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Post-Week Five College Football Playoff Power Rankings

Devontae Booker
It may be a crazy thought, but we are already reaching the halfway point of the 2015-2016 college football campaign. And, while the year has been exciting it has missed one crucial element: an elite team. Neither Ohio State nor Michigan State is playing well, and Ole Miss went on the road and was blown out by No. 25 Florida. Even so, there are still a number of teams that have a claim to the College Football Playoff. Here is what the Playoff picture looks like after Week 5:

The Four

1 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes went on the road this past week and got yet another close scare from a team that is far from a contender. Sure, Indiana is 4-0 and they played very well, but the Buckeyes play so far this season has been incredibly worrying. Though, even without a very impressive resume, Ohio State is the top team in the nation right now, only because nobody else has proven they are any better. Ezekiel Elliott continues to lead a ground attack that has been terrific but the quarterback situation is worrying. Neither Cardale Jones nor J.T. Barrett have played extremely well and Ohio State's combined QBR is the lowest of any unbeaten. Is Ohio State this year's version of the 2014 Florida State team? Maybe, but winning out in a Power Five conference should still land you a spot somewhere in the four.

2 TCU Horned Frogs
The stock of TCU is rising quickly right now. The Horned Frogs blew out Texas, 50-7 and already own wins against quality opponents in Texas Tech and Minnesota. But, it is hard to really get a sense on just how good the Horned Frogs are. The offense is rolling, with quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson putting up insane numbers. But, the defense continues to be plagued by inconsistency and youth and the Big 12 is the type of conference that feeds on any defensive deficiencies. Even with some questions, TCU remains a strong Playoff team and a viable No. 1 candidate (for the team being) if Ohio State topples.

3 Michigan State Spartans
While TCU's stock is rising, Michigan State's stock is going in the complete opposite direction. Their claim to a Playoff spot, a win over Oregon, has looked increasingly less impressive throughout the past few weeks. And then the Spartans went out and looked very sluggish against a really bad Purdue team, winning just 24-21 and needing a last minute stop. Their play lately has been worrying, but MSU still appears to be a formidable force in the Big Ten. They've just plain beat who they have supposed to, and been able to survive and move up with losses in front of them. Though, unless the Spartans add some more to their resume they could easily be thrown out of the equation, especially with a loss to Ohio State down the road.

4 Utah Utes
UCLA's loss this past Saturday to Arizona State made one thing clear: Utah is the frontrunner in the Pac-12. The Utes victory over Michigan to open the year continues to look better and better (although that Michigan team was far from the one that is tearing things up right now) and they own a huge blowout victory over Oregon. They could only add to a strong resume by beating the only other remaining unbeaten in the conference: California. Behind a powerful rushing attack and a disciplined defense, Utah has what it takes to get it done.

Next Four Out

Baylor Bears
Even five weeks into the season it is tough to get a read on Baylor. They haven't had a close game and looked fantastic this past week against Texas Tech, but it is hard to really get excited about their schedule so far this season. Lamar, SMU, Rice and Texas Tech aren't exactly college football heavyweights, and beating them by five touchdowns doesn't prove much. Even so, Baylor's offense has been on fire this season and the defense has shown plenty of consistency. As long as the Bears keep winning, they should pose a decent case to the committee.

LSU Tigers
Not surprisingly, LSU came away with a victory over Eastern Michigan, behind the powerful running of back Leonard Fournette, who continues to pound opposing defenses. Even with the victory, there are some concerns surrounding the Tigers. Sophomore Brandon Harris has improved at quarterback but is still incredibly inconsistent and lacks the ability to stretch the field. That has made the offense completely one-dimensional (as it was last year), which is extremely worrying. Even so, LSU has a strong enough resume at this point in the season to warrant serious Playoff consideration, with wins over Mississippi State and Auburn.

Clemson Tigers
The constant criticism around the Clemson program has been that they choke games away and can never win the big ones. While, neither of those things happened this past Saturday, at home in muddy and rainy Death Valley against Notre Dame. Although Deshaun Watson was far from as great as we hoped (in what many saw as a Heisman statement possibility for the sophomore) the ground attack was great and the defense was wonderful. Brent Venables, despite severe losses on the defensive side of the ball, continues to lead a fearless unit that should keep the Tigers in every game they play. But, Clemson's closing act against Notre Dame, as they very nearly let the game slip away. This was a very big win for the team, but the Tigers haven't had a game where they've truly looked like a complete Playoff team yet, making this just out of the equation as of right now.

Alabama Crimson Tide
How did Alabama respond with the No. 13 ranking and being an underdog against undefeated Georgia? By dominating the Bulldogs on the road behind a dominant defensive performance and a big day from Derrick Henry. Even better for the Tide was quarterback Jake Coker had probably his best showing of the year, even with a depleted receiver corps to throw to. While Ole Miss' loss to Florida this past Saturday didn't help the Tide, Alabama has made it clear they are still a team to be reckoned with as we head on to the second half of the regular season.

Others in the Mix
Florida State Seminoles
Texas A&M Aggies
Florida Gators
Oklahoma Sooners
Northwestern Wildcats
UCLA Bruins
Michigan Wolverines
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Ole Miss Rebels
Georgia Bulldogs
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Stanford Cardinal
USC Trojans
California Golden Bears

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