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Nov
16
2014

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 12 with Playoff Analysis.

FSU_Title

Is the playoff picture any clearer this week? Judging from the playoff committee’s “curious” to the say the least rankings from last week, I would say probably not. Just keep winning, I mean losing to quality opponents.

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

1) SEC – 9

With Clemson, Kansas St, and West Virginia all losing in recent weeks, some of the SEC’s best OOC wins don’t look nearly as impressive as a few weeks ago. The conferences strongest OOC may be over the Big 10’s third best team in Wisconsin. I find it increasingly difficult to justify two SEC teams in the playoff at this point. Alabama moved solidly into their playoff with their not as close as the scored indicated 25-20 win over Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are not out of playoff chase, but they haven’t put a complete game together since early October.

Georgia will be an interesting case. With Georgia Tech’s march into the top 20, the Bulldogs could end the season with 3 straight ranked teams win, Auburn, Georgia Tech, and the SEC Title. They have to hope Missouri loses another SEC game though. Right now the Tigers lead the SEC East. That would also not be good for the SEC if the SEC East champ has a home loss to Indiana. Missouri at Tennessee is the only game of note next week.

Playoff Contenders 

Mississippi St., Alabama

Darkhorses

Ole Miss, Georgia

2T) Big 12 – 8

If anyone needed a reason to drop TCU outside the top 4, they got it Saturday. TCU struggled badly with a mediocre Kansas team, and since the committee appears to highly value scoring margin, that is going to hurt them. As I’ve mentioned several times, the Big 12 has no OOC victories of note. There’s only room for TCU or Baylor to make the playoff, and right now Baylor has pulled ahead of TCU in my eyes. Oh yea Baylor beat TCU, not that it matters.

Playoff Contenders  

TCU, Baylor

Darkhorses

None

2T) Pac 12 – 8

Then there was just 1 playoff team left for the Pac 12. After Arizona St. suffered an upset 35-27 loss at Oregon St., the Pac 12 is down to one legitimate playoff contender in Oregon. The Ducks play a bad Colorado team next week, so there  isn’t much chance Oregon falls out of the top 4.

The Ducks are in great position for the playoff, and if they win out they are in.

Playoff Contenders

Oregon

Darkhorses

NONE

4) ACC – 6

Florida State had another great comeback win at Miami. The Coaches and AP have finally realized that winning counts at some point, and have placed the Noles at number 1 in their polls. I doubt the playoff committee will see it that way. Clemson and Notre Dame losing has cost Florida State 2 quality wins. The Seminoles now possess zero top 25 wins. That won’t keep FSU out of the playoffs. They can’t afford to lose a game the rest of the way out, but until they lose they will remain number one here.

Georgia Tech is on the fringe of the top 15, and what would their resume look like if the win at UGA, and then played and beat FSU in the ACC title game? Since the committee seems to be rewarding hot play over body of work, they could get a look if that should happen. If Louisville could win at Notre Dame, that would probably put the Cardinals in the top 25, and help FSU’s resume.

Playoff Contenders

Florida State

Darkhorses

NONE

5) Big 10 – 5.5

The Big 10 gets got a nice OOC win, when Northwestern won at Notre Dame. Ohio State won 31-24 at Minnesota, to keep the Buckeyes and their slim playoff hopes alive. Frankly Ohio State needed a more impressive win, to really move the playoff radar for them. You can’t wish that Virginia Tech loss away no matter how hard Ohio State tries. The Buckeyes need help.

Wisconsin is starting to play extremely well. Melvin Gordon ran for a NCAA record 408 yards against Nebraska. That is incredible! The Badgers eliminate any playoff discussion for Nebraska.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

Darkhorses

Ohio State

The Rest 

No team outside the Power 5 is in the playoff discussion. Marshall is 10-0, and may finally crack the playoff rankings top 25.

Playoff Contenders 

NONE

Darkhorses

NONE

Current Playoff Teams

In – 1) FSU 2) Alabama 3) Oregon 4) Baylor

Just Missed – 5) TCU 6) Mississippi St.  7) Ohio St.  8) Ole Miss


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