We’ve been discussing the playoffs for weeks. Well Sunday evening @HokieSmash and I (@TalkinACCSports) are privileged to have @MKellyCFP (Mike Kelly), the COO of the college football playoffs, on our weekly ACC podcast to discuss the playoffs.
You can also find this most recent podcast and all our other podcasts on ITUNES at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rwradios-acc-weekly-podcast/id831843856?t=2.
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Now to the rankings…
We’ll give each conference a relative strength value 1-10.
1) SEC – 9
Ole Miss suffered their first loss to LSU. While that was within the conference, it did put a dent in Ole Miss’s chances to make the playoffs. LSU is still too far away to be seriously considered. Mississippi St. and Auburn did not look impressive against mediocre Kentucky and South Carolina. In short the SEC didn’t hurt itself, but its higher ranked teams didn’t really impress this week either. Next week’s big game is Auburn\Ole Miss. The winner is right in the thick of the playoff chase, while the loser will basically be eliminated.
Mississippi St., Auburn, Georgia, Alabama
LSU, Ole Miss
2) Big 12 – 8
The Big 12 has a dirty little secret. They haven’t beat ANYONE out of conference. Who is their best OOC win? Tennessee, Maryland? They are hanging their hats on close losses to Auburn and Alabama. At the end of the day despite some good teams, that’s is going to be a problem for the conference. You can discuss how many teams are ranked, but there have to be quality OOC wins in there somewhere right?
That said the Big 12′s top teams that played this week, looked impressive. Kansas St. TCU and rapidly improving West Virginia all won easily. TCU heads to West Virginia in an intriguing game next week. TCU needs to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Kansas State, Oklahoma, Baylor, West Virginia
3) Pac 12 – 7
USC is officially out of the picture for the playoffs after another last second loss. This time it was Utah. Utah along with Arizona and Arizona St. only have one loss which is keeping them in the playoff radar. Oregon is still the Pac 12′s best chance at the playoff.
Next week is a huge for the Pac 12. Oregon plays a still dangerous Stanford team. Arizona goes to UCLA, and Utah/Arizona will square off.
Arizona, Utah, Arizona St.
4) ACC – 6
It was quiet week in the ACC for anything regarding relative conference strength or the playoffs. Clemson stays in the top 25 rankings with another excellent defensive performance. Duke enters the top 25 this weekend, giving the ACC 3 top 25 teams. Should FSU slip up and lose a game, it would help if they met a ranked or at least 10 win Duke team in the ACCCG.
This week Florida State faces one of their toughest tests, a Thursday night tilt at Louisville. Duke heads to Pittsburgh to play a tricky Panther team.
5) Big 10 – 5
Ohio State narrowly avoided a crippling playoff loss to Penn State. Michigan St. and Nebraska continue to march along without problem with their Big 10 schedule.
There are really not any noteworthy games in the Big 10 next week. The Big 10 just has to wait on other playoff contender losses and hope.
Nebraska, Ohio State
Notre Dame despite the recent loss is still in good position. If they win out good luck leaving them out. Next week they face Navy. Marshall now 8-0 and ranked should be note though for them to get into the playoff would be nearly impossible.
Current Playoff Teams
In – 1) Mississippi St. 2) FSU 3) Auburn 4) Oregon
Just Missed – 5) Alabama 6) Michigan St. 7) Notre Dame 8) Ole Miss