College Football Playoff Outlook: Week 8

Story posted October 16, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Jake Starr

This past weekend may have been one of the most dramatic weekends of the college football season, with plenty of upsets across the board. The race to the College Football Playoff took another dramatic turn, so let’s see where we stand heading into week eight of the college football season:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Nothing new here as Nick Saban’s squad continues to hold down the top spot in the College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide moved to 7-0 on the season with a commanding 39-10 victory over Missouri. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Alabama travels to Tennessee this week to take on the Volunteers. Following this week, the Crimson tide will travel to take on LSU. It will be that game where we will see on what level Alabama is.

If it beats LSU and runs the table, then Alabama is a shoe-in to be the number one team in the playoff. With a loss, it gets a bit iffy for them. Right now, Alabama passes the eye test as the best team in the nation, but with a weaker schedule thus far, it has yet to be seen on how the Tide fare against top competition.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State remained perfect following a 30-14 win over Minnesota. The Buckeyes struggled early on but pulled away late. Heisman candidate Dwayne Haskins threw for 412 yards and added three touchdowns on the day.

The Buckeyes travel to Indiana to take on the Boilermakers of Purdue. It should be a game they can handle but is worth paying attention to given they will be in a tough road environment under the lights.

Ohio State’s toughest challenges the rest of the way come on the road against a Michigan State team who is really a wild card at this point, and then hosting Michigan in the season’s final game. A Big Ten championship will almost guarantee the Buckeyes a spot in the College Football playoff.

3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame is making its strongest case for the College Football Playoff in the system’s five-year existence. The Fighting Irish moved to 7-0 on the season following 19-14 win over Pitt. It was a come from behind win, but the Irish’s resume is too strong right now to keep them out of the conversation.

The outlook for Notre Dame the rest of the way looks very positive. Its toughest remaining games are at home against Florida State and on the road against USC, but both of those teams are unranked. Their looks to be a strong possibility of Notre Dame finishing the season undefeated.
With Notre Dame not being in a conference, losing just one game could greatly hurt its chances of making the playoff, but if it does go 12-0, it will be nearly impossible to keep the Irish out. Ian Book and the Irish will play Navy this Saturday night.

4. Michigan Wolverines

The last spot in the playoff came down to Michigan and Clemson, and right now, one loss Michigan gets the nod over an undefeated Clemson. The Tigers may be undefeated, but they do not have the strength of schedule yet to warrant being in the top four.

Michigan, on the other hand, is coming off a very impressive win over Wisconsin, where it was not a game for most of the night. How Wisconsin fares for the rest of the season will impact the strength of that win, but for now, it has Michigan earning a spot in the top four. The Wolverines only loss this year came to Notre Dame, which looks like one of the top teams in the country right now.

We will learn a lot about Michigan throughout the rest of the season. They travel to take on Michigan State this Saturday, then host Penn State and travel to Ohio State over their last four games. If they win out and win the Big Ten, they will be in the playoff. If that is not the case, then Michigan will be on the outside looking in.

5. Clemson Tigers
6. LSU Tigers

 

 

Jake Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email him at jas7954@psu.edu.