Buckeye50 Playoff Picks – December 1, 2020

Week 2: Playoff Rankings

Unfortunately, Ohio State had an increase in positive COVID-19 tests within their program and made the decision to cancel their game against Illinois in order to try and make sure they are able to plat the next two weeks to qualify for the Big Ten Championship game. They technically are still ok in the playoff hunt because the committee does not have a minimum game requirement, however, one of the criteria in evaluating head to head match ups is looking at conference championships, and that would help benefit the Buckeyes for their positioning. Northwestern lost to Michigan State over the weekend, so now they have to win out or there is a chance Iowa is able to claim the Big Ten West champion. 

There is still a lot of time left, and the committee is still committed to the dates in place for the playoff games. so the conferences are all trying to get as many games in as they can before Selection Sunday on December 20th. The top three teams were able to play, and rolled into their wins, each looking like a top 4 team. Texas A&M shut out LSU, but had issues with their passing game. Florida was able to win their game behind Kyle Trask once more, and are 1 game away from clinching the SEC East, where they are most likely to play Alabama, unless Alabama loses their next 2 games (Which is not very likely).

In the ACC, Notre Dame and Clemson seem to be on a collision course for a rematch after North Carolina lost, and Miami is trying to get in its games, but would need Clemson and Notre Dame to lose their last two games of the season. (Once more, not a likely scenario)

We will see that the committee will do with the group of 5 teams, as there are still several undefeated, and Coastal Carolina will face Liberty this weekend to try and remain unbeaten. Will this be a year a group of 5 team can crash the party?

The PAC-12 is still on life support, and with Oregon losing, their top ranked team is out of range for the playoff. Of the remaining undefeateds, they would need a lot of help from the teams above them losing to try and make their way back into the conversation. 

Ultimately, and personally, I think there are several solid teams this season, each though with flaws, but I really hope the committee reconsiders their stance on expansion, especially with how difficult the task will be to select the 4 best teams, without looking at the eventual National Champion with an asterisk. 

How We Voted

Buckeye50 Playoff Poll – Alabama remains at the top spot, and looked dominant against their rival Auburn even without Nick Saban on the sideline. They have one of the better resumes, and their talent continues to help them. Mac Jones also passed for 5 touchdowns, the second player ever to do so against Auburn. They are one game away from clinching the SEC West, and they look to be on a collision course with Florida for the SEC Championship Game.

Notre Dame seems to have turned a corner since the Clemson game. Too easy is it to forget this was the same team that only beat Louisville this year 12-7. They beat North Carolina at North Carolina, and looked good doing so, after going back and forth in the 1st quarter. There is some optimism too with Ian Book, and how this team will fare if they have to play Clemson again in the ACC Championship Game.

Despite the unplanned bye, Ohio State stays in the third spot, and they might be in the committees 4th spot too tonight. They key is they need to get the games in on their schedule, and this weeks game against Michigan State is a must play game, not only to compete for a Big Ten Title, but to keep in the playoff discussion. Talent wise, they are one of the top 4 teams, and have not looks as strong on the defensive side of the ball, but they just need to win, and a Big Ten Champion Ohio State team looks better than a 5-0 or 6-0 Ohio State team that played in the 2nd place game because of disqualification.

Clemson stays in the 4th spot, and the loss is a good loss, but still hard to over look. At this point, Clemson actually has the most risk, even more than Ohio State, because if they lose again to Notre Dame in a potential rematch, they will have 2 loses and are out. They need to win out to stay in the discussion, and we were reminded how good they against a middle of the road ACC team in Pitt, and took of to a 31-0 lead in the first half. Trevor Lawrence showed why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. 

Cincinnati stays at our 5th spot, and had a bye week after their game with Temple was postponed. They are still trying to be one of the top group of 5 teams to get in a NY6 bowl, and potentially crash the Playoff Party. They are one of the more balanced teams in the country on offense and defense.

Florida remains at the 6th spot, and has a chance to make it if they win out and beat Alabama in the SEC Championship game. At the moment, the Texas A&M loss was a close loss, and can be almost overlooked. There can be some debate if they played again, Florida would win, but they still have that loss on their record. Kyle Trask has been playing really well, and the defense for the Gators just needs to keep the opponents at bay enough to get a win for the offense, but they are a very talented team.

AndyAlabamaNotre DameClemsonOhio StateCincinnatiFlorida
CoryAlabamaNotre DameClemsonOhio StateFloridaTexas A&M
Dr. MarkAlabamaNotre DameOhio StateClemsonFloridaCincinnati
GreggAlabamaNotre DameOhio StateClemsonCincinnatiTexas A&M
JohnAlabamaNotre DameOhio StateClemsonCincinnatiFlorida
JoshAlabamaNotre DameOhio StateClemsonCincinnatiFlorida
PJSBuckAlabamaClemsonNotre DameOhio StateTexas A&MCincinnati
RickAlabamaClemsonOhio StateNotre DameTexas A&MCincinnati
StevenAlabamaNotre DameClemsonOhio StateFlorida Cincinnati

Here is how we voted, lets us know how you predict the rankings will go!  Who is your top 4?


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