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Oct
25
2015

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 8 with Playoff Analysis.

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The conferences are so close I can barely separate them. You know what that means, you better not lose 2 games, and no conference is getting two teams into the playoff.

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 – 7.25

The SEC remains here by default, but they’ve hardly distinguished themselves. Alabama probably should have lost to a mediocre Tennessee team, but held on 19-14. An Ole Miss team with a loss to Memphis is probably the SEC’s third or fourth best team. Vanderbilt beating Missouri further erodes the SEC’s depth.

Next week there aren’t really any playoff relevant games other than Georgia vs Florida. The Gators can on the fringe of the playoffs if they beat Georgia. The SEC better hope Ole Miss doesn’t win the SEC West.

Playoff Contenders 

LSU

In the Playoff Picture

Alabama

2) Big 12 – 7.15

I’m going to give the Big 12 a lift here. I think there are 4 top 20 caliber teams in the Big 12. TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma are solid. That’s nearly half the Big 12, and even Texas is improving. Whenever you start playing meaningful conference games Big 12 let us know.

Next week still offers nothing. TCU hosts West Virginia, but I doubt the Mountaineers can compete with TCU.

Playoff Contenders

TCU

In the Playoff Picture

Baylor, Oklahoma State

3) Pac 12 – 7.10

Uh oh… USC beating Utah was the worst possible result for the Pac 12. That leaves the Pac 12 without a true playoff contender. They are beating each other up, and it may cost the conference.

Next week Stanford plays at an improving Washington State.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Stanford

3) Big 10 – 7.05

Ohio State finally looks like a playoff team winning 49-7 at Rutgers. Michigan State stayed undefeated, but struggled most of the game with Indiana. Undefeated Iowa is lurking.

They face a bad Maryland team next week, while Ohio State and Michigan State are off.

Playoff Contenders  

Ohio State

In the Playoff Picture

Michigan State, Iowa

5) ACC – 7

Clemson absolutely destroyed Miami Saturday. They are a playoff team if they win out. Duke, Pitt, and UNC won giving the Coastal at least 2 ranked and maybe 3 ranked teams. Those teams are filling the gap behind Clemson and FSU and giving the ACC some depth. Speaking of FSU, there were upset by Georgia Tech which likely knocks them out the playoff chase. It’s Clemson or bust for the ACC when it comes to the playoffs.

The Tigers go to NC State next week. Obviously the Tigers can’t afford any slips ups.

Playoff Contenders

Clemson

In the Playoff Picture

None

The Rest 

Memphis, Toledo, Houston, and Temple are all undefeated. Notre Dame gets Temple next, and they just need to keep winning and hoping other power 5 teams lose.

Playoff Contenders 

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Notre Dame

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 | Ohio State

Just Missed – 5) Alabama  6) Baylor  7) Notre Dame  8) Stanford


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