The first set of College Football Playoff rankings will probably be launched Tuesday, which means the four-team race is about to escalate for the ultimate 4 weeks of the 2020 season.
Let the debates start. Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame seemingly will maintain the highest three spots in these rankings, however in what order? The Buckeyes received a top-10 showdown with Indiana 42-35 on Saturday, and Alabama remained unbeaten within the SEC with a convincing 63-3 victory towards Kentucky. The Irish have been idle.
Who will probably be No. 4? Which different groups have an opportunity to remain within the combine? That’s the topic of much more debate, given the variety of video games performed and the variety of video games that might be canceled due to COVID-19 over the ultimate month of the season. Below are the dates for every of the rankings:
|First||Tuesday, Nov. 24|
|Second||Tuesday, Dec. 1|
|Third||Tuesday, Dec. 8|
|Fourth||Tuesday, Dec. 15|
|Final||Sunday, Dec. 20|
With that in thoughts, Sporting News breaks down the College Football Playoff image with 4 groups in, 4 groups out and 4 groups to look at heading into the second week of November:
1. Alabama (7-0)
Remaining schedule: vs. Auburn, at Arkansas
Lowdown: It stays to be seen whether or not the LSU recreation will probably be rescheduled, however the Crimson Tide confirmed no rust in a 63-3 victory towards Kentucky after three weeks off. Mac Jones (16 of 24, 230 yards, two touchdowns, one interception), Najee Harris (110 complete yards, two touchdowns) DeVonta Smith (144 yards, two touchdowns) have fashioned a dominant trio, and the protection has formed up after some early-season struggles. Next up is the Iron Bowl, and Nick Saban is 5-1 towards the Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The final 4 house victories preceded SEC championships.
2. Ohio State (4-0)
Remaining schedule: at Illinois, at Michigan State, vs. Michigan
The Buckeyes beat Indiana 42-35 in a top-10 showdown that offers the Buckeyes management of the Big Ten East division. Justin Fields handed for 300 yards, and Master Teague rushed for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The protection allowed 491 passing yards, nevertheless, and allowed the Hoosiers to rally within the second half. The Buckeyes have points on the again finish of the protection, however that received’t be severely challenged till the Big Ten championship recreation.
3. Notre Dame (8-0)
Remaining schedule: at North Carolina, vs. Syracuse, at Wake Forest
Notre Dame will probably be ranked greater within the preliminary rankings based mostly on the victory towards Clemson. The Irish loved a bye week, which units up a Black Friday thriller on the highway at North Carolina. The quarterback matchup between Ian Book and Sam Howell ought to be enjoyable, and the Irish are 18-2 all time towards the Tar Heels. Both losses, nevertheless, have been in Chapel Hill, N.C. Get your on-line purchasing achieved earlier than kickoff.
4. Clemson (7-1)
Remaining schedule: vs. Pitt, at Virginia Tech, at Florida State
The Tigers’ matchup with Florida State was unexpectedly postponed Saturday, and Dec. 12 is now a possible rescheduling date. Clemson hasn’t performed for the reason that 47-40 loss to Notre Dame on Nov. 7, and the three-week layoff theoretically ends towards Pitt on Saturday. Clemson has been out of sight, however the Tigers seemingly will land on this spot within the first CFP rankings.
5. Florida (6-1)
Remaining schedule: vs. Kentucky, at Tennessee, vs. LSU
The Gators have been locked in a good recreation with Vanderbilt within the first half earlier than scoring 24 unanswered factors between the second and third quarters for a 38-17 victory. Kyle Trask did not throw for his four-touchdown minimal for the primary time all season, however completed with 383 yards. The Gators will make the College Football Playoff in the event that they win out, and there are three extra possibilities on the regular-season schedule to construct towards that long-awaited shot at Alabama.
6. Cincinnati (8-0)
Remaining schedule: at Temple, at Tulsa
The Bearcats beat former Group of 5 darling UCF in a 36-33 shootout after battling again from a 14-3 deficit. Desmond Ridder placed on a present with 338 passing yards, 57 dashing yards and 4 complete touchdowns. Cincinnati has highway journeys with Temple and No. 25 Tulsa left on the schedule earlier than a possible American Athletic Conference championship. The Bearcats need assistance to get in, however this appears to be like like the very best probability for a Group of 5 faculty to do it within the Playoff period.
7. Oregon (3-0)
Remaining schedule: at Oregon State, at Cal, vs. Washington
The Ducks want extra fashion factors, however the unbeaten document stands. Jordan Happle’s interception return for a landing to finish the half gave the Ducks the lead for good in a 38-35 nailbiter towards UCLA. Oregon hasn’t dominated the competitors, and its remaining opponents have handled COVID-19 cancellations. The Ducks may need to be inventive with the scheduling the remainder of the best way, however an undefeated season and Pac-12 championship would nonetheless be a Playoff-worthy case.
8. BYU (9-0)
Remaining schedule: vs. San Diego State
The Cougars throttled North Alabama 66-14 on Saturday, which is not a lot of a shock. BYU has one recreation left on the schedule, and it ought to discover each potential scheduling possibility for the opposite three weeks to beef up the resume. The Cougars have an thrilling offense, an enormous level differential and a possible Heisman finalist in Zach Wilson. Will the CFP acknowledge that within the first set of rankings?
Texas A&M (5-1) had back-to-back canceled video games and can hope to renew motion towards LSU. The Aggies are hampered by the head-to-head loss to Alabama and wish the 4 groups ranked forward of them on this checklist to lose.
Northwestern (4-0) took management of the Big Ten West with a powerful victory towards Wisconsin, and that places the Wildcats on observe to succeed in the Big Ten championship recreation for the second time in three seasons. Who knew that may be the very best competitors for Ohio State within the Big Ten? The Wildcats ought to vault into the highest 10, however the greatest hurdle is the Buckeyes.
Miami (7-1) additionally needed to postpone this week’s recreation towards Georgia Tech, however nonetheless has a potential path to the ACC championship recreation. The Hurricanes face lengthy odds with the head-to-head loss to Clemson.