From the days of muscle cars comes the saying, four on the floor and a fifth under the seat. After you’ve run a quarter mile you pull over and hit that extra gear deftly tucked away beneath you. What brought this to mind? The College Football Playoff (CFP) Top 25 or more specifically, the top 5 teams in that poll.
The Ohio State Buckeyes who are currently ranked No. 3 in the AP Top 25 were picked No. 1 in the CFP. The remaining schedule features just one potential stumbling block in No. 14 Michigan on November 30.
LSU who is currently ranked No.1 in the AP Top 25 takes the second spot in the CFP. The Tigers take on Alabama this weekend. It’s their opportunity to own the SEC and possibly leave the Crimson Tide by the side of the CFP road.
Coming in at No. 3 in the CFP is the aforementioned Tide. In addition to playing LSU they’ll face off with No. 12 Auburn on November 30. Might this be the end of Nick Saban’s dominance in the battle for the national championship?
Penn State finds themselves at four in this poll but that may be short-lived. The Nittany Lions will grind it out against No. 13 Minnesota this weekend and then No. 3 Ohio State on November 23. If you thought there was a fire burning over the Alabama situation, try finding someone outside of the Penn State circle who thinks they belong.
Then, there’s CFP No. 5 Clemson. The moaning and groaning from Tigers fans over what they feel is disrespect for the reigning national champion is palpable. But what do people think Dabo Swinney will do with the ranking? It’ll be like throwing a five gallon container of gas onto a bonfire. On the schedule for Clemson is No. 22 Wake Forest on November 16.
We can’t lose track of how important the Top 25 is when it comes to the bottom line. We’re talking money here folks and that’s pretty important in the world of college athletics.
Teams that are in the CFP Top 25 typically get RSVP’s to nicer parties….errr, bowls. Notre Dame (No. 15), with a 6-2 record is already bowl bound. Because of their agreement with the ACC the choices tend to be a bit better than if they were wandering around on their own. Currently, the Irish are projected to play Texas in the Camping World Bowl (Read More).
Wake Forest is the other ACC Nation team in the CFP Top 25 coming in at No. 19 with a 7-1 record. The latest bowl projections have the Demon Deacons headed to the Orange Bowl to face Florida. For more, follow the link above.
How I See The Four And The Fifth
Let’s lay this all out and see what we can expect in the coming weeks. With what’s on the schedule there will be some changes to the top 5.
I don’t see Ohio State moving from their top position. Ever. It will take a significant upset to bring this house crumbling down and it’s just not on the agenda.
The Tigers can write their own ticket with a win of substance over Alabama. Talk is cheap and we’re about to find out who can cash a check in the SEC. Frankly, I think LSU has earned their way up the ladder this year and will come away with a win against Alabama. Only a huge point difference will push LSU into the top spot. Don’t look for that to happen.
End Of An Era
Is it just bad luck, a down year or is it the end of a run for Alabama? The Crimson Tide fans who don’t perpetually live in the past will admit the past few years haven’t been ideal. Nothing lasts forever, at least not in the same sense as it did in the glory years.
The big question for everyone is, will Alabama survive a loss and remain in the CFP 5 on reputation alone? The answer lies in the final score. A two touchdown loss sends Alabama packing. Should the committee keep them in that scenario the howls will be heard coast-to-coast.
The Nittany Lions, at number four, are not long for this poll. No. 13 Minnesota seems like the team to pull off an upset. If that doesn’t do the trick, a hefty loss to Ohio State will. When it comes to picking the outcome of seasons there’s always a curve ball. Penn State could be that pitch. A solid win over Minnesota and an upset win over Ohio State might elevate them as high as No. 2.
Fifth Under The Seat
And now, for you Clemson fans, start thinking about the fifth under the seat. This team is shifting from third into fourth gear at the right time. The Tigers are far from red lining their RPM’s. What will catch the committee’s eye? A big win over No. 22 Wake Forest will push Clemson into the No. 3 position.
Where the RPM’s start climbing will be against South Carolina. This is where Dabo Swinney has an opportunity to break out a flame thrower. It’s important for Clemson not to take the foot off the gas against the Gamecocks.