John Fricke: Where College Football Stands Right Now (Nov 15, 2015)

This wild, crazy, incredible season just keeps getting better (or worse, depending on your personal viewpoint).

A few thoughts on where we stand heading to week-12.

TUESDAY RANKINGS

My best guess at what the committee will do now (please read that carefully! NOT my vote, NOT even my opinion on the rankings, but my analysis of what I believe the committee will do).

*The Top-5 stay the same, in the same order (no reason to change)
Clemson won, Alabama won, Ohio State won, Notre Dame won, Iowa won. Only Alabama’s win was impressive and yes it was fair more impressive than the pedestrian wins of the other four but for now status quo remains.

*Below the Top-5 went a little nutty. with four teams in the 6-10 slot losing.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS

Best shot at what I think might be the top-10 for this week….

1-Clemson
2-Alabama
3-Ohio State
4-Notre Dame
5-Iowa
6-Oklahoma
7-Oklahoma State
8-Florida
9-Michigan State
10-North Carolina

Yes… North Carolina will make a major jump from #23 up at least 10 spots and maybe more. The Heels will be in the 10-12 range this week.

The Committee ranks based on this season’s performance but it has tipped its hand that it also likes to rank based on conference title games and projections of what is to come. Since the committee places such an emphasis on conference champions for the playoff it will need to move UNC into a position to be considered for the playoff.

Which is why you will see Houston make a huge jump into the top-15 as well.

POWER-5 CONFERENCE TITLE GAMES

Where we stand at the moment…. (only 2 of the 8 spots have been locked down going to week-12 of the season).

ACC / Dec. 5 in Charlotte, NC

Clemson (In) vs. UNC/Pittsburgh
*UNC clinches will a win in either of its final two games or a Pitt loss.

BIG TEN / Dec. 5 in Indianapolis, IN

Iowa/Wisconsin vs. Ohio State/Michigan/Michigan State
*Iowa clinches west with a win in either of its final two games or a Wisconsin loss.
*OSU/Mich/MSU has mulitple scenarios. OSU in if it beats both MSU and Mich. Mich in if it wins final two. MSU is the only team that does NOT control its own destiny in this race. Spartans must beat Ohio State and hope Michigan loses.

PAC-12 / Dec. 5 in Santa Clara, CA

Stanford/Oregon vs. Utah/USC/UCLA
*Stanford clinches north with win over Cal. Oregon needs win and Stanford loss to Cal to claim title.
*Utah wins with wins over UCLA & Colorado. UCLA plays Utah & USC in next two. Bruins sweep would give them the title. USC needs wins over Oregon & win over UCLA and UCLA to beat Utah for Trojans to win tie-breaker.

SEC / Dec. 5 in Atlanta, GA

Florida (In) vs. Alabama/Ole Miss
*Alabama clinches with win over Auburn. Ole Miss needs wins over LSU & Mississippi State and Alabama loss to win title.

Almost amazing to consider the impact of the next two weeks on the potential playoff implications….

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF / STILL ALIVE

“Still alive” means.. still alive. Yes, some teams chances are minuscule (See: Houston) and 20 things have to happen, but the fact is — NOT… DEAD… YET…

Clemson
Alabama
Ohio State
Notre Dame
Iowa
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Florida
Michigan State
North Carolina
Houston

That’s 11. At the moment that is the ONLY 11, could change, probably will.

What we do know.

*The Pac-12 is now OUT. OUT!
*Notre Dame is, not yet, a lock
*Florida and North Carolina are now seriously in play.

HEISMAN TROPHY

One of the major national CFB studio hosts actually called him Leonard FOR-NAY. Not once, but three times during a hi-light reel of LSU’s loss Saturday. Yes we all make mistakes, but if you can’t have your name roll of the tongue of everyone in the country at this point….. (maybe you need a website – wait, scratch that)

Rising…

DeShaun Watson (Clemson) – passed for 360 and ran for 105 vs. Syracuse. The Tigers win was a small struggle but Watson was a one-man team on offense. Might be jump to be the current leader in the clubhouse.

Derrick Henry (Alabama) – 204 yard and apair of scores in impressive route of Mississippi State. 2nd in the nation in yards and impressing in key late season games.

Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State) – Hasn’t gotten enough credit for the being the rock that has salavaged OSU’s season. Without his clutch performances OSU would likely have lost at least two. With all the star QB’s crumbling around him Elliott rose to the challenge. Keep in mind Heisman voting tends to be regional, Elliott will get lots of love in the Midwest and NE. He could surprise and win the award.

Falling…

Leonard Fournette (LSU) – yes he stills leads the nation in rushing and yes the McNeese State cancellation is hurting now or he’d be on track for a 2,000 yards season. But two bad losses by his club where he gained barely 100 yards total in those key games will likely sink his chances to near zero.

Out…

Corey Coleman (Baylor) – Right or wrong, it is tremendously difficult to win this award as a wide out. Any hope Coleman had is gone now after catching only 3 balls and not scoring in loss to Oklahoma. OU’s Sterling Shepard made Coleman look bad, very bad.

Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) – He will gets west coast votes because not much of anyone else to vote for out there. Losing to Oregon was crippling to his campaign.

Trevone Boykin (TCU) – Injury… to insult.

STAND BY FOR NEWS! – If (IF!) any of the top-5 lose (or Multiple teams lose!) HANG ON BROTHER!

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