The first Saturday in November taught us a lot about the state of college football this year. ESPN called it “Statement Saturday” and plenty of statements were made across the nation.

The AP poll is kind of interesting this week. I don’t really have a problem with anything in the poll. UCF dropped a couple of spots, but they didn’t play well against Temple despite winning. I wouldn’t mind LSU staying ahead of Ohio State, but they dropped one spot behind. Texas didn’t move with their loss, but I’m ok with that too. Everything behind them is a cluster, but it always is at this point.

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

S Tier

Alabama – They might have only put up 29 points, which seems low for Alabama, but for them to do it in a 29-0 shutout in Baton Rouge against the #3 team in the country…it was still a dominant win. When healthy, Alabama is not only the best team in football this year, but maybe the best team of all time. However, injuries continue to concern me. Tua has gone down multiple times this year. He always gets back up and seems fine, but when is he not going to get back up? It doesn’t help that Jalen Hurts could hardly walk Saturday in warm ups. Jalen is playing good football now and Alabama would still be a championship caliber team with him at QB, but if neither can play, that would be a concern. Plus Najee Harris went down, Henry Ruggs went down, and Devonta Smith is already banged up.

Clemson – Embarrassed Louisville and put up more on them than their basketball team did last season. They aren’t playing great competition, but they are finding their groove at a good time.


A+ Tier

Georgia – The Kentucky game was never in doubt. Anyone that thought Kentucky would win was crazy. Georgia vs. Alabama is set for Atlanta and should be a great game.

Michigan – Absolutely dominant win over Penn State. That makes them a playoff team in my opinion. Just have to get past Ohio State and they should be good.

Notre Dame – Big win over Northwestern, a lot of people thought they might could slip up in that one.


A Tier

LSU (-1) – Tough loss to Alabama. Their defense is still pretty good, even though Bama shredded it easy enough. They just can’t put points on the board.

Ohio State (-1) – Not a great game against Nebraska. The Buckeyes won, but did they really?

Oklahoma – Oklahoma continues to have a really good offense, and a not very good defense. They squeaked out a win over Texas Tech, but what will happen against West Virginia?

UCF – I’m leaving UCF here for now, but they struggled against Temple, giving up almost 700 yards to the Owls. They have three tough games upcoming.

West Virginia (+1) – What a game against Texas. Big win and West Virginia is alive for a playoff spot if they win out because that would include a win over #6 Oklahoma and either OU/Texas again.


A- Tier

Boston College (+1)
Florida
Fresno State (+1)
Syracuse (+1)
UAB (+1)
Washington State

Dropped out: Kentucky (-1), Penn State (-1)


My playoff as of now

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

(5) Georgia
(6) West Virginia

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

– Alabama (9-0)
– Clemson (9-0)
– Notre Dame (9-0)

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

Long shots:

– UCF (9-0)
– Washington State (8-1), 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
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
Ohio State/Michigan (Big 10) – if they win out

Other teams will need some help in my opinion, even if they win out.

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.