My college football final four after week 13

Movie Quote of the Day:

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it.”

– The Joker, The Dark Knight (2008)

CFB Playoff

The College Football Playoff Committee comes out with its next-to-last installment of the playoff rankings tonight. This is it. It’s the last week to show your stuff before the committee makes its final decision on Sunday. I’ve put together my own rankings and New Year’s Six bowl predictions. Here’s my rankings: (All rankings are current according to The Associated Press poll)

Final four:

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.

1. Clemson (12-0)

Clemson hasn’t been as impressive lately. I considered dropping them in my rankings, but I decided to keep them where they are. The Tigers haven’t been as great as they were toward the beginning of the season but this team is still undefeated. They don’t have a bad loss, and that makes it difficult for me to drop them. The Tigers have beat No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 10 Florida State. Those are two pretty good teams. They have a game against No. 8 North Carolina on Saturday. If Clemson wins that game, they’re a lock for the top rank in the playoff.

Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine.
Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine.

2. Oklahoma (11-1)

Oklahoma looks like the best team in the country. The Sooners have knocked off No. 12 Baylor, No. 11 TCU, and No. 14 Oklahoma State in back-to-back-to-back weeks. Oklahoma outscored those teams by a combined score of 132-86. One of those games was won despite quarterback Baker Mayfield (a Heisman trophy candidate) going down with an injury. I really wanted to put the Sooners at the No. 1 spot, but I couldn’t look past the loss to Texas.

Alabama DE A'Shawn Robinson.
Alabama DE A’Shawn Robinson.

3. Alabama (11-1)

I bumped Alabama down because I don’t know how good they are. The SEC has been awful all season. Every team in the SEC is terrible at the quarterback position. Alabama’s “big” wins are against teams who have now fallen apart and not ranked anymore, except LSU who entered the rankings again after defeating Texas A&M on Saturday. Alabama’s loss came at home to the best team that was on its schedule. This is a good team, but they’re not the No. 2 team in the country.

Michigan State QB Connor Cook.
Michigan State QB Connor Cook.

4. Michigan State (11-1)

Michigan State is a good team and I expect them to be Big Ten champions come Saturday evening. The Spartans have knocked off No. 6 Ohio State (with a backup quarterback and stout defense) and No. 19 Michigan. Those games came down to the wire, but a win is a win. The Spartans are a prime candidate for this No. 4 slot in the playoff. Michigan State has a bad loss to Nebraska (5-7), but Nebraska has lost five games by a combined 13 points (2.6 point differential per loss). If a couple of breaks go Nebraska’s way, this loss doesn’t look near as bad for Michigan State.

First four out:

Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett.
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett.

5. Ohio State (11-1)

Ohio State finally looked like the team we all expected before the season started on Saturday. Ohio State destroyed Michigan, 42-13. The talk has already started to put Ohio State in the playoff if someone in front of them gets beat. I think it will take two teams to lose for the committee to consider an Ohio State team who couldn’t win the Big Ten.

Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.

6. Stanford (10-2)

Imagine if Stanford hadn’t lost to Northwestern in week one. The Cardinal would have an 11-1 record. The only loss would be to an Oregon team that has been playing very well since mid-October. Even though Stanford has two losses, I think the committee should take a look at Stanford if there’s chaos within the top four. That is as long as Stanford wins the PAC-12, which I expect them to do.

Iowa RB Jordan Canzeri.
Iowa RB Jordan Canzeri.

7. Iowa (12-0)

I’m giving credit to Iowa for winning every game this season, but the fact is that Iowa hasn’t played anyone out of conference or in conference. I realize that the Hawkeyes can’t control whom they play in the Big Ten, but that doesn’t mean that I have to feel sorry for Iowa and give them respect. I’m not going to put Iowa in my final four unless they beat Michigan State on Saturday. Then I’ll finally say they deserve to be in the playoff.

Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer.
Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer.

8. Notre Dame (10-2)

Notre Dame has had a ton of injuries this season and they still finished with only two losses. I’m convinced if Notre Dame were healthy they would have a good chance of being the best team in the country and being a solid candidate to win the national championship. It’s been tough luck for the Fighting Irish this season, but they need to enjoy a New Years Six bowl bid.

New Years Six

New Year’s Six bowl predictions:

Rose: Stanford vs. Ohio State
Fiesta: Houston vs. Iowa
Cotton: No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 2 Oklahoma
Sugar: Ole Miss vs. Baylor
Peach: Florida State vs. Notre Dame
Orange: No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Clemson

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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