Last week we took a look at the Heisman race so this week we are going to check in on the playoff race. Earlier in the year I gave some insight into who I thought would be the final four teams this year. (https://couchguysports.com/2017/08/07/college-football-rankings-preview-2017-who-will-we-see-in-the-playoffs/) With the season halfway over let me tell you this. Ain’t nobody ever going to perfectly predict anything in the world of sports. Now with that in mind, I do think I can at least predict one or two teams making it into the playoffs. My early predictions were Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma. Three of those teams have lost one or more games. One of those teams is complete crap (Florida State). Now that the college football season is in its full swing I’m going to give you an updated version of who I think will make the playoffs.
HUGE SHOCKER HERE. Yeah not. Look the Crimson Tide have it all. They have a complete offense and defense. The only team that almost took down Bama was A&M. So thats saying something about A&M. (I had to throw that in there) In all honesty they have the best coach in the game and there is really no threat to them for the rest of the regular season. The only way they don’t make the playoffs is if they lose the conference championship game. At the moment, its looking like that game is going to be against Georgia. Now while things can change, I’d be surprised if Georgia didn’t make that game. Georgia and Alabama haven’t played against each other since 2015 so this is going to be a fun game to potentially watch.
2. Penn State
Listen this was a tough one to pick. The BIG 10 is finally making noise as a good conference. While they’re still not the SEC, they have a lot of good teams this year. The reason I’m throwing them in at number two is because they have been just absolutely dominating teams all year. Their biggest test is going to be this week when they have to go into Ohio State. If they win this game then they passed a big hurdle in the playoff debate. You’re going to want to watch this game this weekend. The main reason Penn State is playing so well this year is because of running back Saquon Barkley. He is the front runner for the Heisman and he will try to keep this Penn State team in the hunt for the national championship.
I am very surprised to see a BIG 12 team this good. The BIG 12 went to down the drain after A&M left. TCU has looked hungry and ready to be in the national spotlight. They have beat some really good teams and will continue to do so. Their last big test on the year will be to beat Oklahoma. If they do that then I think that will absolutely secure them a spot in the playoffs. They are very impressive on both sides of the ball having the 9th best defense and the 9th best offense in the country. I think the only thing that could hurt them is themselves. Thats the thing in college football, if you lose one game your national title hopes could possibly go out the window. If TCU makes the playoffs this will be the team that I am going to root for.
Yes they lost to Syracuse but this Clemson team is still playoff worthy and I’ll tell you why. They are going to win out the rest of their regular season games and then beat a good Miami team in the ACC Championship game. When that happens, expect the college football playoff committee to put them in a game. That loss was good for them especially considering they had a bye after it. I fully expect them to bounce back from it and dominate the rest of the year. I have a hunch that they will have a rematch against Alabama in the semi finals of the playoffs but this time Alabama would get revenge. Clemson has to be perfect to make the playoffs. If they lose one more game then they can kiss their playoff chances goodbye.
TEXAS A&M BOWL PROJECTION
Listen this A&M team is not as bad as I thought. Yes they blew a 34point lead to UCLA but the old A&M football teams would just collapse the rest of the season. This team is playing like that never happened. I think they have a real shot at winning the rest of their games this year. There are two bowl games that I think they could make and I would be ok with. I expect them to make either the Outback Bowl or the Orange Bowl. If they make either of those two bowl games thats a big thing. Next year is going to be even better for A&M because this team is so young now that they will be even more fun to watch next year. Gig Em. Oh and by the way the Texas Longhorns are absolute trash at football.
Written By: Nick Katinas (@nkatinas22)