The second College Football Playoff ranking arrived with controversy, although not nearly as much as the first ranking. Rhino Press agreed with most of the CFP rankings although the CFP had Mississippi State as its number 1.
College Football Playoff Bracket
On the Outside Looking In: 5. Alabama, 6. TCU, 7. Kansas State
Rhino Press Playoff Bracket
On the Outside Looking In: 5. Alabama, 6. TCU, 7. Michigan State
Although Alabama has played exceptionally well, they are slightly behind Oregon for now because Oregon has convincing wins against Michigan State, UCLA, and Stanford. Alabama must win out to make the playoff and still has to face LSU, Mississippi State, and Auburn. Winning those games will propel the Crimson Tide into the inaugural College Football Playoff, barring a major upset in the SEC Championship game. TCU is well behind Alabama only because Alabama is so dominant. The Horned Frogs will benefit from a win against Kansas State this week, but they need upsets to shake up the top 4. Michigan State is a wild card, as they play in a weak conference. The committee’s rank of the Spartans will reflect it’s feelings about the Big 10. Like TCU, Michigan State will have to win out and hope for some upsets to occur to be one of the top 4 teams.
Week 11 will help define the top 15, but it likely will have no effect on the top 4, although in college football anything can happen. Here are the top games of the week:
Baylor at Oklahoma, 11 AM CST, FOX Sports 1
This game is crucial for Baylor to salvage any playoff or Big 12 championship hopes. The Sooners are out of either race, but will try to prove that they are still an elite Big 12 team. This games will have plenty of points, but most will come from Bryce Petty and the Baylor Bears.
Notre Dame at Arizona State, 2:30 PM CST, ABC
Notre Dame struggled defensively for most of their win against Navy, and their woes will continue on that side of the ball. Arizona State, on the other hand, has vastly improved defensively during the season. The difference will be quarterback play, with Notre Dame gaining the advantage. ASU’s Taylor Kelly is still trying to get back to his early-season form after a foot injury, while ND’s Everett Golson has been a Heisman contender.
Notre Dame 42-20
Kansas State at TCU, 6:30 PM CST, FOX
This Big 12 matchup will likely decide the conference champion. Both teams are dominant offensively, but TCU has a defense that is good enough to stop Jake Waters and the Wildcats. Both teams were surprise Big 12 title contenders; however, this is TCU’s year to prove it belongs in the Big 12.
Alabama at LSU, 7:00 PM CST, CBS
The Tide must win in Death Valley to continue their pursuit of a playoff spot and will get the job done. LSU has relied on running back Leonard Fournette and their stifling defense to stay in the Top 25, but their poor quarterback play has cost them the opportunity to compete for the SEC West title. Blake Sims will be good enough to win, although not as good as he normally is.
Ohio State at Michigan State, 7:00 PM CST, ABC
The Big 10 needs Michigan State to win to have a shot at a CFP spot, as the rest of the conference is lackluster and won’t be able to get in. The Spartans have one of the better offenses in the country to complement a defense that is perennially among the best. OSU has flown under the radar since their home loss to Virginia Tech in September. The Buckeyes will challenge MSU, but will fall just short.
Michigan State 34-31