College Football Playoff Rankings: Forecasting the highest 8 contenders

With the final weekend of soccer earlier than the College Football Playoff choice committee reveals its first set of rankings on Tuesday, let’s take inventory of simply who has one of the best likelihood to get into these coveted 4 playoff spots, and which crew appears prefer it has — wink, wink, eye take a look at! — one of the best likelihood to remain there.

1. Ohio State

The Buckeyes have appeared and acted like one of the best crew in America. The Buckeyes have mixed a devastating offensive assault led by a Heisman-caliber quarterback in C.J. Stroud with a protection that appears able to slaying dragons named Michigan, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

Can Penn State upset Ohio State?

Can Penn State upset Ohio State?

RJ Younger and Geoff Schwartz focus on the keys to the “Big Noon Kickoff” matchup between Penn State and Ohio State.

Much more spectacular, the Buckeyes are starting to look so much like 2018 Clemson.

As I wrote in our Week 9 roundtable, peep sport:

2018 Clemson: 

  • Scored 44.3 factors per sport
  • Allowed 13.1 factors per sport
  • 15-0, nationwide champs

2022 Ohio State: 

  • Scores 49.6 factors per sport
  • Permits 14.9 factors per sport
  • 7-0

Clemson performed two ranked opponents within the common season en path to the 2018 nationwide title: NC State and Boston College.  

If the rankings maintain, Ohio State will play two ranked opponents within the common season: No. 13 Penn State and No. 4 Michigan.  

Clemson has proven all OSU has to do is win. I believe Ohio State enters the CFP rankings no decrease than No. 2 with a fantastic argument for being ranked No. 1 on Nov. 1 if the Buckeyes beat Penn State, a program that has managed only one win towards OSU since 2012.

For the primary time since 2020, the Buckeyes look able to successful the nationwide title. 

2. Georgia

After a outstanding efficiency towards a quite good Oregon program to open the season, the Bulldogs have appeared susceptible towards groups with the form of personnel that OSU, Alabama, Michigan, and maybe Tennessee possess. 

Final season, just one crew scored 21 or extra towards UGA en path to its first nationwide title in 40 years, and that was nationwide title runner-up Alabama. 

This season, the Dawgs have allowed 21 or extra versus foundering Missouri and Kent State. That is hardly the look of a dominating defending nationwide champ.

However the schedule UGA performs remains to be powerful, with a possible top-five matchup towards Tennessee in simply over per week. The Dawgs can have an opportunity to as soon as once more cruise comfortably into the CFP in the event that they stroll into the SEC title sport undefeated.

Georgia, Ohio State or Tennessee: Who’s No. 1?

Georgia, Ohio State or Tennessee: Who is No. 1?

The “Big Noon Kickoff” crew discusses which crew deserves to be thought of the nation’s greatest.

3. Michigan

It is a new day in Ann Arbor, and it is the identical because the outdated day — if the outdated day is just 2021. The Wolverines have handed the attention take a look at, even with a poor non-conference schedule, as a result of the Huge Ten — not to mention the Huge Ten East — is simply that powerful in 2022. 

Nevertheless, the Wolverines face a foe in Michigan State that has crushed them two years in a row to take house the state championship. However the Spartans have taken a step again since their 11-win 2021 season and are in search of to get again to .500 with a win towards one of many 4 greatest groups within the nation. 

This is a chance for the Wolverines to throw down one other marker — a psychological one at that — for the choice committee forward of its rankings.

Placing away a crew that’s 10-4 towards you since 2008 will go a great distance towards making certain a second-straight look within the CFP with “The Game” towards Ohio State nonetheless forward on Nov. 26.

4. Clemson

The crew that has made probably the most noise for the reason that inception of the CFP has an opportunity to slip into it once more, though the Tigers cannot afford a loss.

Shut calls towards Syracuse, Wake Forest and a fully-stocked NC State — all ranked on the time of their matchups — have known as into query simply how aggressive the Tigers is likely to be within the CFP.

However no crew has achieved extra to earn the advantage of the doubt than the Tigers, even towards an ACC schedule that does not reply many burning questions on Clemson’s readiness.

With a bye week and a bona fide quarterback controversy to type via, the place the choice committee ranks Clemson will set the desk for what’s attainable for the Pac-12 champion, Huge 12 champion and third-best crew within the SEC.

How good is Clemson?

How good is Clemson?

Joel Klatt explains why Clemson won’t be nearly as good as we anticipated.

5. Tennessee

Because it stands, the 2 greatest groups within the SEC are each within the SEC East — a phrase that hasn’t been true since 2008. However that is the character of not simply the SEC however the schedule UT is pressured to play. 

The Vols will possible play seven ranked opponents this season. In the event that they win all of them — they’re already 4-0 towards ranked groups — they will be tied for probably the most ranked wins within the sport. 

With quarterback Hendon Hooker receiving Heisman Trophy consideration, the Vols will play their fifth-ranked opponent Saturday when No. 19 Kentucky visits Neyland Stadium.

Whereas the Vols are all however assured a spot among the many top-five groups within the choice committee’s preliminary rankings based mostly on their résumé — which features a 7-0 begin and one of the best win of the season towards then-No. 3 Alabama — the Vols nonetheless should face their hardest take a look at of the season after they play UGA on Nov. 5.

6. TCU

TCU is aware of higher than any crew within the operating for one in all these 4 coveted CFP spots that it may’t afford a single blemish. 

It is an undefeated season or bust for the Horned Frogs in a 12 months during which neither Oklahoma nor Texas appear to be New 12 months’s Six bowl groups, not to mention CFP contenders. 

Although the Horned Frogs have crushed as many ranked opponents as Tennessee, the CFP choice committee has been burned by together with the Huge 12 champion in years previous — Oklahoma — and won’t be inclined to take action once more with out that crew being undefeated.

TCU would do nicely to pour it on towards West Virginia simply to maintain the naysayers quiet on Tuesday night time after the rankings are revealed.

Can TCU make the CFP?

Can TCU make the CFP?

RJ Younger shares his ideas on TCU’s come again win over Kansas State and considers how the Horned Frogs stack up towards fellow CFP contender Tennessee.

7. Alabama

For Alabama to make the CFP, the Tide must roll via what stays of its schedule and punch its ticket to the SEC title sport for the third 12 months in a row. Then they should beat the SEC East winner — presumably a rematch towards Tennessee or a showdown towards UGA — for the SEC crown. 

Nevertheless, an undefeated Clemson or TCU would possibly make securing the fourth spot within the CFP powerful.

The Tide is on a bye this week as they wait to seek out out simply how steep the climb to a seventh look within the CFP is, they usually put together for a Nov. 5 SEC showdown towards LSU.

8. Oregon

For Oregon to make the CFP, the Geese not solely have to decisively run the desk towards their remaining Pac-12 competitors and need the choice committee forgets they misplaced by 46 to UGA, however hope that one of many undefeated groups forward of them within the rankings catches a loss. 

They should make gentle work of Cal this weekend. Even an in depth win towards a foul Golden Bears crew can damage the Geese’ probabilities of reaching the CFP.

Oregon strikes up in RJ Younger’s Prime 25

Oregon moves up in RJ Young's Top 25

RJ Younger shares his Week 9 Prime 25, together with the place the Geese wind up after their huge win over UCLA.

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RJ Younger is a nationwide faculty soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.” Comply with him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.


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