Once again, if you're curious about methodology, well, there isn't really one. I'm sort of following what I understand of the committee logic (and, refresher, remember from last year's ranking series that I'm more or less on board with the committee) and as a tiebreaker using a completely subjective "who would win on a neutral field" test.
Our Playoff Teams
- Ohio State - Man, their grasp here seems tenuous - their game with lowly Indiana ended with the Hoosiers throwing incomplete to the end zone in an attempt to send it to overtime. As luck would have it, though, only two of the rest of our top eight distinguished themselves, so they can stay. They host Maryland next.
- TCU - The Horned Frogs are the beneficiaries of carnage at the top of our rankings, jumping back up to where they were with an absolute demolition of Texas - it was 30-0 after just one quarter. They'll travel to Kansas State this week.
- Utah - Cheeseburgers are indeed tasty... We had the idle Utes at #7, and four teams above them lost. You could quibble over whether, based on resume, they or TCU should be ranked #2, but all that would change is the color of the jerseys in the semifinal game. They'll host Cal this week.
- Florida State - Here by default after escaping Wake Forest and seeing a bunch of teams above them lose. The Noles have only seen Good Everett so far, as Golson has yet to throw an interception this year. We'll see how long that lasts. They host Miami this week.
Our Near-Future Playoff Teams
Because, let's be honest, we all know this thing is going to eight teams sooner rather than later.
- Clemson - I wrestled with this one quite a bit because I don't think they're really this good, but the win over Notre Dame is one of the best resume-burnishers to this point in the season. They host Georgia Tech this week.
- Ole Miss - Another one I really fought with myself on, because boy were they embarrassed by Florida. Really hard to drop them behind Alabama, though, who they just beat. They'll lick their wounds against New Mexico State on Saturday.
- Alabama - Hammered Georgia on the road, with Derrick Henry logging a career-best 148 rushing yards (which makes me think he hasn't got the ball enough). They'll host Arkansas, reeling after their third loss.
- Michigan State - Dropped sharply here after struggling against Purdue. Combined with their signature win, Oregon, losing quite a bit of shine last week by getting pummeled by Utah, the Spartans seem less impressive. They'll travel to Rutgers this weekend.
The Best of The Rest
- LSU -
Went on the road to Syracuse - I think they're the only SEC West team to play a game north of the Mason-Dixon for the last 20 years, and they do it every so often. They still play their share of tomato cans, but they deserve credit for making road trips to places like Syracuse and Washington. Anyway,The Fournette Heisman Inevitability March trundled along as the Tigers held off the Orangeclobbered Eastern Michigan. They'll head to South Carolina this week.
- Baylor - I thought Texas Tech might prove a challenge for Baylor. Not so much - the Bears were up 49-21 at halftime and never seriously tested after the first quarter. They'll go to Kansas in what should be another bloodbath this week.
- Notre Dame - Gut-punch loss. A mistake-riddled game by the Irish versus a nearly clean game by Clemson, at one of the toughest road venues in college football, ended on a failed game-tying two point conversion attempt. (Picture me shaking my fist at the heavens here.) The Irish will have to regroup quickly with Navy, who sits at #21 in the S&P+ rankings, coming to town.
- Texas A&M - Knocked off Mississippi State to move to 5-0 on the year, but they still feel vulnerable. They'll enjoy some cheeseburgers this week. #YESSIR.
- Oklahoma - The Sooners were in some trouble against West Virginia but pulled away late to cruise to the win. They'll go to Texas this week.
- Northwestern - Hammered Minnesota for their second-best win of the season. They have a huge matchup this week on the road at Michigan - which team is for real?
- Stanford - Destroyed Arizona, who has had a real bad couple of weeks and is probably dead in the Pac 12 race as a result. They're idle this week.
- USC - The Trojans had cheeseburgers in preparation for a visit Chris Peterson's Washington squad. Can Peterson's defensive acumen slow down USC's skill position athletes?
- Florida - Makes a big jump this week after humiliating Ole Miss. I need to see more from them before boosting them higher, but Jim McElwain is Doing Good Things in the Swamp. They'll travel to Missouri this week, which makes me a Gators fan.
- Temple - Clobbered Charlotte, unsurprisingly, and will host Tulane this week.
- Oklahoma State - Just snuck past Kansas State this weekend - good timing on the game, as everyone knows Bill Snyder gets stronger the closer you get to Halloween. They'll travel to Morgantown this week.
- Michigan - Clobbered an inept-looking Maryland squad and will have a chance to prove their legitimacy against Northwestern this week (feels really weird to type that).
- Georgia - Obliterated at home by Alabama, and not facing a gimme against Tennessee this week. Stay tuned.
- Arizona State - Their absence from the rankings was short-lived, returning after a convincing win on the road against perennial hype beneficiary UCLA. They'll host Colorado this week, who put up a fight against Oregon before ultimately getting squashed. They're off this week.
- UCLA - A precipitous drop for the Fighting Moras, who were beaten soundly at home by Arizona State. This is another one I fought with a bit since ASU has two losses to UCLA's one, but I can't disregard the emphatic head-to-head result.
- Cal - Used a big third quarter to get past Washington State, although they never pulled away. They have a tall order this week on a road trip to Salt Lake City.
- Iowa - Throwing the Hawkeyes a bone here as they're 5-0 for the first time in... I don't know, probably a while, after knocking off Wisconsin on the road. Well done, Ferentz, raise a glass in celebration. On second thought, don't do that, might not end well... They'll host Illinois this week.
The Walk of Shame
Wisconsin. Hoo boy. A measly six points in a home loss to lowly Iowa. They could still make it to the Big Ten title game, of course, but that's an ugly mark on their record.
Georgia Tech. Making the list for the second week in a row after losing at home to North Carolina. How does everyone feel about their odds at Clemson this week? Vegas doesn't feel so good, giving them 8 points.
Arizona. Outscored the last two weeks 111-47, in pretty comparable beatings by two decent teams. Whatever magic Rich Rod caught last year is officially gone.
Mississippi State. Not really shameful as they had a tough matchup on the road against Texas A&M, but it's their second loss in three conference games, which puts them in deep trouble in the SEC West race already.