In four weeks, the four teams of the College Football Playoffs will be revealed.
There should be movement after week 11. Michigan State, which opened at No. 3 in the early CFP rankings, he is set to drop after losing 40-29 at Purdue. What will the PCP do with n. 6 Cincinnati now? The Bearcats fled with a 28-20 win over Tulsa which featured two fumbles on the goal line in the final minutes.
No. 9 Wake Forest lost 58-55 to North Carolina. No. 5 Ohio State got a scare in Nebraska. Also n. 2 Alabama felt the warmth of LSU.
The style points were out the door, but that race for the top four is getting more complicated. Sporting News continues to sort those teams based on how contenders should be ranked, although the CFP committee has other ideas.
So this isn’t a projection of Tuesday’s chart; but more our opinion on what it should look like. It’s hard to see a team outside of this top 10 that would deserve serious playoff consideration.
Here is our picture of the CFP playoffs:
Four in the College Football Playoffs
1. Georgia (9-0)
Remaining time: to Tennessee, against Charleston Southern, to Georgia Tech
Stetson Bennett threw a 35-yard pass for Arian Smith on the fourth and 6 with 42 seconds left in the first quarter, and that erased any hint of drama in the 43-6 win over Missouri. Bennett (13 of 19, 255 yards, 2 TDs) continues to command the attack well and JT Daniels (7 of 11, 82 yards, TD, INT) has seen extensive action of relief. It may not matter who the quarterback is. The defense conceded just 6.6 points per game. Georgia closes the SEC schedule against Tennessee in week 11, and an undefeated regular season may be enough to get into CFP, whatever happens in Atlanta in the SEC championship game.
2. Alabama (8-1)
Remaining time: against the state of New Mexico, against Arkansas, in Auburn
LSU had three chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter against the Crimson Tides, but Alabama stopped each time and finished with a 20-14 win. Bryce Young finished with 302 passes for his sixth 300-yard game of the season, and Jameson Williams had 10 receptions for 160 yards. Alabama should keep the No. 2nd place in the standings, and all avenues to lead to the SEC championship game against Georgia. Alabama can gain momentum in the next two weeks at home before the Iron Bowl.
MOREOVER: Young the smart choice for Heisman
3. Oklahoma (9-0)
Remaining time: in Baylor, against Iowa State, in Oklahoma State
We are aware that the committee has made a blatant statement by placing the Sooners at No. 8 in the initial ranking. This is where they should be classified. Oklahoma remains undefeated after a week of waiting, and despite concerns about five-to-one wins against FBS schools, the Sooners still have a +168 point differential. Caleb Williams also has a passing score of 203.7 and offense has averaged 48.5 points per game since taking over the role of quarterback. It makes a difference in this team and that correction in the standings is coming.
4. Cincinnati (9-0)
Remaining time: in South Florida, against SMU, in East Carolina
The Bearcats survived Tulsa in a wild ending at home. The Bearcats won 28-20 and needed the help of a fumble on the goal line on the fourth down in the last minute to seal the victory. Running back star Jerome Ford came out with a left leg injury and Cincinnati missed the style points many are looking for against the American Athletic Conference. The good news? Cincinnati did not lose. Oregon will likely rise to No. 3 in the current standings, but Michigan State’s defeat combined with Ohio State’s ho-hum performance against Nebraska doesn’t hurt. The road to the playoffs remains open, especially if Notre Dame continues to win, but the next two teams will need another defeat.
5. Oregon (8-1)
Remaining time: against the State of Washington, Utah, against the State of Oregon
The Ducks’ hold on the last CFP spot is weak. The win against Ohio State is recognized, but that defeat to Stanford is becoming a plague given the Cardinals’ 3-6 record. Oregon still took care of business in Washington with a 26-16 win in a key Pac-12 North showdown. Running back Travis Dye was the star with 28 careers for 211 yards, and quarterback Anthony Brown (63 yards, TD) continues to be a factor in the running game. Oregon still remains the best bet to win Pac-12, but Cincinnati also has a top-10 win and hasn’t lost yet. This debate is far from over.
6. State of Ohio (8-1)
Remaining time: v Purdue, v Michigan State, Michigan
The Buckeyes could rise to No. 4th place in the current rankings, and they can safely stay in the top four by winning the fifth consecutive Big Ten championship. Should the state of Ohio be concerned after the 26-17 Nebraska scare? CJ Stroud passed for 405 yards and two TDs, but also threw two picks in a pass-happy bout. The Buckeyes had nearly a 2: 1 pass / run ratio. The close call took a breakout performance from Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who had 15 receptions for 240 yards and a TD with Garrett Wilson out. These are consecutive erratic performances for the Buckeyes, and they will be looking to get back on track at home against Purdue.
Four to watch
7. State of Michigan (8-1)
Remaining time: against Maryland, at Ohio State, against Penn State
Purdue strikes again. The Spartans are the last team in the top five to lose after a 40-29 loss to the Boilermakers. The defense of the passage of the Spartans was exposed against Purdue. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell passed 536 yards and three TDs, and now Michigan State must win in the Big Ten East. The Spartans hold the top-10 win against Michigan, but playoff hopes will dwindle as they travel to the state of Ohio on November 20. The state of Michigan made it in 2015. This time around, they will be more underprivileged.
8. Michigan (8-1)
Remaining time: in Penn State, against Maryland, in Ohio State
Michigan recovered from the collapse of the state of Michigan with a convincing 29-7 win over Indiana. The Spartans’ defeat to Purdue was a bonus, and if Ohio State beats Michigan State, the Wolverines will be back in business in the Big Ten East. Blake Corum left with an injury in the first quarter, but Hassan Haskins upped with 168 yards running and a TD. Cade McNamara played flawless football with 168 yards and two TDs, and the Wolverines defense regained their bravado against the Hoosiers. Will he go to Penn State, where Michigan have lost their last two games?
9. Notre Dame (8-1)
Remaining time: in Virginia, against Georgia Tech, at Stanford
The Irish continue to be the companion in the run to the Cincinnati playoffs. Notre Dame defeated the Navy in a 34-6 blast; the fourth consecutive victory for the Irish since defeat against the Bearcats. Jack Coan finished 23 of 29 for 269 yards and a TD, and Kyren Williams ran for 95 yards and a couple of TDs. Notre Dame’s early season wins over Purdue and Wisconsin look better now, but independence status and the lack of a conference league match remain an issue alongside that defeat in Cincinnati.
10. State of Oklahoma (8-1)
Remaining time: against TCU, at Texas Tech, against Oklahoma
The Cowboys could be the bottom line for teams that actually have a chance to do CFP. Oklahoma State won a tough away game at West Virignia 24-3, and amassed three wins against teams that were ranked in the Big 12 game at the time. Were it not for the mistake against Iowa State, the Cowboys could be ranked back-to-back with rival Oklahoma. The key of the last two weeks is a defense that has allowed three points in the last two games and limited the Mountaineers to 133 yards.