College Football Playoff Outlook: Week 12
The third College Football Playoff rankings have been released and the top 10 teams have remained unchanged from last week after an extremely uneventful week 12.
1. Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC)
The Crimson Tide cruised to another victory this past weekend, this time a 24-0 demolition of No. 16 Mississippi State. One week after an impressive shutout of then-No. 3 LSU, the Bama defense showed no signs of slowing down, as it didn't allow a point for the second straight weekend.
The Tide defense now sits atop the nation in scoring, allowing a mere 12.7 points per game. Heisman Trophy favorite Tua Tagovailoa looked human for once, throwing his second interception of the season during an effort in which he failed to reach 200 yards passing.
After two straight games against a ranked opponent, the Crimson Tide take on the Citadel Bulldogs this Saturday, in a game in which they are a whopping 51.5-point favorite. Their College Football Playoff hopes, however, will ultimately be decided in two weeks’ time when they clash with No. 5 Georgia in the SEC Championship game.
2. Clemson (10-0, 7-0 ACC)
The Tigers took care of business once again this week, this time downing No. 17 Boston College 27-7, as they clinched the ACC Atlantic Division. Despite their promising start, the Eagles, who many believed to be Clemson’s last remaining obstacle, eventually proved to be no match for the undefeated Tigers.
Clemson outscored BC 17-0 from the second quarter on, as stud freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence helped the offense find their rhythm. The Clemson defense once again impressed, as the Eagles only points on the night came from their special teams’ unit.
Clemson will look to stay undefeated this Saturday as it takes on Duke for its last home game of the season. The Tigers seem to have made it through their toughest stretch of the season, as all three of their remaining opponents will most likely unranked, leaving their College Football Playoff hopes looking stronger than ever.
3. Notre Dame (10-0)
The Fighting Irish dispatched of Florida State 42-13 on Saturday, in a game that seemed to have been decided from the start. Despite the struggles of backup quarterback Brian Wimbush, the undefeated Irish seemed to be in control from the first snap, building a 17-0 lead after the first quarter.
The No. 3 team in the nation rode the stellar performance of senior running back Dexter Williams, who tore up the Seminoles defense, rushing for over 200 yards and two scores.
All eyes will be on Notre Dame next weekend as it tries to keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive against No. 13 Syracuse, in what is undoubtedly the biggest game of the week. The Irish will look to take down another ranked opponent, in an attempt to add to a resume that already includes a win over No. 4 Michigan.
With no conference championship game to help bolster their resume, this weeks’ clash with the Orange is a must-win game for the Irish if they want any chance of remaining in the top four come playoff time.
4. Michigan (9-1, 7-0 Big Ten)
Despite being the only team currently sitting in the College Football Playoff with a loss, the Wolverines continued their hot streak this week, crushing lowly Rutgers 42-7. Junior quarterback Shea Patterson continued his strong play as of late, throwing for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the blowout.
As it’s been for much of the season, the Michigan defense was impressive once again, as it held the Scarlet Knights to 252 yards and forced two turnovers.
The Wolverines welcome Indiana to the Big House this week, in what is surely to be considered a tune up for next week's monster clash with No. 10 Ohio State. Michigan controls its own destiny at this point in the season, as wins in these next two contests, coupled with a Big Ten championship win over Northwestern, would almost guarantee them a spot in the top four come December.
5. Georgia (9-1, 7-1 SEC)
6. Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1 BIG 12)
Jack Brusco is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.