Tonight, the NCAA playoff committee will unveil their first playoff ranking of this season, so here is how my top 4 would look if they would finally let me join the committee.
#1 Ohio State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten)
-The defending champs stay at #1, even if they have not looked like the most dominant team in the nation. However, the team continues to win, and as long as they finish the year undefeated, it would be hard to move them out of the top spot.
#2 LSU (7-0, 4-0 SEC)
-While there are a number of teams that could make a case for the second spot behind the Buckeyes, I give it to the LSU Tigers because of who they have played so far. While Baylor and Clemson have both played relatively weak schedules, ESPN ranks the Tigers schedule as third-toughest nationally. However, LSU’s November is rated as the toughest in the country, and I see this team finishing this month at 9-2, dropping them from the playoff conversation.
#3 Baylor (7-0, 4-0 Big 12)
-The Bears may have played an extremely weak schedule so far, but it is impossible to count out how they are beating these teams. They are the second team ever to score 50 or more in 5 straight games, they have a receiver on pace to break the touchdown record, a running back leading the Big 12 in rushing yards, and have an average margin of victory this year of 35 points. If the Bears can finally finish a season without a stumble, they are a lock for the playoff.
#4 Clemson (8-0, 5-0 ACC)
-Just like Baylor, the Clemson Tigers have played a weak schedule so far. Their best win is a 24-22 thriller over then #6 Notre Dame, a game in which they squandered a 21-3 halftime lead. Regardless of this, the Tigers boast possibly the most complete team in the nation, with Deshaun Watson leading a potent offense and defensive coordinator Brent Venables turning this defense into an animal, at #5 nationally in total defense.