Jonathan’s College Football Top 25

Jonathan thought the Little Hawk should come up with our own college football top 25, so we did!

Jonathan House, Reporter

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The latest college football playoff rankings were released on Tuesday by the college football selection committee, with Alabama coming in at #1, Oregon at #2, Florida State at #3, and Mississippi State at #4. Here are our rankings:

 

1. Alabama

The Crimson Tide aren’t undefeated, but they beat previous #1 Mississippi State, and they have one of the toughest schedules playing in the toughest division of the toughest conference in college football. They still have to play in the Iron Bowl against Auburn, as well as the SEC East champion, two games that will have major playoff implications. This week shouldn’t be too tough, they play Western Carolina in a glorified scrimmage.

2.  Florida State

Yes, the Seminoles are undefeated, and yes, they have Jameis Winston, the best player in college football. The Seminoles just haven’t really proved themselves quite yet. They have only played three teams in the top 25, and one of them was Notre Dame, a team that just lost to a mediocre Northwestern team at home, and they struggled against Miami. The game against Florida in two weeks, as well as the ACC championship should tell us more, but right now, they aren’t worthy of being #1.

3. Oregon

The Ducks have played a tougher schedule than Florida St, but also have a loss to Arizona. This isn’t too bad considering that Arizona is currently ranked at 14. The Ducks also have wins over UCLA, and Utah. In addition to the difficult conference schedule, they have a quality non-conference win over Big 10 powerhouse Michigan State. If the Ducks beat Colorado, Oregon State, and win the PAC 12 championship, they definitely deserve a spot in the playoff.

4. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs were undefeated until last Saturday, when they lost to Alabama. They have played a brutal conference schedule, beating LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn, all of which were ranked in the top 10 when they played them. They still have to play Mississippi in two weeks, after playing SEC bottom feeder Vanderbilt this week. The question remains, will the selection committee put two SEC teams in? Mississippi State is worthy, but so is TCU.

5. TCU

The Horned Frogs (one of the greatest mascots in college sports) have one loss to Baylor, currently #6 in the AP poll. They have played a very tough schedule, including games against Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State, and West Virginia. All of which were ranked when they played them. They also have a good non-conference win against Big 10 surprise Minnesota. They almost lost to Kansas, which likely cost them ground in other polls. They have a bye week, and then a good chance to win out with games against Texas, and Iowa State.

6. Baylor

The Bears have played some difficult games as well. They are the only team to have beaten TCU, but lost to West Virginia. They still have games against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Kansas State. They need help, but could make their case to be  included in the playoff.

7. Ohio State

The Buckeyes are the highest ranking Big 10 team, and have been somewhat inconsistent. They lost star QB Braxton Miller before the season started, but J.T. Barrett has stepped up. Ohio State has beaten two ranked teams, on the road, in two weeks, including Michigan State, a team that was undefeated in conference. They have pretty easy games against winless in conference Indiana, and Michigan. The early season loss to a very average Virginia Tech team stands out. If they win out, and some other teams lose, they could end up in the playoffs.

8. Mississippi

The Rebels are 8-2, and are the only team to beat Alabama this season. Following a bye week, and a 48-0 win over Presbyterian, (which was pretty much a bye week) the last two weeks, the Rebels take on Arkansas, with former Little Hawk AJ Derby, and Mississippi the next two weeks.

9. Michigan State

The Spartans are 8-2, with losses to Ohio State, and at Oregon. Michigan State could’ve found themselves in the playoff with a win over Ohio State, with their only loss being at Oregon, who I have at #3. That now is very unlikely, but if they win two games against average Rutgers and Penn State, they should find themselves in a nice postseason destination.

10. Georgia

The Bulldogs will finish the season with non-conference games against Charleston Southern, and Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech should provide a challenge, and they still might have to play in the SEC championship game. These games will be made more difficult after losing star RB Todd Gurley for the season.

