RateMyTeam.com

Photo courtesy of fbschedules.com

It's November, and that means the AP Rankings are more important than ever for college football teams looking to get a spot in the College Football Playoffs. There are only 4 spots available, and with conference championship games to be a deciding factor (unless you're in the Big 12) teams are looking to solidify themselves as the real deal.

In the Top-25, there are 11 unbeaten teams and 9 one-loss teams. Realistically, there are only 10 teams that have a shot. In the top 10, I'll list why they will or won't make the playoffs.

Oklahoma State Cowboy
Photo courtesy of  sportslogos.net

10. Oklahoma State (8-0)

This is an outside chance. The Cowboys have a prolific offense, especially through the air. At 44 points/game, there are few teams who can keep on pace with them. However, they have games against TCU, Baylor and big brother OU still ahead of them.

Stanford Cardinal
Photo courtesy of sportslogos.net

9. Stanford (7-1)

This isn't the Andrew Luck/Jim Harbaugh Cardinal we've seen dominate the PAC-12 (even if they couldn't get over the Oregon hump back then). David Shaw has done a great job keeping this team on track with over 400 yards/game of offense. Kevin Hogan has an outside chance to be a Heisman Finalist, but with rivalry games still ahead and a late-season date with Notre Dame, the Cardinal must win out to be considered for one of the final 4 spots.

Baylor Bears
Photo courtesy of sportslogos.net

8. Baylor (7-0)

This Baylor Bears team has been running over teams all over the Bible Belt. Last year we saw them get big wins over ranked TCU, Oklahoma, and Kansas State before ultimately falling close to Michigan State. They've proven they can hang with the big boys, but this season has been as easy a season as anyone has had. A big match-up with the Horned Frogs will make or break their season.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Photo courtesy of irishcentral.com

7. Notre Dame (7-1)

The Fighting Irish are a cornerstone of College Football. It makes sense the committee would have them ranked in the top 5, however they haven't earned their rank. The Irish have beaten 2 previously ranked teams, and their only loss came to Clemson, who is still ranked now. Allowing 22 points/game against lower tier opponents (this average includes the 3 points they allowed against Texas), the Irish must get better on the defensive end if they want to contend in the top 4.

TCU Horned Frogs
Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

6. Texas Christian University (8-0)

The Horned Frogs are in the same boat as the Bears. With no tough competition under their belt, the Horned Frogs aren't being taken quite as seriously as their wins would suggest. At 48 points/game, there is only one team scoring more points than the Frogs. Wins against Oklahoma State, OU, and Baylor would solidify their position, but with the games coming so late in the season, it might be too little, too late.

Alabama Crimson Tide
Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

5. Alabama (7-1)

The SEC gets a lot of respect in this league, and no other school has earned it quite so much as Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. With an early season loss to Ole Miss, the Tide have been able to put that out of the minds of those making the decisions. Jake Coker has looked stronger than expected and it has their offense comfortably at 36 points/game. Last year we saw a similar scenario, and it ended poorly for the Tide. Could another team have what it takes to stop the Tide again?

Michigan State Spartans
Photo courtesy of twimg.com

4. Michigan State (8-0)

Call it personal bias, but the Spartans are the team to beat in the B1G. They aren't blowing teams away, but their ability to grind it out and find ways to win are championship factors indeed. Plus, the luck bestowed upon them to beat Michigan can't be ignored as an accident. Spartan Nation has to be on their toes the next few weeks as we enter the Upset Zone.

Clemson Tigers
Photo courtesy of  clemsontigers.com
3. Clemson (8-0)

The Tigers get the #1 nod from the committee, albeit it has raised some controversy over who they beat out. In terms of numbers, the Tigers ranks in the top-5 in efficiency on both sides of the ball, which is exceedingly difficult to do. The Tigers are the overall team to beat, but is their strength of schedule enough to keep them on top of the leaderboard? (Hint: I don't think so)


Ohio State Buckeyes
Photo courtesy of ohsnapbacks.com
2. Ohio State (8-0)

The reigning champions have a lot of on and off the field issues to concern them. J.T. Barrett was arrested for driving while intoxicated, the Ohio State quarterbacks have had a tough time getting a good string of games together, and now, the Buckeyes have fallen to #3 without having lost a game. The Buckeyes, I believe, will remain in the top 4 so long as they don't lose to anyone not named Michigan State (and even that could be a death sentence). But Urban Meyer should command all of the respect. With all of his woes, he has still managed to lead his team this far unscathed and in a position to dominate again.

LSU Tigers
Photo courtesy of eyeoverlsu.org
1. Lousiana State University (7-0)

The Tigers are in a very unenviable position. They have beaten 3 Top-25 teams and still have 3 more on their schedule. Not even Bama can boast about that. With the de facto top Heisman candidate in Leonard Fournette, the Tigers are poised to return to the national championship game for the first time since 2011 when they were shut out by longtime rival Alabama. Next week the Tigers will test their strength against that rival, and this one game will decide which of these teams stays in the top 4. If the Tigers win, I see no way they don't get catapulted into the top spot. Should they lose, at least they still have Fournette.


The world of college football is a wild and fickle domain full of upsets and setups, sins and tragedies, and drama and comedy. A single day can influence an entire year, and an entire year culminates into a single day. It's a high-stakes world for those who rely on it for their livelihood. Coaches, directors, writers and videographers are constantly working to get a leg up, and when you don't produce, you get the axe. It's great entertainment, though, so let's keep watching and try to keep up. Maybe one day we can make sense of the ranking system.

0 comments :