It is Halloween, and all things spooky and scary are in the air, and that also pertains to college football. Five of the top six teams in the Country were in action this past Saturday, and four of those five teams were tested hard in games that had many of their fans nervous and scared. College football is heating up, and the first College Football Playoff Rankings are set to release this Tuesday, and that will give us a good perspective on who the playoff committee likes a little more than halfway through the season. The first release of the rankings hardly ever resembles the final results. As a matter of fact, the four teams that made the playoff last season, Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma were ranked 1st, 4th, 7th, and 15th respectively. Every Monday leading up till the final rankings in December, I will be giving my take on the top four, and the first two teams out of the playoff, so be checking back weekly for the newest poll, and see how mine compare to the real ones!
1. Alabama (8-0)
Alabama has checked every box this season. Their newest QB, Jalen Hurts has been quietly sensational for Bama, and of course their defense is the staple of this team. Until somebody shows they can beat Alabama in all three phases, it would not be surprising to see them roll all the way to a second consecutive national title. This weekend should be a good test as they go to LSU, and face a revived LSU team, with a healthy Leonard Fournette.
Heart attacks and all, Clemson remains undefeated. They held off a really strong Louisville team in primetime, they survived a massive scare against NC State, and then they got their signature road win against FSU. Sure they have been shaky all season, but Deshaun Watson has proved time and time again that he is fully capable of putting the team on his shoulders and carrying them across the finish line. No rest for Clemson though, a scrappy Syracuse team rolls into town on Saturday, and would love nothing more than to derail the Clemson train.
3. Michigan (8-0)
Michigan is one of the many mysteries of college football this season. Nobody knows how good they really are because they have not beat anybody who has proven to be good. Sure, the Wisconsin win looks really good on paper, but on second look at Wisconsin, Wisconsin is the same as Michigan, they have no real signature win. There is no doubt Michigan is good, but are they the third best team in the Country? Or are they even better than Ohio State? Only time will tell, but for now they are sitting pretty with the zero in the loss column, which at the end of the day is all that matters.
4. Washington (8-0)
Washington has been the pleasant surprise of the season. They have put everybody in the Pac-12 on notice. When the season began, everybody was assuming that Stanford was the only team in the Pac-12 with a chance at the playoff, but Washington quickly changed that narrative. Washington has a win over Stanford, and a big road win over Utah. They also have a dark horse Heisman candidate in Jake Browning, who can keep Washington in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 all by himself.
5. Louisville (7-1)
Saturday was a close one for these guys. They went back and forth with Virginia for the whole game, and Lamar Jackson finally stuck the dagger in UVA with a 29-yard touchdown with 13 seconds to go. Lamar Jackson has been nothing short of incredible all season, but he has shown some accuracy issues. This Louisville team will only go as far as Lamar can carry them, but we have seen he can carry them to a 43-point win over FSU, and a near victory in Death Valley against Clemson. Lamar Jackson has all but won the Heisman, but he has to avoid complacency down the stretch as the schedule gets easier for Louisville.
6. Ohio State (7-1)
Ohio State was looking like they were in a class with Alabama, just the two of them, for a few games, then the blocked field goal disaster against Penn State happened. JT Barrett, that’s right he is still there, had a nice little Heisman campaign of his own going up until that game. While Ohio State may be sitting 2 spots out of the playoff, they are really in the driver’s seat over Louisville. Should Ohio State win out, and that includes a victory over Michigan, Ohio State would have the benefit of playing in its conference championship game, a luxury that Louisville may not have. Ohio State is also the more well-rounded team, but the loss against Penn State is an ugly loss compared to Louisville’s loss against an undefeated Clemson team.