(Courtesy of Bryson Gordon(GTCC), GreensboroSports.com college football writer)
Hey guys! It’s Bryson Gordon again and it’s Tuesday so you know what that means.
The rankings that are coming out tonight, are the next to last rankings, seeing as how this is “Championship Saturday.” There were a lot of good matchups this week, and none disappointed.
Oklahoma went into Oklahoma State and knocked the Cowboys off, all but securing the Sooners a spot in the Playoff. Clemson squeaked by a pesky South Carolina team, while Alabama made another statement in its quest to be number one by stepping on Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Iowa escaped with a win over Nebraska, while Michigan State rolled over Penn State, setting up a shot against Iowa in the Big 10 championship. Ohio State impressed against arch rival Michigan, while North Carolina keeps creeping up the rankings with a very impressive win against NC State, which featured 35 points in one quarter.
But I am leaving out the best game of the week. Notre Dame and Stanford battled, with the loser being eliminated from playoff contention, and in my choice for “Game of The Year” Stanford knocked off Notre Dame, keeping their chances alive to fight for the fourth spot. If championship Saturday is anything like this past Saturday, we are in for a treat, so here are where I think the teams will be ranked in the next to last polls.
1) Clemson (Won 37-32 at South Carolina)
Why are they number one? I just don’t see the committee pushing Alabama over an undefeated Clemson team, who has wins over Notre Dame, and FSU. Clemson has been far from impressive the past 3 weeks, but they are still undefeated. Clemson may need one of its best performances of the season to beat a streaking UNC team in the ACC championship team, who has won 11 straight after losing to the same South Carolina team in week one.
Next up- vs. North Carolina 12/5 (Charlotte)
2) Alabama (Won 29-13 at Auburn)
Why are they number two? Alabama has been the anti-Clemson since they lost to Ole Miss earlier this year. Alabama has trampled every team in its way behind Heisman front runner Derrick Henry. Alabama gets a struggling Florida team in the SEC championship, so I think that Alabama has the smallest chance of losing, of any of the teams in the conference championships.
Next up- vs. Florida 12/5 (Atlanta)
3) Oklahoma (Won 58-23 at Oklahoma State)
Why are they number three? Boomer Sooner right? This Oklahoma team has run the gauntlet in the Big 12 after losing to Texas. Oklahoma has beat TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma State, and have won its last seven, by an average of 31 (!) points. Oklahoma is led by star QB Baker Mayfield, and RB Semaje Perine, who have proven to be top candidates for the Heisman themselves. The only downsides to this Oklahoma team is they lost to a very bad Texas, and they do not play in a championship game this week. But the last few games has left no doubt in the committee’s mind.
Next up- No game
4) Iowa (Won 28-20 at Nebraska)
Why are they number four? Iowa has been slept on this entire season, but their chance is coming this Saturday. They have benefitted from not having to play Ohio State, Michigan, or Michigan State, until this Saturday. Their game against Michigan State, will most like likely be a play in game for the playoff, so if Iowa goes into this playoff undefeated, many people will have to eat crow for sleeping on the Hawkeyes.
Next up- vs. Michigan State 12/5 (Indianapolis)
5) Michigan State (Won 55-16 vs Penn State)
Why are they number five? Michigan State has been up and down this season. Behind Connor Cook, the Spartans are back in the Big 10 championship once again, after beating Ohio State 2 weeks ago, then dominating Penn State this past week. MSU has had their bad games, but they can silence the critics by defeating Iowa Saturday. Michigan State was not predicted to be atop the Big 10 at the beginning of the season but the upset win over Michigan after the botched special teams play by Michigan, really put MSU in the driver’s seat.
Next up- vs. Iowa 12/5 (Indianapolis)
6) Stanford (Won 38-36 vs Notre Dame)
Why are they number 6? This was a tough choice. A peaking UNC team, a Ohio State team that decided to show up in the last week, or a Stanford team who has played solid all season long, and who has the most impressive win of all the teams in contention, a win over Notre Dame. Christian McCaffrey has been sensational for the Cardinals. He has put up 3,000 all-purpose yards for Stanford. They face a tough task in a USC team this week, but with a win, they would probably be favored over UNC, and Ohio State for a final spot, if one became open.
Next up- vs. USC 12/5 (San Francisco)