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Oct
19
2014

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 8

FSU_Title

Are we getting a clearer picture of the playoff chase? Actually not really, there are still has many as 10 teams chasing 4 spots.

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

1) SEC – 9

The team to keep an eye on here is Georgia. They are by far the best team in the SEC East, and their only obstacle to an 11-1 regular season is Auburn which UGA which will host. Alabama beat a mediocre Texas A&M team 59-0, but 59-0 is still 59-0. That was still a good performance by an Alabama, that hadn’t played all that well most of the year. It’s not enough to get them into the playoffs, but keeps them in the picture.

Keep an eye on Ole Miss at LSU next week. LSU’s best win this year is against a decent, but unspectacular Wisconsin team. Could LSU lose twice at home before November?

Playoff Contenders 

Ole Miss, Mississippi St., Auburn, Georgia, Alabama

Darkhorses

LSU

2) Big 12 – 8

Here is the problem for the Big 12. They might be top to bottom deep than the SEC, but arguably their best team Kansas St. lost at home to Auburn. They don’t have a team ranked in the top 10 after Baylor’s loss to West Virginia. Oklahoma has been a big disappointment and is all but out of the playoff chase.

The Big 12 has a lot of work to do to get a team back into the playoff chase, and is in the worst shape of any power 5 conference in that regard. It’s a solid conference that’s too deep for it’s own good. Without an undefeated team, someone is the Big 12 is going to have to run the table for the Big 12 to have a chance.

Playoff Contenders 

NONE

Darkhorses

Kansas State, Oklahoma, TCU, Baylor

3) Pac 12 – 7

Slowly Oregon is climbing back into the playoff picture, and Utah and Arizona St. while further down the list they are on the radar screen if they can keep winning.  Utah has a big game with USC next week. The Pac 12 especially with Oregon may be better positioned than the Big 12 and Big 10. Oregon has that win over Michigan St. to fall back on.

Playoff Contenders

Oregon

Darkhorses

Arizona, Utah, Arizona St.

4) ACC – 6

The ACC picked up a huge non conference win when Florida State knocked off top 10 ranked Notre Dame Saturday, and is locked into a playoff spot. The ACC’s non-conference wins are what separate the ACC from the Big 10 ->  (Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC) Clemson is winning even without Deshaun Watson, and 6-1 Duke just missed being ranked in the top 25.

Playoff Contenders

Florida State

Darkhorses

Clemson, Duke

5) Big 10 – 5

Michigan St. and Ohio State are rolling through the Big 10, and especially in the case of Michigan St. are reaping the benefits of teams losing ahead of them to stay in the chase. I just can’t put Michigan St. ahead of Oregon at this point though. To me head to head to matters, and Oregon still did beat the Spartans.

Next week Ohio State heads to Penn State in what could be a tricky game for the Buckeyes.

Playoff Contenders

Michigan St.

Darkhorses

Nebraska, Ohio State

The Rest 

Notre Dame lost at FSU this past week. Their playoff hopes took a hit, but they aren’t over. The Irish didn’t fall out of the top ten, and still have games with Arizona St., Louisville, and USC to impress the playoff selection committee. They definitely cannot afford another loss anywhere though.

Playoff Contenders 

Notre Dame

Darkhorses

NONE

Current Playoff Teams

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

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


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