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Sep
27
2015

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 4 with Playoff Analysis.

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Teams 15-25 were dropping like flies, but the top remained in tact. How did it affect the conference power rankings? We got another great graphic designed by @HereGoJayAgain

Let me point out on my philosophy on these rankings – you’re most recent  OOC results count a lot, and you’ll see me reference that throughout the season.

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

1) SEC – 7.75

The Pac 12 is nipping at the heels of the SEC. LSU struggled at Syracuse, and Ole Miss had all kinds of issues with a bad Vanderbilt team. Neither looked like a playoff caliber team if you just watched this weekend. Auburn will finally fall out of every top 25 after their 3rd straight loss, and Texas A&M narrowly avoided a bad loss to a mediocre Arkansas team.

The SEC starts conference play in earnest next week. It will be interesting if somebody in the SEC can separate from the pack. Georgia has a chance to firmly get in the playoff hunt if they beat Alabama.

Playoff Contenders 

Georgia, LSU

In the Playoff Picture

Ole Miss

2) Pac 12 – 7.5

UCLA and Utah made major statements this weekend in wins over Arizona and Oregon. Utah in particular looks very good and has a win over Michigan. The Utes total destruction of Oregon was the most impressive performance from any team this year. There is a lot of quality through the top 4-5 teams in the Pac 12.

There are no out of conference games for the Pac 12 next week.

Playoff Contenders

UCLA, Utah

In the Playoff Picture

NONE

3) Big 10 – 7.25

The Big 10 is as good as it has been in years. Ohio State and Michigan State are top 5 teams, though the Spartans best win (Oregon) look far more suspect as the Ducks got thumped by Utah. Northwestern is solid, and Wisconsin is a top 25 team. Michigan beat a good BYU team 31-0. That was a very impressive win. Rutgers beat Kansas and Indiana defeated Wake Forest for a couple of more Power 5 wins.

The only blemish was Maryland losing to West Virginia 45-6.

In will be tough to knock the Big 10 out of this 3rd position. Nothing really catches the eye for next week’s games.

Playoff Contenders  

Ohio State, Michigan St.

In the Playoff Picture

Northwestern

4) Big 12 – 7

Kansas lost 27-14 to Rutgers and may be the country’s worst power 5 team. West Virginia though looked strong with a route of Maryland. TCU was lucky to escape Texas Tech, and it seems to be just a matter of time before they lose. The Horned Frogs with that suspect defense don’t look like a playoff team.

The winner of West Virginia and Oklahoma game could be very dangerous the rest of the year. Baylor has played nobody, but a tricky Texas Tech team could be a test.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Baylor, TCU

5) ACC – 6

It was disastrous week for the ACC. Virginia was humiliated at home 56-14 by Boise State. Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina. Wake Forest was beat by Indiana, and Syracuse was defeated by LSU. I’ll give the Orange credit they showed some fight though in the 10 point loss. Georgia Tech looked listless in a loss at Duke, which gives the ACC only two top 20 teams.

The ACC still hasn’t beat a ranked OOC team this year either. The ACC can save some face next week. Clemson has a huge showdown with Notre Dame. A win over the Irish would put Clemson right in the thick of the playoff chase. Miami faces Cincinnati which would lead to a 4-0 start and possible top 25 ranking. NC State at 4-0 faces Louisville. If the Wolfpack win they could also make a top 25 appearance.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Florida State, Clemson

The Rest 

Notre Dame had no problem with UMASS. They face Clemson in a game with huge playoff implications.

Playoff Contenders 

Notre Dame

In the Playoff Picture

NONE

My Current Playoff Teams

As my personal criticism of the playoff committee, I don’t think the top 4 seeds order should be released until the final rankings. The playoff committee’s inconsistent and ever changing criteria is causing unnecessary frustration and confusion. It’s one of the improvement points I’d have for them.

If I had a vote this is who I would put in the playoff right now.

In –  Notre Dame | Ohio State | UCLA | Utah

Just Missed – 5) Georgia  6) LSU  7) Michigan State  8) Ole Miss


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