This is a crucial month in college football. There are many teams that will be making a push for their divisional crowns, appearances in their conference championship games and even more, the College Football Playoff which will begin its third year of existence in December once again. Last year, the second-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide advanced to the biggest stage of them all and won their fifth title under Nick Saban. Tonight, the first set of rankings are to be revealed. Here’s my prediction on what I think we will see.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide– Of course they are going to be at the top of the list when the first set of rankings come out. What else did you expect? They have a solid number of quality wins including a come from behind victory on the road at Ole Miss, road wins against Tennessee and Arkansas and a drubbing of a victory over a once unbeaten Texas A&M Aggies ballclub. The dominance they show on both sides of the ball has been remarkable. They do have two more challenging games left on their schedule. A tilt with LSU this Saturday and they close things out with the Iron Bowl against an Auburn team that has been surging as of late.
2. Michigan Wolverines– I was extremely high on them coming into the season and through their first eight games, they have yet to disappoint me or make me look bad. They have been so dominant on the defensive side of things. Channing Stribling and Jourdan Lewis have been a nice tandem at cornerback. They play straight up man to man coverage across the board and that allows play-makers like Jabril Peppers to come in on blitzes. The defensive line also handles its business and they are right up there with the Crimson Tide for best in the country. As far as their offense goes, They have a physical running game, a solid quarterback in Wilton Speight and two NFL bound wide receivers and a pro ready tight end. I see big blue remaining unbeaten for their epic showdown with Ohio State in Columbus.
3. Clemson Tigers– They’d be on my three line right now. They haven’t looked as great as they did a year ago, but a zero remains in that loss column and they have a few ranked victories that include a win over Louisville at home and just last week, they were able to survive Florida State in Tallahassee, a place where Clemson hasn’t won a game since 2006. Deshaun Watson will be in the thick of the Heisman conversation once again and when you look at their defense, they haven’t been light out, but they come through and make plays when they have too. The final drive of the Florida State game is a perfect example.
4. Washington Huskies– What more needs to be said about Coach Chris Petersen? He’s done an absolutely terrific job with this Huskies team and Jake Browning has been putting together a season that should send him to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation. With all that being said, Washington is in line for the fourth and final playoff spot. Their two most impressive wins were last week in a tough environment in Utah and a win against Christian McCaffrey and the Stanford Cardinal.