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Oct
11
2015

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 6 with Playoff Analysis.

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Nearly halfway through the season we are starting to get clarity on who is position to make a run for the playoffs and who isn’t. Let’s get right into it.

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 – 7.5

With Georgia going down to a mediocre Tennessee team the SEC took a hit. The conference at the top with Alabama, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU, and Florida is solid, but after that it’s a pretty average looking bunch.

Next week brings a couple of games with huge playoff implications. Alabama vs Texas A&M and LSU vs Florida. A loss by Alabama would eliminate them from the playoffs, and a loss for Texas A&M, LSU, or Florida wouldn’t be killers, but would definitely have them on the outside looking in.

Playoff Contenders 

LSU

In the Playoff Picture

Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida

2) Pac 12 – 7.25

USC going down to Washington was not a good look for the Pac 12. Oregon has proven to be not very good at all. They lost to Washington State. Utah though is the real deal, and is a legitimate playoff type team. Stanford is also very good, but there’s still that loss to Northwestern on their resume.

Next week UCLA and Stanford play. Neither is on the playoff radar, but a loss would completely kill any any playoff chances. USC heads to Notre Dame, and with the issues head coach Steve Sarkisian is having it doesn’t appear the Trojans are in any condition to win that game.

Playoff Contenders

Utah

In the Playoff Picture

NONE

3) Big 10 – 7.15

Jim Harbaugh is doing some great work with Michigan. The Wolverines just whooped a solid Northwestern team 38-0. Michigan State on the other hand is just waiting for their first loss. They struggled to beat a bad Rutgers team. Ohio State again looked shaky in a spotty win over Maryland. I’m done giving Ohio State the benefit of the doubt. This is not the same team as last year.

I think the Spartans playoff dreams end next week when they visit Michigan. Would a win put Michigan on the fringes of the playoff?

Playoff Contenders  

Ohio State

In the Playoff Picture

Michigan State

4) Big 12 – 7

Texas beating anyone is the Big 12 is not good for the conference. That’s exactly what happened when they knocked off a top 10 Oklahoma team. That leaves the Big 12 with just TCU and Baylor has playoff possibilities. TCU’s defense continues to look shaky, but is there anyone that can stop that offense? Kansas State had no answers for it. Baylor still hasn’t played a good team yet this year.

This week Baylor hosts West Virginia. The Mountaineers aren’t awful, but they won’t beat Baylor in Waco. TCU gets a scrimmage with Iowa State. They are some really bad teams at the bottom of the Big 12.

Playoff Contenders

TCU

In the Playoff Picture

Baylor

5) ACC – 6.75

Clemson is right in thick of the playoff chase. They dismantled a reeling Georgia Tech team quickly Saturday. Florida State got a test with Miami, but took care of business. Duke re-enters the Top 25 this week giving the conference 3 top 25 teams.

Syracuse lost to a mediocre South Florida team. That doesn’t help the ACC.

This week Clemson and Florida State could get a couple of home tests with Boston College and Louisville, but both should win. The Tigers and FSU remain on a November collision course.

Playoff Contenders

Clemson

In the Playoff Picture

Florida State

The Rest 

Notre Dame’s schedule took a hit when USC imploded against Washington. With 1 loss and possibly facing only 1 more ranked team this year, Notre Dame’s schedule is too weak to make much of an impression with the playoff committee without a lot of help. They need to keep winning and hope for the best.

Playoff Contenders 

NONE

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 –   LSU | TCU | Clemson | Utah

Just Missed – 5) Ohio State  6) Alabama  7) Baylor  8) Texas A&M


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