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Post-Week Two College Football Playoff Picture

Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
The Four

1 Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
As expected, Alabama had no issues with Fresno State, rolling to a 41-10 victory. Sophomore QB Jalen Hurts still is improving as a passer, but he looks as dangerous as ever running the ball, with 154 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 rushes. With him, Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris, the Tide are absolutely scary on the ground, and it's hard to see anybody being able to contain that. Add to that a usually dominant defense, and Alabama looks unsurprisingly, like one of the nation's most complete teams. With that Florida State victory on their resume, the Tide should be in wonderful position going forward in the Playoff picture.

2 Oklahoma Sooners (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
After losing to Ohio State last season handily Oklahoma came with a vengeance this past week, spanking the Buckeyes on the road. It was a message from a program with a first-year head coach and one sometimes criticized for their inability to win big games. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has looked absolutely wonderful, and may be the Heisman frontrunner after the first two games of the year. However, what has been even more impressive and key to the Sooners' hot start is the play of the defense, which has been terrific. Now through the toughest game of their season, Oklahoma should be favored in every single game they play the rest of the way and have a little bit of breathing room if they are to lose, as a big non-conference victory strengthens their resume in a big way.

3 Clemson Tigers (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Many expected Clemson to struggle as the move on from the Deshaun Watson, but that hasn't really been the case for the Tigers. New QB Kelly Bryant hasn't been absolutely perfect but he has still given this offense plenty of help, and the rest of the offense has been pinpoint. On the other side of the ball, the Tigers are as strong as anybody in the country, especially up front where you could make the case that they have three All-Americans on the defensive line. With a strong non-conference victory over Auburn and the fact that Florida State will likely take a step back without Deondre Francois, Clemson's chances of returning to a third consecutive Playoff seem very, very good.

4 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
While Penn State didn't beat a Top 25 team like Oklahoma and Clemson, they still certainly helped their Playoff case with a very impressive Week 2. The Nittany Lions ran past in-state rival Pittsburgh, handling the Panthers with ease. The offense, which returns nearly every major component from last year's explosive group, has looked absolutely superb and defensively, they are good enough to compete with everyone. This program once looked to have little direction in the first two seasons of the James Franklin era, but they've played with a certain swagger and energy over the last year and a half. With Ohio State and Michigan both not playing very well, it seems pretty clear that Penn State is the team to beat in the Big Ten East.

Next Four Out

5 USC Trojans (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12)
After a pretty unimpressive opener in which the Trojans came out pretty flat against Western Michigan, USC looked very strong in their conference opener against Stanford. Sam Darnold recovered from a poor Week One to play like the Heisman candidate we were expecting before the season began, while the defense did a superb job containing Bryce Love and Stanford's rush attack. It is still unclear whether this USC team is the Playoff-caliber team many thought they were prior to the season, but they've looked pretty solid. They should have a great chance at running the table before they reach the Pac-12 Championship Game, especially if they can avoid any trap games.

6 Washington Huskies (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
Much like last season, Washington has played an incredibly soft non-conference slate having no issues with either Rutgers nor Montana State. QB Jake Browning has engineered a very explosive offense, although the O-Line has been struggling with consistency early on. The key will be an improvement in the secondary, where UW has played well so far, but is still recovering from the loss of three NFL draft selections. If they can get that unit in tip-top shape before they really face the bulk of their conference schedule, which really starts in two weeks with a road trip to Colorado, this team should be as strong as ever.

7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
While their archrival Oklahoma went out and played a tough non-conference game in the season's second week, Oklahoma State has been beating up on some less impressive opponents. That may hurt them later on, but so far, they've looked as good as anybody. As expected, QB Mason Rudoloph and wide out James Washington Jr. have looked absolutely wonderful, and certainly could be considered Heisman candidates. The defense really hasn't faced a very tough opponent, but their play so far should still leave the fans in Stillwater excited about this team's potential. Things do get tougher for Oklahoma State now, as they go on the road to play Pittsburgh and then square off against TCU, in a game that should keep the scoreboard operators very busy.

8 Michigan Wolverines (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Despite the fact QB Wilton Speight and the offense have lacked much rhythm for much of the season's first two weeks, Michigan has started off 2-0 and owns a very quality non-conference win over Florida. Speight will have to pick it up eventually but for the time being, Michigan has to be perfectly fine using their dangerous ground attack and incredibly quick defense to beat down opponents. The defense especially has looked absolutely wonderful, holding Florida to just one single field goal (UF did score two defensive touchdowns). If the Wolverines can keep that pace up on that side of the ball, they will certainly be quite the threat inside the Big Ten.

Others in the Mix
Ohio State Buckeyes
LSU Tigers
Wisconsin Badgers
Louisville Cardinals
Georgia Bulldogs
Florida State Seminoles
Virginia Tech Hokies
Miami Hurricanes
Kansas State Wildcats
TCU Horned Frogs
Washington State Cougars
Tennessee Volunteers

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