There is a one-loss team lurking…

As we all saw, No. 1 Alabama had a dominating performance at LSU, winning 29-0. The Tide shut down the LSU running game and were ahead 16-0 at halftime. The sold-out crowd of almost 100,000, which was in a frenzy at kickoff, headed for the exits early in the fourth quarter. The saying goes “dreams die in Death Valley” but here it was the home team’s dream.

The second weekly college football playoffs rankings will be out Tuesday night and there shouldn’t be any surprises. Number one will be Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Michigan. Those teams are in the CFP for now.

On the outside looking in begins with No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Oklahoma and after that it gets a little interesting. West Virginia had a huge win at Texas and will move up. The question is how far? We think they will move to number seven with Washington State remaining at eight. In the end, it won’t matter since Oklahoma and West Virginia still play each other the day after Thanksgiving.

However, there’s another one-loss team lurking in the winds which is No. 10 Ohio State. What happens if they run the table including beating Michigan? Will they fall back into the committee’s favor? LSU is now eliminated unless something crazy happens. We still think Wazzou, even if they win out, will need a lot of help. Everyone loss team from another conference will be ahead of them as well as Notre Dame. If by some chance the Crimson Tide miraculously lose a game, they, too, may still be in the playoff.

Most teams control their own destiny except for the Pac 12 and the Big 12 Champions. Remember Michigan still plays Ohio State in the last regular-season game. That game is looming large. Michigan has been playing exceptionally well lately. Notre Dame got them in the first game of the season, just at the right time. That win has been their defining one all season. The question here is while it’s true you can only defeat the teams on your schedule, does that mean a team you previously defeated should always be ranked behind you? There is precedent for this. Remember years ago, when Notre Dame beat Florida State in the regular season but then lost to Boston College and fell behind the Seminoles for the national championship in the polls? The presumption is a head-on victory should be the prevailing factor when teams finish with similar records. We think it is a rebuttable presumption and Michigan should be ranked ahead of Notre Dame. In fact, we put the Irish in our poll at No. 7 behind Georgia, Oklahoma and West Virginia. They belong a lot closer to undefeated Central Florida than undefeated Alabama. The eye test says it all. Michigan clearly looks like they have everything together while Notre Dame continues to struggle with victories. In the end, even with their weak schedule, including five games against the super easy ACC, they will slip up. Remember you didn’t just hear here first, you only heard it here, period.


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