Week 6 Playoff Picture
The Top Four:
1.) Utah (4-0)
Best win: at Oregon 62-20
Utah has many people to thank for its meteoric rise in the rankings, but one person they should thank in particular is Jim Harbaugh. The more Michigan keeps winning, the better Utah’s week 1 win over the Wolverines looks.
2.) Ohio State (5-0)
Best win: at Indiana 34-27
Ohio State has been puzzling in 2015. They have most of the elements from the 2014 National Championship squad back, yet they have been unimpressive through five games so far. The Buckeyes will need to work out their flaws before facing Michigan State and Michigan back-to-back to end their season.
3.) Michigan State (5-0)
Best win: vs Oregon 31-28
Michigan State has started the season 5-0, yet they are 0-5 against the spread. The Spartans are beating people, but not by as many points as people expect. Is it time to start worrying about how legit Sparty is?
4.) Clemson (4-0)
Best win: vs Notre Dame 24-22
Welcome to the playoff conversation, Clemson! The Tigers took advantage of the national spotlight and seized a statement win over Notre Dame. As of now, Clemson looks to be the ACC’s best chance at getting a team in the playoff.
The Next Four:
5.) TCU (5-0)
Best win: at Minnesota 23-17
TCU put such a severe beatdown on Texas that several Longhorn players were caught tweeting about transferring during halftime. If that doesn’t earn a team a spot in the top 5, I’m not sure what would.
6.) Baylor (4-0)
Best win: vs Texas Tech 63-35
Baylor is a tough team to rank. They’ve gotten off to a hot 4-0 start, but that’s mostly due to a schedule packed with cupcakes. Still, the Bears have scored 56+ points in all four games this season, a feat certainly worth recognition.
7.) Florida (5-0)
Best win: vs Ole Miss 38-10
Like Clemson, the Gators skyrocket into the top 8 after a huge win over a highly ranked opponent. UF dominated Ole Miss for all 60 minutes and picked up an impressive 38-10 win. Freshman quarterback Will Grier looks like the real deal, and head coach Jim McElwain has made Florida the SEC East favorites in his just his first season.
8.) Alabama (4-1)
Best win: at Georgia 38-10
Never count out a team coached by Nick Saban. Bama redeemed their early season loss by putting the hurt on Georgia 38-10. The SEC West is arguably the most competitive division in the nation, and whoever comes out alive will likely be in the heat of the playoff discussion.
Four Games to Watch:
(Rankings based on AP Poll)
1.) No. 23 California at No. 5 Utah
Don’t look now, but Cal is undefeated and might have the best quarterback in the nation in Jared Goff. The junior has 1,630 yards and 15 touchdowns so far on the year, can he lead the Golden Bears to an upset win in Salt Lake City?
2.) No. 13 Northwestern at No. 18 Michigan
Northwestern has been the surprise team of the year so far, beginning the season 5-0 thanks to the No. 1 scoring defense in the nation. Michigan has also played lights out defense, posting back-to-back shutouts the past two weeks. Both teams look to boost their playoff résumé with a ranked B1G win Saturday.
3.) No. 10 Oklahoma at Texas
Is it time we start paying attention to Oklahoma? The Sooners are 4-0, and look to be the only threat to TCU/Baylor from the Big 12. Sure Texas is 1-4, but the Red River Rivalry is one of the best rivalries in all of college football, and the Longhorns will always put up a good fight against OU.
4.) #11 Florida at Missouri
The Gators are coming off one of the most impressive wins of the year so far. Will they come out flat in an important SEC East conference matchup? Or will they continue their impressive unbeaten start?
Jeff Capanelli is a junior, broadcast journalism major. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.