We’re about to hit crunch time. Alabama and LSU were off, Michigan and Ohio State were off, UCF was off, other top ten teams lost, and it’s about to get real for everyone.

My A- Tier teams are dropping like flies. I’m not replacing them for the most part because other teams are still B Tier or below.

The biggest AP poll overreactions this week are…none really. I have no problem with the way teams moved after their games this week.

The CFB Playoff poll, however, is a different story. I don’t really like Ohio State being behind Washington State and Kentucky. I don’t like that we rank teams based on their best and worst losses compared to how good of a team they actually are. Are most people going to go out and lay money on Kentucky or Washington State to beat Ohio State straight up? Of course they aren’t.

I also don’t like UCF at 12. They are a top 10 team (no higher, but at least that) and I would probably take UCF over Washington State and Kentucky also. Speaking of Group of 5 teams, Houston is #17 and Utah State is #18 in the AP poll and not even ranked in the playoff rankings. Just pull the band aid off already and split Power 5 and Group of 5.

But that’s a whole different argument for a different day.

Here is the current tier list (teams listed in alphabetical order within a tier):

S Tier

Alabama – Off this week. Next week against LSU will be their hardest game probably before the playoffs (and maybe even harder than the playoffs too).

Clemson – Embarrassed Florida State 59-10. Clemson has smooth sailing to the playoff, but I am keeping on eye on November 10 at Boston College who is now second in the Atlantic division.


A+ Tier

Georgia – Huge bounce back win over Florida. I’m not quite ready to put them back up into the S-Tier, but we’ll see how they look against Kentucky. I’m leaving Florida as an A- Tier team because I think they still belong there.

LSU – Off this week, they need to bring some magic to beat Alabama next Saturday.

Michigan – Off this week, Penn State at home next week. If they win that game easy enough, it will make the OSU game interesting.

Notre Dame – Big win over Navy. Never expected them to lose, but this is a game with some pageantry and it was in San Diego, so who knows? Northwestern on the road may be their toughest game left.

Ohio State – Off this week. Should handle Nebraska but then Michigan State on the road and Michigan to end may bring up another loss. Who knows?


A Tier

Oklahoma – Easy win over Kansas State. Can’t see them losing the rest of the season except maybe at West Virginia on the final week.

UCF – Off this week, big game against Temple, who is the only other undefeated team in the AAC East division. South Florida losing hurt their schedule a little bit.


A- Tier

Florida
Kentucky
Penn State
Washington State (+1)
West Virginia

Dropped out: Oregon (-1), Texas (-1), Texas A&M (-1), Washington, (-1), Wisconsin (-1)


My playoff as of now

(1) Alabama vs. (4) Ohio State
(2) Clemson vs. (3) Notre Dame

(5) LSU
(6) Michigan

Teams still alive for the playoff
(in my opinion and ordered by record, then alphabetical)

– Alabama (8-0)
– Clemson (8-0)
– Notre Dame (8-0)

– Georgia (7-1), loss to LSU on the road (Week 7)
– LSU (7-1), loss to Florida on the road (Week 6)
– Michigan (7-1), loss to Notre Dame on the road (Week 1)
– Ohio State (7-1), loss to Purdue on the road (Week 8)
– Oklahoma (7-1), loss to Texas on neutral site (Week 6)
– West Virginia (6-1), loss to Iowa State on the road (Week 7)

Long shots:

– UCF (8-0)
– Kentucky (7-1), loss to Texas A&M on the road (Week 6)
– Washington State (7-1), loss to USC at home (Week 4)

I’m fairly confident in the Pac-12 missing out. The teams that are set so far are:

Alabama (SEC) – can still probably suffer one loss, including LSU (if they miss SEC title game, both could get in)
Notre Dame (Independent) – if they win out
Clemson (ACC) – if they win out, might can suffer a loss as long as they win ACC
Georgia (SEC) – if they win out
LSU (SEC) – if they win out
Ohio State/Michigan (Big 10) – if they win out

Other teams will need some help in my opinion, even if they win out. For instance, if Kentucky wins out, I’m not sure what the committee will do. They should make it because that would mean 12-1 with an SEC title, but the committee has never had to seriously consider a team like UK which is usually a cellar dweller of their conference and also struggled to barely beat Missouri this past Saturday.

I also think Oklahoma/West Virginia needs some help because of Notre Dame. Do you take a 1-loss, Big 12 champ over:

– Undefeated Notre Dame
– Undefeated Clemson
– Undefeated/1-loss SEC champ
– 1-loss Big 10 champ Ohio State/Michigan

I’m not sure you do. We’ll see how things play out.

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.