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Nov
23
2014

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 13 with Playoff Analysis.

FSU_Title

I think one thing the playoffs have proven is that the regular season is not diminished. In fact the end of the regular season, and conference title games will have more interest in them than ever.

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

1) SEC – 9

The SEC lost one of their playoff contenders when Ole Miss was thumped by a 5 loss Arkansas team. Then conference’s chances at 2 playoff teams remains very much alive though. If Alabama wins the SEC and Mississippi St. beats Ole Miss, then it is quite possible. The committee already has Mississippi St. at 4, and it would require them being leap-frogged by Baylor or TCU. That’s going to be awkward for the committee to explain if the Bulldogs don’t lose. Will they weigh conference champions that highly? Georgia is not out of it. If they beat a ranked Georgia Tech team and win the SEC Title, they would warrant serious consideration.

Alabama plays struggling Auburn this week. Mississippi St. faces depleted Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, and Georgia will be favored against Georgia Tech. Alabama, Mississippi St. and Georgia should win.

Playoff Contenders 

Mississippi St., Alabama

Darkhorses

Georgia

2T) Big 12 – 8

No changes for the Big 12. Baylor crushed Oklahoma St. and Kansas St. beat West Virginia. This week TCU heads to Texas in a dangerous game for the Horned Frogs. Baylor plays a bad Texas Tech team so they shouldn’t have any trouble there.

I’m going back here. Should the conference champion of the 2nd/no worse than 3rd best conference be placed ahead of a 11-1 SEC team that doesn’t win it’s conference? The committee may luck out and avoid that controversy.

Playoff Contenders  

TCU, Baylor

Darkhorses

None

2T) Pac 12 – 8

Oregon is still marching along in great playoff position after a 44-10 win over Colorado. UCLA, Arizona, and Arizona St. all improved to 9-2, and should the Pac 12 South winner defeat the Ducks in the Pac 12 championship game, then I think they would have a shot the playoff.

Arizona and Arizona St. play this weekend. Loser’s faint playoff hopes are history.

Playoff Contenders

Oregon

Darkhorses

None

4) ACC – 6.5

Louisville’s big win at Notre Dame gave the ACC a nice non-conference win.  FSU struggled with BC, but won again. As the only undefeated Power 5 conference team, I’m not dropping the Noles out of the 1 position until they lose.

Could Georgia Tech get a look at the playoff if they win at Georgia then defeat Florida State? If the 2 loss Pac 12 South teams, aren’t completely out of the picture, then why would Georgia Tech be if they beat Clemson, Georgia, and Florida State back to back to back. It’s an extreme longshot, but something to keep an eye on. For the record, while I really like this Jacket team, I don’t see them leaving Athens with a win. The ACC would get a good boost is they go 3-1 or better in ACC/SEC rivlary games this week. 1-3 or worse would not be a good look.

Playoff Contenders

Florida State

Darkhorses

None

5) Big 10 – 5.5

I’m not forgiving Ohio State for that Virginia Tech loss. It counts and it happened. Virginia Tech continues to pull the Buckeyes down. As long as other 1 loss Power Conference teams exist, Ohio State will continue to stay behind them in my opinion. If Georgia beats Georgia Tech, I’ll move the Dawgs ahead of the Buckeyes on the strength of two OOC ranked team wins (Clemson, Georgia Tech). It doesn’t help they didn’t play all that well against Indiana this week either. The Buckeyes play a bad Michigan team this weekend that won’t help their resume even with a win.

Wisconsin is 9-2, but I can’t see them getting in the picture under any circumstances.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

Darkhorses

Ohio State

The Rest 

No team outside the Power 5 is in the playoff discussion. Marshall is 11-0, and but struggled with UAB in the win.

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) Georgia


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