I don’t have much time, so I’ll keep it to the point. The contenders and pretenders are beginning to separate, which is a good thing. Here’s what you need to know.
USC is on a huge skid. They were my preseason prediction to win it all, now they won’t even win their division. Heck if they win a game this month it would be a miracle (Notre Dame, Utah, Cal all the next 3 weeks). Sarkisian is in a substance abuse program. The offense has no consistency. Cody Kessler was supposed to be a Heisman contender. Not anymore. This team is the worst kind because they have huge expectations, great recruiting but can’t put it together. It’s kind of like a 50/50 team. They have a 50/50 shot at winning literally every game. That means that have a 50% shot at losing to a cupcake. But they have a 50% shot of knocking of a top ten team. You absolutely never know what you’re going to get.
Speaking of the Pac-12, right now Utah looks like their best bet at placing a team in the playoff. Never thought I would be saying Utah is the pride of the Pac-12, but that’s how it looks as of right now. Crazy stuff. UCLA still isn’t out, and Stanford or Cal could end up winning the conference championship game. It’s a conference where anyone can beat anyone else. Nuts.
The SEC should start showing separation as well. Florida should get trounced by LSU and Texas A&M or Alabama will be exposed this coming week. The Tide’s win at Georgia looks a lot less impressive now, so who knows how things will turn out. Ole Miss has a tough non-conference game against 5-0 Memphis, so that could make things interesting too.
Could the AAC get in the playoff? Probably not, but with a handful of undefeateds with none in the MWC and one in the MAC, the AAC looks to have the best chance at crashing a New Year’s Six bowl. Have to wait and see.
Michigan looks like the best team in the Big Ten right now, and I don’t know that Ohio State should get any credit for being defending champions. Different team. Different season. They look pretty bad right now and I don’t see things getting better with Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan all coming up.
The Big 12 got interesting. Oklahoma State, TCU or Baylor could end up winning it right now, and whichever does is likely in the playoff. It’s a deep conference whose champion should be in.
The ACC looks weak as usual. It’s Clemson and Florida State, that’s it. I don’t like their chances for getting in the playoff. They need a two loss Pac-12 champion or something and an undefeated champion, because otherwise they will be on the outside looking in.
Leonard Fournette is still the easy Heisman winner right now. Utah’s Booker and TCU’s Boykin will also be at the ceremony.
Here’s my prediction for the playoff:
SEC champion: LSU over Florida
Pac-12 champion: Utah over Stanford
Big Ten champion: Michigan over Iowa
Big 12 champion: Baylor
ACC champion: Clemson over Duke
Playoff: (1) LSU vs (4) Michigan and (2) Baylor vs (3) Utah
Championship: LSU over Baylor
If I were an AP voter this would be my ballot for this week.
7. Texas A&M
8. Ohio State
9. Florida State
10. Michigan State
11. Ole Miss
13. Oklahoma State
17. Notre Dame