After a loss to Arizona on a Thursday night game, everything has fallen in line for the Ducks. Marcus Mariota continues to do great things, Royce Freeman has re-energized the ground game and the O-Line is finally, relatively healthy. Add to that wins over UCLA and Washington along with upsets galore in the Top 10 and once more, Oregon is very much in the mix. The Ducks still own an extremely convincing victory over Michigan State on their resume and could add Stanford and Utah down the stretch this year. While Stanford and Utah are two strong teams, they have clear weaknesses the Ducks should exploit and come away with a victory. While the Pac-12 has certainly been itself up, Oregon is starting to emerge as the frontrunner and they should be able to sneak into the Playoff, assuming they can run the table and win the Pac-12 Championship Game, in what could realistically be a rematch with Arizona.

Just Missed the Cut

Alabama Crimson Tide: Honestly, the Tide probably deserve to be in the Playoff. But, putting three SEC West teams in the Playoff just wouldn't work and the Tide still have a tough schedule remaining. Though, the way Blake Sims and Amari Cooper have carried the offense and the improvement of the defense, Nick Saban still certainly has a dangerous Alabama team, who probably feels pretty disrespected considering the attention both Mississippi schools are receiving. While they will probably have to run the table the rest of the way, Alabama is still extremely scary.
Auburn Tigers: And yet another SEC West team. While Kansas State's victory over Oklahoma on Saturday was obviously beneficial to them, it also helped out Auburn big time, considering they beat K-State. That should help, considering Auburn's resume is not as strong as Alabama's or either of the Mississippi schools. Still if they run the table and win the Iron Bowl, they have a chance to sneak into the Playoff.
TCU Horned Frogs: The Big 12 really put itself in a bad spot this weekend. The top two Playoff contenders, Baylor and Oklahoma lost, while Kansas State and TCU won, but they have a loss. Though, TCU's lone loss was a close one to Baylor on the road, and they have destroyed any other competition that has stood in their way. With the way Trevone Boykin is rolling and the strength of the defense, they are my pick to win the Big 12. If they can beat Kansas State, TCU moves into serious consideration for a Playoff spot, considering they are a Power Five conference winner.
Georgia Bulldogs: While all the attention in the SEC has clearly been on the stacked West, Georgia has dominated out East. They handled Arkansas this weekend to keep their hopes alive and they still do have a pretty convincing victory over Clemson, and their lone loss was an extremely close one to South Carolina. They have the schedule to be able to run the table, but unless they can win the SEC Championship Game, they aren't going to get in, especially with two losses. Still, with the sudden emergence of Nick Chubb, the Bulldogs are going to be a threat down the stretch.

Others Still in the Mix
Michigan State Spartans
Kansas State Wildcats
Arizona State Sun Devils
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Baylor Bears
Ohio State Buckeyes
Marshall Thundering Herd
Duke Blue Devils
Utah Utes
Arizona Wildcats
East Carolina Pirates

No comments:

Theme images by LUGO. Powered by Blogger.