game of thrones: the battle for the college playoff berths.

ncf_trophy1_ms_600x400The first College Football Playoff ranking comes out later this week. If they’re anything like the weekly rankings, the season is about to play out like a bloody season of Game of Thrones. From where I’m sitting, there are about five or six that could make a legitimate claim to be there. I’m not a fan of stuffing the ballot box with SEC schools—especially since they all will end up playing one another before the season’s over—so for me, I think only one SEC school deserves to be there. If the committee agrees, that opens the door for Notre Dame and Michigan State. I don’t even care what the committee says tomorrow. We’re only in the middle of this story.

In the end, the four-team playoff should something like this:
1. Florida State
2. SEC Champion
3. Oregon
4. B1G Champion or Notre Dame

The Seminoles are going to win out. No one is going to beat them. Mississippi State, Alabama and Auburn will continue beating up one another, so only one SEC school will be left standing. That’s all you need. Oregon will likely run the table in the Pac-12…unless Arizona wins the rest of its games. Depending on how USC’s season plays out, the Pac-12 championship game could be a rematch.

Michigan State has one more big game on its schedule in two weeks: Ohio State. If the Spartans win, they are all but guaranteed a berth in the B1G championship game. However, Nebraska is a dark horse in the conference. Should the Huskers win their division, they get a second shot at State in Indianapolis and they might have a rightful claim to one of those spots.

In other words…nothing matters until the end of November.

As for right now, here’s how I think the College Football Top 10 should look Sunday morning:
1. Mississippi St. (7-0)
2. Florida State (7-0)
3. Oregon (7-1)
4. Alabama (7-1)
5. Auburn (6-1)
6. Notre Dame (6-1)
7. Michigan State (7-1)
8. TCU (6-1)
9. Georgia (6-1)
10. Kansas State (6-1)

In reality, I think Auburn and Notre Dame should be tied for the No. 5 spot. Ole Miss is long gone after losing to No. 24 LSU. Yeah, the Tigers are a tough opponent and Ole Miss was in it right to the end, but I don’t care. They still lost.

Week 10 Match-ups of Note
Seemingly there are no big, marquee games on the schedule next week. The games may not be sexy, but a closer examination shows a handful of major showdowns:
Florida State (7-0) at Louisville (6-2)—Okay, so this Thursday night game isn’t that big a deal…unless you’re Notre Dame. Irish fans are still chapped over the end of the ND-Florida St. game and are hoping Louisville does to the Seminoles what the Irish did not.
Auburn (6-1) at Ole Miss (7-1)—If Ole Miss wins, bu-bye Auburn. And get used to this theme. The SEC will cannibalize itself over the next few weeks. Count on it.
TCU (6-1) at West Virginia (6-2)—The Mountaineers are giant killers this season. The Frogs better watch out.
Stanford (5-3) at Oregon (7-1)—The Cardinal’s playing for nothing but pride right now. A win over Oregon would send the Ducks’ season into a tailspin.
Arizona (6-1) at UCLA (6-2)—Arizona is one of four Pac-12 teams with only one loss. But you never hear about that with ESPN slobbering all over the SEC, do you?


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Filed under analysis, College Football, NCAA, opinion, sports

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