College Football Playoff Scenarios (Week 7)

College Football Playoff Scenarios (Week 7)

With wild finishes, off-field drama and continued domination by the Baylor Bears, week six was pretty entertaining. The biggest news off the field pertains to USC coach Steve Sarkisian, but in terms of this column, the USC Trojans are all but eliminated anyway. We hope the coach gets help for whatever is ailing him and the kids get renewed leadership from the interim coach stepping in. In terms of on the field, week seven is shaping up to be the best of the season. Three separate matchups take place between top-12 clubs and two other games are between top-20 schools. This is when the top of the rankings will really come into focus.


The Cream of the Crop:

Baylor (5-0): Another dominant win is just what we’ve come to expect from Baylor. Unlike Big-12 peer TCU, Baylor is actually handling these suspect teams because it has a better defense than the Horned Frogs. Every week that TCU ekes out another victory late just makes the Bears look better.

Ohio State (6-0): What is there to say? Ohio State looked okay yet again against an inferior foe. Countdown to when OSU plays a real opponent: six weeks.

Utah (5-0): Beating Cal by one score was a solid win. The way Utah won was both alarming and incredibly impressive. The Utes forced five Jared Goff interceptions and dominated the game on the ground thanks to Devontae Booker. However, Utah only managed a six-point win despite forcing six total turnovers because its passing attack was nonexistent. That part of the team will have to improve.

Florida (6-0): It’s time to give Florida some love. The Gators have a pretty good resume up to this point and are the only SEC team 4-0 in-conference. Next week against LSU will be a great test. The Tigers continue to be heavily one-dimensional on offense. Can the Florida defense exploit this? Championship-caliber teams should be able to slow down opponents who can only do one thing.

Alabama (5-1), Texas A&M (5-0): Alabama seems more deserving of being among the top teams in the country even though it took a little while for the Crimson Tide to put away Arkansas this past week. However, the Tide plays A&M this week with the winner being positioned in or near the top five. Whoever wins the game grabs this spot.


On the Outside Looking In:

Michigan (5-1): In its last five games, Michigan is 5-0, outscoring opponents by a video game-like margin of 160 to 14. Maybe the Wolverines’ week one defeat at the hands of Utah was actually one of the best matchups of the year. At least we have the heads-up this time when Michigan faces Michigan State here in week seven. Despite MSU’s recent slippage, the winner comfortably enters the playoff conversation no matter who comes out victorious.

Michigan State (6-0): See previous entry; Michigan.


All Intents and Purposes:

Oklahoma (4-1): With the way powers are falling each week, one loss shouldn’t doom a top 10 team, but Oklahoma doesn’t have the resume to hold that ranking playing in the Big 12. Losing to Texas is also borderline inexcusable at this point. Texas was perhaps the worst Power 5 team in the nation. The Sooners now have to sweep both Baylor and TCU and win the conference title to have a hope of a playoff berth.


Cross Them Off:

USC (2-3): Boy, preseason expectations were high for this club, from me included. Cody Kessler was getting a ton of Heisman Trophy buzz, and the team was expected to contend for the title in perhaps the most competitive conference in the country. Instead, whether strictly because of coaching issues or a mixture of other things, USC is 1-2 in the conference and faces three consecutive weeks of ranked opponents. Playoff hopes have been dashed.

Georgia (4-2): We essentially crossed off Georgia last week. Now, thanks to an injury to Nick Chubb and another loss, we are doing so officially. Sony Michel is a good player and a capable replacement for Chubb, but that wasn’t the issue with this team. The rest of the roster isn’t good enough.