September 15, 2017
By: Doug Heater
Heading into week three of the college football season, it is way, way to early to be talking about playoff teams, but that is what we do. A lot of talking, especially about something that really takes 13 full weeks to figure out. Who should be in the playoff? While two games is definitely not enough information to really pick a top four, why not pick a top six after two games. Here we go.
#6-Oklahoma State. Yes the Cowboys. Two impressive wins over what could be considered sub par competition, but it was the manner that they did it, that makes it so impressive. 59-24 over Tulsa in week one, and 44-7 in a dominant performance last Friday night over South Alabama. When they beat Pitt this Saturday on the road, by a wider margin than Penn State did last weekend, that will answer any question on why I have them here.
#5-Michigan. This defense looks better than last year’s, and I know that they struggle on offense, but they have one of the most impressive wins this season, week one over Florida, and will get better each week on the offensive side.
#4-USC. Would like to place Washington here, but after the Trojans handled a pretty solid Stanford team last week, who was coming off a bye, it has to be Clay Helton’s bunch. They have Texas this weekend, and a win over the Longhorns, in the first meeting since their epic Rose Bowl matchup, and there will be no doubt they deserve a top four spot. They also have one of the best quarterbacks in the land in Sam Darnold.
#3-Clemson. There win over Auburn last week, while not all that pretty, was what you would call a gritty win. New starting quarterback Kelly Bryant looked more than adequate against a pretty good defense, but will have to get better each week in order to beat what will most likely be better competition if this team makes the playoff. The Tigers will be tested this Saturday in a showdown with Louisville, and may get a taste of their own medicine, seeing a team beat them with basically one offensive threat in Lamar Jackson, something that DeShaun Watson did to opponents last year.
#2-Oklahoma. Outside of Alabama’s week one win over Florida State, the Sooners pasting of Ohio State last Saturday is a close second. Not only was it retribution for Baker Mayfield after last year’s loss, but it made the Big 12 relevant right out of the gate. Head coach Lincoln Riley already made a statement win in his second game, something that a lot of new head coaches are still in search of.
#1-Alabama. As mentioned earlier, the week one win is impressive, and a waxing of Fresno State last week, changes nothing on where this team should sit in the playoff ranking. An efficient win last week, should be followed up with another this Saturday when they take on Colorado State. This team is so good, it’s almost like we are bored when they put up only 40 against sub par competition.