Week 5 Playoff Picture
The Top Four:
1.) Michigan State
Best win: vs Oregon 31-28
Michigan State has simply been one of the most dominant college football programs of the past five years. Some might start questioning the value of the Oregon win, but count me in as a believer in Mark Dantonio’s Spartans.
2.) Ole Miss
Best win: at Alabama 43-37
The Rebels’ offense is piling up points every week, scoring 55.0 points per game (2nd in the nation). It remains to be seen just how good Alabama is this year, but right now Ole Miss boasts the most impressive résumé in the SEC.
Best win: at Arizona 56-30
The Bruins put on a show Saturday night, crushing the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen bounced back from his terrible game against BYU to toss for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns. The loss of linebacker Myles Jack hurts, but UCLA is emerging as the favorite in the Pac-12.
Best win: at Oregon 62-20
Sticking in the Pac-12, Utah skyrockets into the top four after an impressive win at Oregon. The Utes dropped a whopping 62 points against the Ducks, the most ever allowed in Autzen Stadium. Pair that win with the Week 1 victory over Michigan, who has looked more impressive each week, and Utah has possibly the best résumé of any team in the nation so far.
The Next Four:
5.) Ohio State
Best win: at Virginia Tech 42-34
The defending champs at number five?? You’ve got that right. Last year is last year, and the Buckeyes have yet to really impress me this season. Luckily for Ohio State, all they have to do is coast until the Michigan State game and they should be fine.
Best win: at Mississippi State 21-19
If I could, I would rank Leonard Fournette number six in the nation by himself. The sensational sophomore has averaged 210 yards per game this season, and could become the first SEC running back to reach the 2,000 yard mark. Oh, and the team around him is pretty good too.
7.) Notre Dame
Best win: vs Georgia Tech 30-22
I was skeptical of the Irish when starting quarterback Malik Zaire got injured in Week 2. However, DeShone Kizer has filled in for Zaire well. Also, if my memory serves me correctly, the last national champion happened to be down their starting quarterback as well. History has a tendency of repeating itself…
Best win: at Minnesota 23-17
I’m officially worried about the Horned Frogs’ defense. TCU barely escaped with a victory this past Saturday, winning a wild shootout at Texas Tech 55-52. They can without a doubt put up points, but Gary Patterson’s typically stellar D could end up being a liability for TCU down the stretch.
Four Games to Watch:
1.) #6 Notre Dame at #12 Clemson
Notre Dame will be looking to jump into the top four, while Clemson will be looking to get into the playoff contender conversation. Look out for how Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer handles Clemson’s defense and crowd noise.
2.) #13 Alabama at #8 Georgia
Alabama took the early loss, but going unbeaten from this point on in the SEC should get them into the playoff. Georgia has a history of shying away from big moments. Is this the year they get over the big game hump?
3.) #3 Ole Miss at #25 Florida
Watch out folks, because Florida is low-key undefeated this season! Not many people are talking about the Gators, but they’ve looked solid so far, and should give Ole Miss a good fight in the Swamp.
4.) #1 Ohio State at Indiana
Speaking of low-key undefeated teams, the Indiana Hoosiers are sitting pretty at 4-0 to start the season. Will Ohio State come out and silence their doubters, or will Indiana be able to pull off the B1G upset?
Jeff Capanelli is a junior, broadcast journalism major. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: USA Today
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Jeff Capanelli is a senior from Fair Haven, New Jersey, majoring in broadcast journalism. He will be contributing to the Centre County Report and ComRadio during the 2016 fall semester.
After being a talk show co-host for two years, Jeff now produces and hosts his very own talk show on ComRadio: The Jeff Capanelli Hour. He also contributes to ComRadio’s sports department with written columns, podcasts, live production and play-by-play of various Penn State sports.
Jeff spent the spring of 2016 in Los Angeles, California as a member of the inaugural Penn State Hollywood program. He worked as a video production & strategy intern for Disney Interactive Media, focusing specifically on emerging content.
That following summer, Jeff worked as an editorial intern for Scout Media in New York City.