College Football Playoff and Heisman Picture

As the college football season has progressed, it has become more apparent which teams are meant to stay at the top, and which are overhyped. For example, as recently as last week, Florida State appeared to be a playoff contender, with true freshman quarterback Deondre Francois being a Heisman favorite. However, after a few shaky weeks the Seminoles have dropped to 3-2, with two losses in the ACC to Clemson and North Carolina. Likewise, after throwing for almost 700 yards and five touchdowns through his first two games, Francois has combined for only 500 passing yards and two touchdowns in his last three, two of which resulted in a loss, all of which pushed him further down the Heisman rankings. On the other hand, teams such as North Carolina and Washington have shown that they have what it takes to play on New Years’ Eve with the best teams in college football. Both have outstanding quarterbacks advancing in the Heisman race in Mitch Trubisky and Jake Browning. Here are this week’s College Football Playoff rankings:

#1 Alabama

It gets tiresome to say, but once again Alabama is the best team in College Football. After four blowout victories, and a come-from-behind win at Ole Miss in week 3, Alabama is well on track to go undefeated once again this year. Without a true star, the Crimson Tide rely on a stifling defense and an overpowering run game to wear opponents down. Led by arguably the best coach in college football, Nick Saban, Alabama will continue to subdue opponents up until the playoff this winter, where their undefeated streak of 17 games will be tested. If they can make it through the next three weeks, Alabama will be a lock for the playoff.

Big Games to Watch: @ Arkansas (10/8), @ Tennessee (10/15), @ Texas A&M (10/22)

#2 Ohio State

Another perennial powerhouse, Ohio State has been more than impressive to begin this season, and has yet to be tested at all. After five blowout victories, one over ranked big ten opponent Wisconsin, the Buckeyes are well on their way to repeating their 2014 championship season. Similar to Nick Saban, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has been dominate since he began in Columbus, and this season is no different. With Heisman candidate JT Barrett leading the way, the Buckeyes’ balanced passing attack will propel them into the playoff, presumably in the form of a rematch of the 2014 championship game against Alabama in a battle of college football’s two best coaches and programs.

Big Games to Watch: @ Wisconsin (10/15), vs Nebraska (11/5), vs Michigan (11/26)

#3 Clemson

After a shaky start to the season featuring six point wins against both Auburn and Troy, Clemson proved that they belong on the big stage last Saturday night, beating undefeated Louisville and Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson. In that game, preseason Heisman favorite Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 306 yards and 5 touchdowns, showing Jackson and the Cardinals who the best contender in the ACC is. Clemson’s fast-paced, big play threat offense is perhaps the most prolific in the entire country. With their toughest opponent already behind them, Clemson will likely coast into the playoff, looking to avenge last season’s title game defeat.

Games to Watch: @ Florida State (10/29), ACC title game

#5 Washington

After steamrolling their way through their first three games, Washington had a scare in week four, winning a tight game in overtime against Arizona. After this, many wrote Washington off as playoff contenders. However, that all changed last Friday. The Huskies played #5 Stanford and came in as an underdog, but blew Stanford away from the opening kickoff. Washington won big, 44-6, against the heavy Pac-12 favorite. By doing so, Washington put themselves in a tremendous position to win their conference, and perhaps even find themselves in the playoff come January. The Huskies have an efficient and balanced offense led by Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin, and a shut-down defensive front and secondary that was able to hold Stanford standout running back Christian McCaffrey to only 49 rushing yards. With a few big games coming up, the Huskies will be tested, but if they continue to play the way they did against Stanford, they will easily have a spot in the playoff.

Big Games to Watch: @ Oregon (10/8), @ Utah (10/29)

 

Other Favorites for the Playoff: #4 Michigan (5-0, 2-0), #7 Louisville (4-1, 2-1)

Heisman Top 10

As of Week 6

  1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (1625 passing yards, 14 passing TDs, 4 interceptions, 688 rushing yards, 14 Rushing TDs)
  2. T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State (888 passing yards, 14 passing TDs, 2 interceptions, 205 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs)
  3. Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina (1711 passing yards, 17 passing TDs, 0 interceptions, 56 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns)
  4. Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston (1325 passing yards, 8 passing TDs, 2 interceptions, 178 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs)
  5. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (1302 passing yards, 14 passing TDs, 7 interceptions, 211 rushing yards)
  6. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (635 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 286 receiving yards)
  7. Christian McCaffery, RB, Stanford (485 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, 149 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 224 returning yards)
  8. Jake Browning, QB, Washington (1114 pyds, 17 ptd, 2 int)
  9. D’onta Foreman, RB , Texas (436 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns)
  10. Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss (1596 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 124 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown)