Last Tuesday, many fans were appalled by the first college football rankings of the year. Clemson was the 5th ranked team and many people thought Penn State didn’t deserve to be fourth. I’ve stated many time that I agreed with the committee. Actually, my top 4 teams would’ve been LSU, Ohio State, Penn State and Alabama. The Nittany Lions had played a much tougher schedule than either Alabama or Clemson. Like always, these things usually play itself out. This past weekend, Minnesota upset Penn State in a battle of unbeatens. In an epic game, LSU went to Tuscaloosa to beat Alabama as I predicted 46-41. The new rankings will likely show LSU, Ohio State and Clemson as the top 3 teams in the country. Who should be ranked 4th? There are about seven teams that can lay claim to that 4th spot so let’s analyze them.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama came into the weekend ranked #2 in the college football playoff. Of course, they fell at home to LSU by five points and they’ll definitely drop. The big question is, how far will the committee drop the Crimson Tide? Alabama haven’t really played a great schedule this season. The biggest win they bolster was against then 24th ranked Texas A&M. Alabama haven’t played a close game all season before they played LSU. The only tough game on their schedule in the final one at Auburn. The reason Alabama deserves to be ranked fourth is because their only loss came against arguably the best team. The argument against Alabama being fourth is that the only formidable opponent resulted in a loss.
The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a 27-0 win over SEC East foe, Missouri. As we all know, Georgia fell to South Carolina about a month ago. Ever since that loss, Georgia have won three games in a row in impressive fashion. They pitched two shutouts against Kentucky and Missouri and beat Florida to basically secure the SEC East. Georgia have beat two top-10 teams in Notre Dame and Florida this season. Georgia still has to face Auburn on the road and home against Texas A&M. The reason why Georgia would deserve the fourth ranking is because they probably have the best defense in the country. Georgia also have a pair of wins over a couple of then top-10 teams. The argument against Georgia being fourth would be that loss at home against South Carolina, who’s 4-6.
The Oregon Ducks are ranked 6th in the new AP and Coaches Poll. Oregon beat down the USC Trojans 56-24 on the road a couple weeks ago. Justin Herbert is considered one of the top QB prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft. While the offense gets a lot of the attention, the defense is one of the more underrated ones in the country. The Ducks defense is only allowing less than 16 points a game. Oregon loss their first game of the season against then 16th ranked Auburn. They have reeled off 8 games in a row and look to be on a collision course with Utah for the Pac-12 title and playoff berth. The reason the Ducks would deserve the fourth spot is because of their 8-game winning streak. The reason they don’t is because outside of Auburn, the only ranked team they’ve faced is 25th ranked Washington.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
This is the only team in this conversation that haven’t loss a game. Minnesota have flown under the radar throughout the season. This past weekend, they beat the previously undefeated Penn State Nittany Lions. With the win, Minnesota put themselves in position to play in the Big Ten Championship game. The Golden Gophers still have to face Iowa and Wisconsin in two of their final three games. Before the Penn State game, Illinois were there toughest opponent. Minnesota have hit their stride and they’re playing great football on both sides of the ball. The reason Minnesota should be ranked fourth is strictly off their win over the team that was ranked fourth. Penn State was having a great season and Minnesota found a way to beat the Nittany Lions. Minnesota shouldn’t be fourth because of their strength of schedule. Minnesota barely beat Georgia Southern and San Diego State.
Utah is currently ranked 8th in the latest polls. The Utes are coming off a tough 33-28 win in Washington to push their record to 8-1. As mentioned with Oregon, it looks like they’ll be in the Pac-12 Championship game. If Utah and Oregon are 11-1 going into the championship game, the game could determine a playoff berth. The lone loss on the Utes record came from USC on the road. Utah have only faced one ranked team and that was then 17th ranked Arizona State about a month ago. Since then, Arizona State continues to fall, and that win doesn’t look as good. Utah have a favorable schedule the rest of the way and should be 11-1 heading into the title game. Utah should be ranked fourth because of their tough defense. The reason the Utes shouldn’t be considered fourth is because of their easy schedule.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State is coming off their first loss of the season by falling in Minnesota. When the first college football rankings came out, many people argued Penn State shouldn’t be fourth? Coming into the Minnesota game, the Nittany Lions had three impressive wins. Two were against ranked teams as they beat Iowa and Michigan back-to-back weeks. They had a tough, hard-fought win against their rival, Pittsburgh also. Despite giving up 31 points to Minnesota, Penn State still have one of the better defenses. Penn State have a tough and scrappy Indiana team this coming weekend. In two weeks, they’ll travel to Columbus to battle Ohio State. The reason Penn State should remain fourth is because their lone loss came against undefeated Minnesota. The Nittany Lions shouldn’t be considered because they just loss, but still could prove themselves later.
Oklahoma is currently ranked 10th in the polls and still very much alive for the playoffs. Three weeks ago, they were beaten by an unranked Kansas State team. This week they barely edged the unranked Iowa State team 42-41. In their last two games, the Sooners defense have given up 89 points. Of course, those games were against teams that’s not ranked. Oklahoma still have road games against the undefeated 12th ranked Baylor Bears this weekend. The final game of the year will be against 23rd ranked Oklahoma State. The Sooners have only played one ranked team and that was then 11th ranked Texas. The reason the Sooners should be ranked fourth is because their offense is just as good as anyone’s in the country. With the way the Sooners have been playing the last two games, there’s no way they should be fourth.
Who do you think should be ranked fourth? How will the committee rank these 7 teams on Tuesday? How would you rank them? Leave some feedback below about the upcoming college football playoff rankings. Check out my top-10 playoff list below.
- LSU Tigers
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Clemson Tigers
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Oregon Ducks
- Minnesota Golden Gophers
- Penn State Nittany Lions
- Utah Utes
- Oklahoma Sooners