This college football season has been filled with twists and turns. It is difficult to truly find a clear #1 team in the nation. With many favorites being upset by opponents, the College Football Playoff may look much different than people think when December comes.
The pre-season favorite of Ohio State, has had some close calls this season. After narrowly beating an unranked Northern Illinois team 20-13, Ohio State struggled against an inferior Indiana University. They narrowly escaped the game, stopping Indiana on fourth and goal. The Buckeyes won 34-27. The main issue for them has been finding consistency at the quarterback position. JT Barrett and Cardale Jones have both played poorly at times, while having an occasional outstanding game. If they want to win the championship this year, either Barrett or Jones will have to distinguish himself as the true starter.
The second ranked Baylor Bears have been impressive early this season. Scoring a whopping 63.8 points per game has lead them to a 6-0 start. However, even the high-flying Bears aren’t perfect. They have concerns on the defensive side of the ball, having given up 31 points to Lamar University, and 35 point to Texas Tech University. Another issue for them remains their strength of schedule. Opponents such as Lamar, Rice and SMU don’t really bolster Baylor’s impressive stats. Their true tests will come later when they face Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU.
The third ranked Utah Utes have looked very impressive. They have beaten some very good teams including Michigan, California and Oregon. Their win against Oregon was very impressive as they outscored the Ducks, 62-20. Their offensive production has been lead by senior Devontae Booker. He is both their leading rusher, and receiver and has even thrown a touchdown pass this season. They still have some tough games down the road facing UCLA, USC and Arizona.
The fourth ranked Texas Christian University Horned Frogs have an explosive offense as well. The fewest amount of points they have scored this season is 23, but since that game they haven’t scored under 45 points. Their issue is their defense as well. They have narrowly escaped upsets from Texas Tech, and a rather underrated Kansas State team. Quarterback, Treyvon Boykin has had to lead to come from behind wins this year. If they want to make the playoffs, their defense will have to step up their game.
The rest of the top 10 consists of Clemson, LSU, Michigan State, Alabama, Florida State and Stanford. All of these teams have impressive wins, but have also had some close games where they haven’t played well. For example Michigan State beat the Oregon Ducks, but barely survived an upset from Purdue. Alabama lost to Ole Miss who got destroyed by Florida, but Alabama put a hurt on the talented Georgia Bulldogs.
No team is guaranteed a spot in this year’s playoff. Many of the top-10 teams still have very challenging games up ahead. After a first-half to the season with many crazy twists, it will be entertaining to see how the second half progresses, and see “Who’s In” for the 2016 College Football Playoff.