Written by: Neil Brown (@downtowneil)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Follow us on Twitter! @OS_Report
It is conference championship week and the top three teams will have a chance to cement their spot in the four-team college football playoff. Meanwhile, it appears that the fourth spot will come down to the wire this weekend as just seven points separates the 4-6 spots in our latest poll. Be sure to keep reading to see exactly where our panel of experts ranked your team.
The action this weekend kicks off on Friday night as Marcus ‘Heisman’ Mariota and the Oregon Ducks look to avenge their one loss this season against Arizona in the PAC-12 Championship game. Saturday’s big games start at 4 p.m. as the Alabama Crimson Tide looked to secure the No. 1 seed in the college football playoffs as they face Missouri in the SEC Championship game. Keep the coffee brewing and the remote close at night as there are three games that kick-off at 7:45 p.m. or later. There’s Grandpa Bill Snyder vs. the possibly Bryce Petty-less Baylor Bears. Then the third-string quarterback Buckeyes take on the possibly Melvin Gordon-less Badgers before we get the potential upset everyone wants to see in Famous Jameis vs. the boring triple option Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
1. Alabama (11-1): “The Crimson Tide started out slow, but then poured it on the Tigers in the Iron Bowl. While the defense still has yet to figure out how to stop a scrambling QB, the offense was very good. This offense just continues to get more and more explosive each week. Blake Sims consistency might be an issue, but with the receiving core that he has it is tough to put that as a concern for the Tide. Amari Cooper showed why he is considered the best wide receiver in college football, and with the running back combination of T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry the Tide will continue to roll their way into the College Football Playoff.” –Elijah Gonzalez
2. Oregon (11-1): “The Civil War is usually a challenge, but not this year. After dismantling Oregon State, 47-19, the Ducks have one final test against Arizona in the PAC-12 Championship game before they can secure a spot in the playoff. I wouldn't want to be the Wildcats this time around because Oregon is playing like nobody can beat them.” –Curt Ashcraft
3. Florida State (12-0): “Another week and another close Florida State victory. But something didn’t seem right about this victory. Florida has been garbage all season and yet Winston threw three first quarter interceptions. His focus and drive just weren’t there and it appeared that Jimbo Fisher noticed. The Seminoles need to be careful and focused this week as Georgia Tech can chew up clock and crack most every defense with their triple option.” –Neil Brown
4. TCU (10-1): “The Horned Frogs were very thankful on Thanksgiving after they annihilated the Texas Longhorns, 48-10. Their only loss on the season was in a shootout to Baylor, but since then, nobody can touch TCU. They may not have the traditional program, but there may not be another team in the country playing better right now than the Horned Frogs. They have EARNED a spot in the playoff...if they beat Iowa State.” –Curt Ashcraft
5. Ohio State (11-1): “The Buckeyes beat Michigan to rise to 11-1, despite losing redshirt freshman, JT Barrett, to a broken ankle. He's out for the season, so it's up to third stringer, Cardale Jones, to lead this team into the Big Ten Championship against Wisconsin. If they can manage a decisive win, and get a little help from Alabama or Florida State, or even Iowa State, then I think the Buckeyes will land in the #4 spot.” –Matt Shock
6. Baylor (10-1): “The Bears can move up big time in the polls if they can pull off a big win against Kansas State in the final week of the season. Baylor is in the same position they were in a season ago. They have a chance to win the BIG 12 Title in the last week of the season. In my opinion, a big win vs. KSU will put Baylor in the College Football Playoff.” –Elijah Gonzalez
7. Michigan State (10-2): “The Spartans handed it to Penn State on the road last week, but it won't be enough to move them back into contention since they’re not playing in the Big 10 Championship.” –Matt Shock
8. Mississippi State (10-2): “I thought this was going to be a blowout, but I thought Mississippi State was going to come out on top. This ends the Bulldog's playoff chances and it is time to retool for next season.” –Matt Ruskan
t-9. Arizona (10-2): “The Wildcats easily dispatched their in-state rivals and with help from Stanford they have secured a spot in the PAC-12 Championship. Now it’s Rich Rod’s chance to play spoiler for Oregon and win the school’s first football conference championship since 1993.” –Neil Brown
t-9. Wisconsin (10-2): “A big win over Minnesota and a chance for Wisconsin to beat a reeling Buckeye team without a quarterback. But are the Badgers seeing Roses already?” –Matt Ruskan