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Oct
12
2014

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 7

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The list of playoff contenders shrinks just a little bit more, and Mike Slive’s dream of multiple SEC teams in the playoff lives on.

We’ll give each conference a relative strength value 1-10.

1) SEC – 9

Do you want to know the reason the SEC is given so much credit each year? Here’s why…  The rest of the country relies on 2-3 teams in their conference to carry their banner. It is not that way in the SEC. When a new team steps forward, they normally give the SEC another national title contender. LSU, and FLorida are down so here comes Mississippi St. and Ole Miss.

Missouri never had any business being ranked and got whooped at home by Georgia 34-0. Vanderbilt continues to be one of the worst teams in country and nearly lost to Charleston Southern 21-20. Auburn lost by 15  at Mississippi St. , but suffers no real penalty in the polls.

Playoff Contenders 

Ole Miss, Mississippi St., Auburn

Darkhorses

Georgia, Alabama

2) Big 12 – 8

Baylor stays alive in the playoff chase with a crazy 61-58 comeback win over TCU. Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. struggled to beat a couple of bad Texas and Kansas teams. Next week Kansas St. plays Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. meets TCU in what I would term playoff elimination games.

Playoff Contenders 

Baylor

Darkhorses

Kansas State, Oklahoma St., Oklahoma, TCU

3) Pac 12 – 7

Here is the problem for the Pac 12. They don’t have a dominant team. They have a bunch of pretty good ones. With Arizona going down to USC they don’t have an undefeated team and nobody ranked in the top 8. The Pac 12 doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt SEC teams do. When they lose they don’t 3 or 4 spots in the polls, they will drop 6 or 7. It’s the nature of the polls, and I have hard time thinking the playoff committee won’t get influenced by it. We will see, but the Pac 12’s lack of a great team is really hurting it. Stanford plays Arizona St. this week in a playoff elimination game.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

Darkhorses

Oregon, Arizona, Utah

4) ACC – 6

Georgia Tech’s loss leave the ACC with only 1 undefeated team. That is Florida State. Clemson re-enters the polls, but really it is Florida State or bust for the ACC and the playoffs. FSU fans may bristle with the lack of respect from the media, but the Noles will be fine provided they keep winning. Notre Dame this week provides FSU an opportunity to prove that they are again the team to beat. There really aren’t any other playoff relevant games, but if Duke beats Virginia to get to 6-1 you may have to pay a little more attention the Blue Devils. The Tigers have 2 losses, but to no one outside the top 10, have to keep winning and hope for the best.

Playoff Contenders

Florida State

Darkhorses

Clemson

5) Big 10 – 5

There wasn’t much change in the Big 10. Michigan St. wasn’t impressive beating Purdue, but still won. The Spartans could be back in the top 5 in the coaches poll next if the loser of the FSU/Notre Dame falls behind them. Ohio State is creeping back towards the top 10, and needs to hope Virginia Tech finishes the season strongly. The Big 10 is and will continue to be hurt by the early non-conferences losses.

Playoff Contenders

Michigan St.

Darkhorses

Nebraska, Ohio State

The Rest 

Notre Dame struggled with a bad UNC team giving up 43 points in a 50-43. Were they looking ahead? Maybe not UNC has a pretty potent offense, but that’s a concern concern heading to play FSU and Jameis Winston. The Irish have been flying a bit under the radar, but if they beat the Seminoles they will be right in the thick of the playoff chase.

Playoff Contenders 

Notre Dame

Darkhorses

NONE

Current Playoff Teams

In – 1) Mississippi St.  2) FSU 3) Ole Miss 4) Baylor

Just Missed – 5) Notre Dame 6) Michigan St.  7) Auburn  8) Alabama


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