College Football Playoff Rankings: How the Top 6 Teams Stack Up
College football is easily one of the most debatable sports. Thanks to the continued success of many top teams, opinions on where each program stands from a historical perspective tend to vary from person to person. Yet, as fun as it is to have these sort of discussions, it’s important not to get too wrapped up in the past. For, as we speak, some pretty good football is taking place right before our eyes.
The 2016 college football season has been filled with plenty of excitement. From down-to-the-wire finishes to massive blowouts, we’ve been treated to one epic game after another. Yet, soon enough, the top four teams in the land will separate themselves from the rest and compete on the grand stage of the College Football Playoff. With the latest release of the CFP rankings, it’s safe to say we’re one step closer to the end of the road.
Not everyone will agree with all of the selection committee’s choices. However, as it currently stands, here’s a look at the top six teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.
6. Washington Huskies
One week after jumping into the top four of the CFP rankings, the Washington Huskies suffered their first defeat of the season, a 26-13 loss to the USC Trojans. With this latest setback, Chris Petersen and company once again find themselves on the outstanding looking in. Still, given how quickly the tide can change in college football, there’s nothing wrong with sitting in the sixth position; especially when you’re putting up 44.8 points per game (four of 128) and have a superstar like Jake Browning under center. There’s no reason to count the 9-1 Huskies out just yet.
5. Louisville Cardinals
After demolishing Wake Forest 44-12 in Week 11, a strong case can be made for Louisville’s inclusion in the top four. Unfortunately, their fifth straight victory was only good enough to move the Cardinals up one spot to No. 5 in the latest CFP rankings. Of course, with Heisman front-runner Lamar Jackson running the show, Louisville certainly has the firepower needed to crash the College Football Playoff. As long as this group continues to put up massive numbers on the scoreboard (the Cardinals currently average 49.6 points per game; tops in college football), a shot at a national championship is not out of the picture.
4. Clemson Tigers
After cutting it close for much of the 2016 season, the Clemson Tigers finally suffered their first loss of the year, falling at home to Pittsburgh 43-42. Oddly enough, this slip up wasn’t as detrimental to the group’s championship hopes as one might have thought. The Tigers only dropped two spots in both the latest AP poll (down to No. 5) and CFP standings (down to No. 4) and remain firmly entrenched in the playoff hunt. If Deshaun Watson and company can win the rest of their games, it’d be hard to imagine the selection committee keeping them out of the top four.
3. Michigan Wolverines
Despite losing their first game of the season, the Michigan Wolverines hold strong at No. 3 in the latest CFP rankings. On the season, Jim Harbaugh’s group is putting up 44.5 points per game (fifth of 128), limiting the opposition to just 11.0 points per contest (first of 128), and hold the No. 4 ranking in the latest AP Top 25 with a 9-1 record. While a perfect record would have made things a lot easier for Jim Harbaugh and company, as far as the Wolverines’ playoff chances are concerned, it’s not the end of the world. Yet.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes were the main beneficiaries of a crazy week in college football. With three of the top four teams in the country suffering loses, Urban Meyer and company jumped three spots in the last CFP rankings to No. 2. At this moment in time, the Buckeyes are putting up 46.5 points per game (second of 128), limiting the opposition to just 12.7 points per contest (sixth of 128), and hold the No. 2 ranking in the latest AP Top 25. Ohio State still has its much-anticipated matchup with Michigan in the final weekend of the season. However, with the way the Buckeyes are playing, they should feel pretty about their chances of coming out on top.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide are best team in the country and it’s been that way since the start of the 2016 season. Nick Saban’s bunch has been dominant on both sides of the ball, consistently overpowering every opponent who gets in its path. The Tide are where they belong (at No. 1), and it’s hard to imagine anyone toppling them.