NCAA Football Rankings 2017: Week 15 Predictions Based on Latest Results

NCAA Football Rankings 2017: Week 15 Predictions Based on Latest Results

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After Week 14, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee should have three programs slotted firmly into the top four, but there’s a huge question mark on the final spot.

Clemson and Oklahoma went into conference championship week at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively. Both teams dominated the competition and punched their tickets to the playoffs. 

Georgia’s win over Auburn in the SEC title game almost guarantees its spot as the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. Ohio State clouded projections on the No. 4 spot with a victory over undefeated Wisconsin. 

Should the committee bump No. 5 Alabama up to No. 4, or should it use the Big Ten Championship Game as a reason to keep the idle Crimson Tide out the playoff bracket? 

Check out the projections for the Week 15 rankings and the top four teams in the nation.

             

Predictions for College Football Playoff Week 15 Rankings 

1. Clemson (12-1)

2. Oklahoma (12-1)

3. Georgia (12-1)

4. Ohio State (11-2)

5. Alabama (11-1)

6. USC (11-2)

7. Wisconsin (12-1)

8. Auburn (10-3)

9. UCF (12-0)

10. Penn State (10-2)

11. Miami (FL) (10-2)

12. TCU (11-3)

13. Stanford (9-3)

14. Washington (10-2)

15. Notre Dame (9-3)

16. LSU (9-3)

17. Michigan State (9-3)

18. Oklahoma State (9-3)

19. Washington State (9-3)

20. Northwestern (9-3)

21. Virginia Tech (9-3)

22. Mississippi State (8-4)

23. Toledo (11-2)

24. Florida Atlantic (10-3)

25. Memphis (10-2)

           

CFB Final Four Playoff Predictions

No. 1 Clemson

There’s no argument here. Clemson dominated Miami in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers defense put together a stellar performance in the bright lights at Bank of America Stadium.

The Hurricanes didn’t have two of their top three pass-catchers on the field in wideout Ahmmon Richards and tight end Christopher Herndon IV because of injury, but the result stands.

Aside from an odd Friday the 13th three-point road loss to Syracuse in October, the Tigers have been the most steady with a strong defense. The offense doesn’t whip the ball around the field—junior quarterback Kelly Bryant has 13 touchdown passes. However, the ground attack averages 215.8 yards per game.

Without a doubt, the Tigers will have an opportunity to defend their title reign as the top program in the nation. Head coach Dabo Swinney deserves huge credit for keeping the school at the top of the rankings after losing six key contributors from last year’s championship team to the NFL.

                  

No. 2 Oklahoma

Oklahoma hit one speed bump during the season at home against Iowa State. However, head coach Lincoln Riley’s group shook off the one-possession loss and racked up eight consecutive wins en route to a Big 12 title. The second win over TCU sealed their spot in the playoff picture.

We already knew the Sooners offense would blow teams away. Quarterback Baker Mayfield may take home the Heisman Trophy, but the backfield provides a balance in the attack on opposing defenses.

Critics will talk about the overall defense played in Big 12 matchups, but the Sooners clearly separated themselves as a program above the rest of the conference.

Over the past few weeks, Oklahoma’s defense has elevated its play, forcing two turnovers in each of the three previous contests and holding TCU to a maximum of 20 points in both matchups against the Horned Frogs.

            

No. 3 Georgia

Georgia avenged its loss to Auburn and captured the SEC title Saturday to solidify a spot in the playoff bracket. Some may argue this program deserves the No. 2 spot, but it’s a moot point because it doesn’t change the matchup.

The Bulldogs came into conference championship weekend at No. 6 in the CFB rankings and should jump over Alabama and Wisconsin, who lost in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Georgia didn’t play Alabama this year, but the conference championship will clearly carry enough weight to invalidate any claim the Crimson Tide should remain ahead of the Bulldogs.

Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm tossed two touchdown passes in the SEC Championship Game. Nonetheless, Georgia would likely use its ground attack to control the tempo in a matchup with the Sooners. The defense also needs a strong performance against Mayfield.

               

No. 4 Ohio State

 

Now it’s time for the big decision. Will the selection committee simply boost No. 5 Alabama one spot into the top four, or does Ohio State jump into the picture?

It boils down to the Tide’s one-loss record versus the Buckeyes’ Big Ten title. Under those major factors, the committee must compare wins and losses.

Alabama finishes with two victories against ranked opponents within the Top 25. However, LSU and Mississippi State sit on the back end. Ohio State beat three programs within the Top 25, including the previously undefeated Wisconsin and the two-loss Penn State. The Tide’s notable victories came against three- and four-loss programs.

The Buckeyes have a better regular-season resume and a conference championship as the cherry on top. However, an ugly 31-point loss to Iowa on the road opens the discussion for Alabama as the No. 4 team in the nation.

The Tide don’t have a blowout loss on their resume and still look good enough to pass the eyeball test as a top team in the nation without a conference title.

Looking at the big picture, Ohio State’s resume and Big Ten title should outweigh Alabama’s one-loss record. Unlike the Buckeyes in the previous year, the Tide don’t have enough quality wins to outrank a Power Five conference champion with a stronger overall resume.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

December 3, 2017 at 07:31AM

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