College Football Rankings Week 4 Reaction

We enter the final weekend of the regular season and with a number of rivalry games this week, let’s see which ones will carry the most importance:

  1. Alabama (1) 11-0
  2. Clemson (2) 11-0
  3. Notre Dame (3) 11-0
  4. Michigan (4) 10-1
  5. Georgia (5) 10-1
  6. Oklahoma (6) 10-1
  7. LSU (7) 9-2
  8. Washington State (8) 10-1
  9. UCF (11) 10-0
  10. Ohio State (10) 10-1
  11. Florida (13) 8-3
  12. Penn State (14) 8-3
  13. West Virginia (9) 8-2
  14. Texas (15) 8-3
  15. Kentucky (17) 8-3
  16. Washington (18) 8-3
  17. Utah (19) 8-3
  18. Mississippi State (21) 7-4
  19. Northwestern (22) 7-4
  20. Syracuse (12) 8-3
  21. Utah State (23) 10-1
  22. Texas A&M (NR) 7-4
  23. Boise State (25) 9-2
  24. Pittsburgh (NR) 7-4
  25. Iowa State (16) 6-4

New Faces

Pittsburgh (24), Texas A&M (22)

So Long, Losers

Cincinnati (24), Boston College (20)

Major Games This Weekend

With this being Rivalry Week, there are no easy games for the top teams in the rankings.  #1 Alabama hosts Auburn this week, giving them their final opportunity to drop a game.  If Alabama wins this game, they will all but clinch a spot in the Playoff as they are likely to make it even if they have 1 loss on their record.  #2 Clemson hosts in-state rival South Carolina and the Tigers are in the same boat as Alabama.  #3 Notre Dame travels to USC with an opportunity to clinch their spot in the Playoff as this is their last game of the regular season.  A win and Notre Dame will be the first team to clinch their spot in the College Football Playoff.  A loss and chaos will ensue.  In the game of the weekend, #4 Michigan travels to Columbus to take on #10 Ohio State with the winner representing the Big Ten East in the Big Ten Championship next weekend.  This is an elimination game, as well, but the winner will be alive and will put themselves in a great position to make the Playoff.  #5 Georgia hosts Georgia Tech in a game that they should win with ease as long as they don’t look too far ahead to their rematch with Alabama next weekend.  #6 Oklahoma will look to avoid the same fate as their opponent, #13 West Virginia.  The game is Friday night and the Sooners are on the road so if there were to be a game that Oklahoma may be in trouble in, it’ll be this one.  #8 Washington State needs to win their game against #16 Washington at home.  This game is also Friday night and if Washington State can win this game with all eyes on them, the Cougars can get a lot more love from the Committee next week.  Lastly, #9 UCF goes on the road to South Florida looking to finish their perfect season and keep their very slim Playoff hopes alive in a rematch of one of the most exciting games of last season.  Suffice to say, there are a ton of huge and exciting games this weekend.

Overall Reaction

The top 8 remained the same this week, which was not a surprise at all.  UCF made the most surprising jump of the week following their win over Cincinnati, leaping over Ohio State.  Ohio State struggled mightily against Maryland last weekend and the committee noticed.  UCF began their climb and they got help last weekend thanks to West Virginia’s loss.  Ohio State does have a chance to fix their issues this week as they host Michigan.  A win for Ohio State and they will jump right back over UCF in next week’s rankings.  At the top of the rankings, we have our first official “win and your in” team playing this week in Notre Dame.  Following their convincing win over Syracuse, Notre Dame is very clearly one of the top 3 teams in the country, hopefully putting to bed the nonsensical argument that Michigan is a better team than they are.  Hell, Notre Dame may have done enough to clinch a birth even if they lose this week to USC, but that would require a little help from their colleagues.  LSU remains at #7 in the country, but that is the highest they will climb.  LSU will eventually drop behind Washington State and Ohio State if they keep winning, plus UCF could jump LSU as well if they keep winning.  As a whole, the rankings haven’t been too affected by this past weekend, but we did eliminate another team from contention: West Virginia.  The Mountaineers suffered a last second, heartbreaking loss on the road at Oklahoma State.  Now, West Virginia has a chance to end Oklahoma’s chances this week and eliminate the Big 12 from contention as a whole if they can pull off a win this week.  We’ll have a lot more answers following Rivalry Week, but the top 4 teams will be one step closer to making the playoff with wins this week.

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