Sep. 26, 2016
Midseason College Football Playoff Picks
It’s starting to become make-or-break time for teams with aspirations of making the College Football Playoff. Most teams have only four games left until their conference’s championship games. Eyes will be on the College Football Playoff Committee on Tuesday as they will release their first poll. We don’t want to wait so here are our College Football Playoff picks.
1 - Alabama
It is not even a discussion who the best team in college football is right now, the Alabama Crimson Tide are our No. 1 team. They are 8-0, have played a tough schedule, and have blown out opponents. In their eight games thus far, they have scored no less than 33 points in any game and averaging 43.9 points per game. They defeated USC 52-6, edged out Ole Miss 48-42, and dismantled Tennessee 49-10 in addition to other good wins as well. They are producing a running game which has 2118 yards on the season and 20 touchdowns. They have a balanced passing attack which has put up 1866 yards and 14 touchdowns as well. Alabama has avoided playing the current top teams in college football, but their resume speaks for itself and belongs in our No. 1 spot.
2 - Clemson
The No. 2 spot was much more difficult to pick compared to our No.1 pick. There are three other teams apart from Alabama that are currently undefeated, Clemson, Michigan, and Washington, and arguments can be made for any of the three being in our No. 2 spot. Clemson had a scare on Saturday when they almost lose to Florida State. The Tigers did end up winning the game 37-34 in overtime, however. People may look at their game against Florida State as a bad thing as Clemson dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 in the latest AP Poll, but Florida State is a really good team and a win's a win. It one more impressive victory to add to their resume. They already defeated No. 5 Louisville 42-36 and No. 11 Auburn 19-13
3 - Michigan
It was really close between Clemson and Michigan, but Clemson’s strength of schedule is just slightly better. Michigan might be the better team, but when it comes to polling, quality of wins matter. Michigan has played some absolutely dominating games this year. They opened their season with a 63-3 win against Hawaii, took down a good Penn State team 49-10, and slaughtered Rutgers 78-0. That said, Michigan only has two wins against current top 25 teams and those are No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 20 Penn State. All of their other wins were not against quality opponents. Michigan only has one more tough game left on their schedule and that is Ohio State on the last week of the season. If both teams win out up to that point, which seems likely, that game will decide who the No. 2 or even No. 1 team is.
4 - Washington
Washington is a victim of their own schedule. They are a great team, no doubt, but their strength of schedule is no where as tough as the other three teams above them. The Pac-12 this year is quite mediocre which has not helped Washington’s chances to make the College Football Playoff. They only have one win against a top 25 opponent and that is their win against Utah this past Saturday. Apart from Washington State in their final game of the season, they won’t play another current top 25 team. Some pollsters even have put a team like Louisville who has one loss ahead of Washington because of how Washington’s schedule has been. However, Washington is undefeated and that should count for something. They can’t help that other teams in the Pac-12 are not good. Washington will likely need to win out to make it to the playoff as any loss will likely eliminate their chances.