- Oklahoma State
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Michigan State
Let’s get right into this. I think it’s safe to say that Clemson and Alabama are the two best teams in the country. The only advantage to being number 1 is that you have your choice of where you’ll play in the semi-final. I don’t see any scenario in which Clemson would opt for the Cotton bowl and I don’t think Alabama fans care about the first round of the playoffs no matter where they play.
Like they care because they’re going to talk trash no matter what, but in general, they only care about championship games.
Oklahoma State is good and in my opinion at this point, they’re the best chance for the Big 12 to get a team into the playoff this season. I’ve been the conductor of the Baylor train, but Oklahoma derailed that train last night. And, while Oklahoma State survived against Iowa State last night, they beat Texas (important later) and beat No. 8 Texas Christian. Oklahoma State and 48-year-old Mike Gundy only need to beat Baylor this weekend and Oklahoma on November 28 and I don’t see a scenario in which the Cowboys wouldn’t make the playoff.
Ohio State and Iowa
I’m not afraid to say I’m giving Ohio State the benefit of the doubt. The Buckeyes are arguably the most talented team in the nation, but we’ve only seen flashes of that this season. Buckeyes fans say they’re bored with the competition and will show up when games county. Well, it would be hard to argue they didn’t show up against Illinois. Yes, I know what the halftime score was, but at the end of the day, I think they’re easily one of the best 10 teams in the country.
The difference between them and Iowa is a lot less clear. Ohio State has played no one. Yes, they beat Virginia Tech on the road to open the season, but they didn’t beat No. 19 Wisconsin or No. 20 Northwestern on the road as Iowa did. In my opinion, Iowa and Ohio State are basically the same. Except for those road wins that I talked about.
I think all the speculation about Ohio State’s worth ends after the next two weeks once they play Michigan State this weekend then Michigan on November 28, but until then Iowa and Ohio State – to me – are joined at the hip.
Notre Dame and Oklahoma
This is simple. Notre Dame beat Texas; Oklahoma was destroyed by Texas. Yes, I’ve gotten over Alabama’s loss to now unranked Ole Miss, but I simply cannot forgive Oklahoma for Texas. Oklahoma beating Baylor certainly makes this thought process a bit suspect.
Notre Dame loses spots because Temple lost to South Florida in embarrassing fashion.
In Oklahoma’s defense, if the rankings hold, they will have played five ranked teams.
But that loss to Texas…
First, this is a foreign concept to some people: a service academy that’s good and inside the Top 20. Navy, currently at No. 20, should move higher this week and if we’re going to use ridiculously silly transitive property should be ranked higher than Houston because the Midshipmen destroyed Memphis and Houston merely survived 35-34. The rubber meets the road for this Group of 5 teams on November 27 when the two play at Houston.