 11. UCLA

The Bruins have only two losses to Oregon, and Utah. They also have beat Arizona and Arizona State, both of which are ranked. They have two big games coming up against rival USC on Saturday night, followed by a game against Stanford.

12. Kansas State

The Wildcats have a big win, they beat Oklahoma by a point in mid-October. Besides that, in their big games, they have struggled. Kansas State lost to Auburn back in September, and were disassembled by TCU. They still have to play Baylor on December 6, a game that could help decide the Big 12 champion.

13. Arizona State

The Sun Devils have lost to UCLA and an average Oregon State team. Besides those setbacks, they have quality wins over USC, Stanford, Utah, and Notre Dame, made less impressive after Notre Dame lost to Northwestern.

14. Wisconsin

The Badgers had early season losses to LSU and Northwestern. Since then they have won 5 in a row, including a huge 59-24 win over Nebraska, in which Melvin Gordon set a new single game NCAA record with 408 yards. They play Iowa and Minnesota in the next two weeks, two games that could decide the Big 10 west, if they win out, they will play in Indianapolis for the Big 10 championship.

15. Auburn

The Tigers have struggled the last two weeks, losing to Texas A&M, and Georgia. Besides a loss to a very talented Mississippi State team, they have impressive wins over Kansas State, LSU, and Ole Miss. They play Alabama on November 29th, in another exciting game. The SEC West still is the best division in college football.

16. Arizona

The other Wildcats are the only team to beat Oregon, but besides that, have struggled in big games. They lost to both UCLA and USC. A one point win against an average Washington team doesn’t help them either. They play Utah and Arizona State in the next two weeks.

17. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets have played an easy schedule, but they have only two losses at this point in the season. Losing to Duke and North Carolina hurt their resume, but a win over Clemson helped. They play my #10 team, Georgia on November 29th.

18. Nebraska

The Cornhuskers are probably only the fourth best team in the Big 10, losing to Michigan State and Wisconsin. They have won most of their other games convincingly, for the exception of an early season game against McNeese State, which they only won by 7. They still have big games against Minnesota and Iowa, to help decide the Big 10 west.

19. Marshall

The Thundering Hurd are undefeated, but haven’t played anyone in the top 25. They have won their games by a wide margin, so I feel they deserve some credit, despite the fact they aren’t ranked in the playoff ranking.

20. Missouri

The other Tigers have losses to Georgia and Indiana. They play in the toughest conference in college football, and have defeated South Carolina, and Texas A&M. The loss to Indiana really stands out though. The Hoosiers have never been known for their football, and this year is no different. They are 3-7, winless in the Big 10, and lost to Bowling Green. How did Missouri lose to them? I honestly don’t know.

21. Utah

The Utes have been inconsistent, losing to a 3-7 Washington State team, but beating a very good UCLA team. They also have played in close games, beating Oregon State and Stanford in double OT, but losing to Arizona State in OT, also the loss to WSU was only by a point. They still play my #16 Arizona, and Colorado.

22. Oklahoma

The Sooners have lost to the other three ranked teams in the Big 12, but besides that have won every game, including a non-conference game against Tennessee. They should win out, playing Kansas, and having an extra week to prepare for Oklahoma State.

23. USC

The Trojans have been good-but not great all season. They lost to Arizona State, Utah, and lost to an alright Boston College team early in the season. They still have big games against UCLA and Notre Dame.

24. Duke

The Blue Devils only losses are to Miami and Virginia Tech. They needed double overtime to defeat a below average Pittsburgh team, but beat my #17 team Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are the only ranked team they have played, which doesn’t help them get many schedule points.

25. Colorado State

The Rams have been strong lately, after losing their second game of the season to a good Boise State team. They should beat New Mexico, but an 8-2 Air Force team could spell trouble, when they play on Friday, November 28th.

 

Others to watch:

Notre Dame, LSU, Minnesota, Clemson, Boise State