After seven weeks of games, the college football playoff picture is a more convoluted than any expert could have imagined. This past week saw two teams from Mississippi win enormous games for the second week in a row. Third-ranked (at the time) Mississippi State beat second-ranked Auburn, and then surpassed Florida State as the number one team in this week’s AP polls. Florida State fell to number two. Ole Miss, who has beaten Alabama and Texas A&M in the last two weeks, came in at number three. Baylor and Notre Dame, who both escaped from scary close contests, rounded out the top five in this weeks AP polls.
Notre Dame travels to Tallahassee next week for a battle with Florida State in a game that will be extremely significant in the playoff picture. I originally expected Florida State to win this game without much of a problem, but the potential suspension of reigning Heisman Trophy winning QB Jameis Winston has left college football fans clueless to what will happen.
Winston is under investigation for allegedly selling autographs. Georgia’s sensational running back Todd Gurley was proven guilty of the same “crime” two weeks ago, and has been banned from playing in games ever since. If Winston is ruled ineligible, or if Florida State sits him to avoid punishment, it could mean the worst nightmare for Boston College fans: glory for the Irish.
The ACC has looked absolutely dreadful lately. Boston College had the opportunity to put itself in the national spotlight, but lost a heartbreaker to Colorado State two weeks ago. Pittsburgh has lost three consecutive games, and Georgia Tech’s loss to a Duke team that is not comparable to the team of last year brings further parity to the league. Clemson and Florida State are the lone ranked teams, but Georgia embarrassed Clemson earlier in the year.
In other news, Baylor stunned the college football world by coming back from a 21-point fourth quarter deficit last week against formally number nine TCU. The Bears still have to play Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma, but the win keeps them primed for the chance to win the conference, and sneak there way into the playoff. The eventual Baylor-Oklahoma matchup is a huge game in early November.
If the Mississippi teams win out, then their meeting on the last Saturday of the college football regular season will be one of the most anticipated games in college sports history. The “Egg Bowl” hasn’t been a relevant game in decades. Before this potentially earth-shattering matchup, Ole Miss has to survive an Auburn team that looked far from flawless in their loss to Mississippi State, and State needs to beat an Alabama that appears to be the worst Crimson Tide team in six years.
As of this week, my money is on Mississippi State, Florida State, and a one-loss Ole Miss and Oklahoma to make it into the inaugural college football playoff. Watch out for Oregon, Georgia, or Michigan State to run their respective tables and earn a bid though. This is nearly impossible to gauge thanks to the chaotic nature of college football, but that’s exactly what makes it such an amazing sport to watch.