Post-Week Seven College Football Playoff Power Rankings
|Corey Coleman, Baylor|
1 Ohio State Buckeyes
While absolute chaos has been going on behind them, Ohio State just keeps on winning. Sure, they aren't exactly blowing out every opponent like some thought they might have when the year began, but they played a very complete game this Saturday against Penn State. The Ohio State quarterback situation continues to be unclear; J.T. Barrett may have a shot at taking over the starting gig full time, but even so, the weapons around them are pretty incredible. After his shocking debut against Virginia Tech, Braxton Miller has found consistency, Zeke Elliott is on a tear and the defense looks stout. The Buckeyes look like they should roll through their next three opponents before meetings with Michigan and Michigan State.
2 Utah Utes
Things have been absolutely crazy on the West Coast this year but there has been one constant: Utah winning. The Utes didn't exactly dominate Arizona State yesterday but the Sun Devils aren't a bad football team and Utah did look impressive pulling away to a 34-18 win. Back Devontae Booker continues to put up big numbers on the ground, and there is no denying just how impressive Utah has been defensively all year. While Michigan's loss slightly hurt Utah's resume, it still might be the most complete resume in the nation, with wins against the Wolverines, Utah State, Cal and Oregon.
3 Baylor Bears
West Virginia was the first significant "test" for Baylor on the year and the Bears didn't have much troubles with Dana Holgorsen's team. Offense has always been the name of the game for Baylor, but this year they have taken it to another notch. They are putting up record-setting numbers, with an offense that includes Seth Russell, Shock Linwood and Corey Coleman. I'm not completely sold on Baylor being a complete contender yet (they still have a long ways to go defensively) but they have been good enough to get a spot in the Playoff.
4 TCU Horned Frogs
We know this: two Big 12 teams are not going to make the Playoff. TCU and Baylor are both undefeated at the moment but they will eventually meet and one will knock the other out of the race, it inevitable. But, for now both have done enough to get a spot in the field, particularly with the constant shake up near the top of the polls surrounding Ohio State. For the second straight week, TCU got off to a relatively slow start but dominated down the stretch against Iowa State. But, TCU has a decent resume at the moment, with solid wins over Texas, Texas Tech and albeit struggling, Minnesota.
Next Four Out
I'll be honest, entering the year, I would not expect LSU to be the last remaining undefeated in the SEC. Sure, the talent in Baton Rouge was undeniable but youth and quarterback questions were sure to rough up the Tigers this year, right? So far, it hasn't. Tasked with their toughest defense seen all year, LSU's inconsistent offense outdueled Florida, putting up 35 points, behind the typically powerful running of Leonard Fournette, but also the play of Brandon Harris, who had his most complete showing off the year at QB. More good news for LSU: beyond Alabama, who is left on their schedule that could really trip them up?
The Tigers are in a weird, but almost envious position. They sit undefeated at the moment and while they aren't seen widely as a Playoff team, they can sit back for the most part and watch chaos unfold in front of them, because their remaining schedule is far from scary. Sure, Florida State is going to be a challenge but other than that, Clemson may breeze through their upcoming slate. The constant worry around the program is that they are going to go out and lose a game they shouldn't, something that is all to familiar for them, but this year's team is different. They have great leadership and impressive depth and talent on both sides of the ball.
Michigan State Spartans
It may well go down as one of the craziest finishes in the history of the sport, right up there with the Kick Six and so many other improbable finishes. Michigan punter Blake O'Neill fumbled a routine snap that would have sealed a win for the Wolverines, and it fell right into MSU's hands, who promptly returned it to win in a crazy, wild, fantastic rivalry game. While the win was exciting and it preserved Michigan State's undefeated mark, there are still questions about this team. The offense looked completely over matched for much of the game and if not for bizarre finishes the past couple of weeks, the Spartans might have multiple losses. Yet, they are still in the mix, and now own a pretty nice resume booster by beating Michigan.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Following their second consecutive loss to Ole Miss and heading into a tough matchup with Georgia, questions began to emerge about the state of the Alabama program. Was the Nick Saban dynasty, that had run all over the rest of the college football world, over? The Tide have answered that question quite simply? No, it is not. They went out and bullied Georgia and only further impressed by handling Texas A&M. A win against LSU down the stretch and Alabama becomes the favorite in the SEC once more, something that would certainly get quite a bit of recognition from the Playoff Committee.
Others in the Mix
Florida State Seminoles
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Texas A&M Aggies