One thing people like to tell each other after teams have played one game each is that teams have played one game each. This is not much evidence, and it's not much reason to reject the thoughts we've had for eight months. Those thoughts were very important, seeing as we gathered them when no games were happening.
It might seem like overreaction to bump Notre Dame from the New Year's Six games to the Playoff after the Irish merely defeated the Texas Longhorns. If that's all it takes to get in, more than four teams will probably make the Playoff this year.
But we can learn a lot from one week, and Saturday, ND bombed a Texas defense that was top-10 in stats advanced and non a year ago, and if that can continue against a schedule full of famous teams, I think the Irish can make it in with one loss.
(And this isn't that much of a bandwagoning; ND was the first team out of the Playoff in the previous projections.)
The other top three remain for now. Conference championship bumps would seem to elevate these others over ND in the eyes of the committee, all other things being similar.
|College Football Playoff|
|National Championship||Ohio State||Alabama||January 11||Glendale, AZ||Cotton winner vs. Orange winner|
|Cotton||No. 2 Alabama||No. 3 TCU||December 31||Arlington, TX||Playoff rankings top 4|
|Orange||No. 1 Ohio State||No. 4 Notre Dame||December 31||Miami, FL||Playoff rankings top 4|
I think Alabama looked better than Ohio State in Week 1, but OSU's wonderfully breezy schedule makes any other prediction for the final No. 1 slot silly. Some will bring up Florida State slipping in the Playoff rankings despite an undefeated record last year, but Florida State didn't completely dunk on teams like the Buckeyes seem capable of doing. Obliterating a weak schedule should be at least as impressive as squeaking past an OK schedule, presuming such an obliteration happens.
|New Year's Six bowls|
|Fiesta||Boise State||UCLA||January 1||Glendale, AZ||At-large|
|Rose||Michigan State||Oregon||January 1||Pasadena, CA||Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1|
|Sugar||Baylor||Ole Miss||January 1||New Orleans, LA||Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1|
|Peach||Florida State||Texas A&M||December 31||Atlanta, GA||At-large|
Oregon slides down, and if the Ducks are down here, that probably means they got tangled in one too many shootouts and also lost to Michigan State in East Lansing on September 12. That's how I have it drawn up, which would make this the Ducks-Spartans rubber match in the Rose Bowl. That sounds pretty good, right?
The other change since last time: Texas A&M takes over for Auburn. A bit more convinced so far by the Aggies' defensive overhaul than the Tigers', and Auburn has the harder schedule the rest of the way.
|Bowls||Conferences ties, not based on standings|
|Alamo||Oklahoma||USC||January 2||San Antonio, TX||Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2|
|Cactus||Oklahoma State||Stanford||January 2||Tempe, AZ||Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7|
|Liberty||Texas||LSU||January 2||Memphis, TN||Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8|
|TaxSlayer||Minnesota||Arkansas||January 2||Jacksonville, FL||ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Citrus||Michigan||Georgia||January 1||Orlando, FL||Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 2|
|Outback||Nebraska||Auburn||January 1||Tampa, FL||Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Belk||Clemson||Tennessee||December 30||Charlotte, NC||ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Birmingham||Houston||South Carolina||December 30||Birmingham, AL||American vs. SEC 9|
|Holiday||Wisconsin||Arizona State||December 30||San Diego, CA||Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3|
|Music City||Virginia Tech||Florida||December 30||Nashville, TN||ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Armed Forces||Penn State||Air Force||December 29||Fort Worth, TX||Big Ten vs. MWC|
|Russell Athletic||Georgia Tech||West Virginia||December 29||Orlando, FL||ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3|
|Texas||Kansas State||Missouri||December 29||Houston, TX||Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Military||North Carolina||Navy||December 28||Annapolis, MD||ACC vs. American|
|Quick Lane||Pitt||Memphis||December 28||Detroit, MI||ACC vs. Big Ten|
|Foster Farms||Iowa||Cal||December 26||Santa Clara, CA||Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4|
|Heart of Dallas||Miami||Marshall||December 26||Dallas, TX||Big 12 7 vs. C-USA|
|Independence||Duke||Mississippi State||December 26||Shreveport, LA||ACC vs. SEC (C-USA backup)|
|Pinstripe||Louisville||Northwestern||December 26||New York, NY||ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7|
|St. Petersburg||East Carolina||Old Dominion||December 26||St. Petersburg, FL||American vs. C-USA|
|Sun||NC State||Arizona||December 26||El Paso, TX||ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5|
|Bahamas||Rice||Akron||December 24||Nassau, BS||C-USA vs. MAC 4/5|
|Hawaii||Tulane||BYU||December 24||Honolulu, HI||American vs. MWC/BYU|
|GoDaddy||Western Michigan||Appalachian State||December 23||Mobile, AL||MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2|
|Poinsettia||Utah State||Texas State||December 23||San Diego, CA||MWC vs. Army|
|Boca Raton||UCF||Bowling Green||December 22||Boca Raton, FL||American vs. MAC|
|Potato||Toledo||Colorado State||December 22||Boise, ID||MAC 2 vs. MWC|
|Miami Beach||Cincinnati||Western Kentucky||December 21||Miami, FL||American vs. C-USA|
|Camelia||Northern Illinois||Georgia Southern||December 19||Montgomery, AL||MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3|
|Cure||Temple||Louisiana-Lafayette||December 19||Orlando, FL||American vs. Sun Belt|
|Las Vegas||San Diego State||Utah||December 19||Las Vegas, NV||MWC 1/BYU vs. Pac-12 6|
|New Mexico||UTEP||New Mexico||December 19||Albuquerque, NM||C-USA vs. MWC|
|New Orleans||Arkansas State||Louisiana Tech||December 19||New Orleans, LA||Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA|
Texas down! Penn State down! Maryland's leaving! Northwestern's here! Stanford down! Here comes Cal! Some other adjustments! I'll do 13 more weekly guesses until the people in charge tell me the right answers!