Six weeks of College Football have come and gone, and week six arguably had the largest implications on the inaugural playoff than any other week so far. With 11 of the top 25 teams losing, including four of the top six, there will be multiple differences from previous playoff forecasts (though this is the first edition from footballsavages.com). Let’s get to it then.
#1 Seed- Florida State
You could make the argument that Florida State does not deserve the #1 seed at this point in the season, especially with such a light schedule so far. However, that all changes in several weeks, when Everett Golson and the undefeated #6 seed Notre Dame make the trip to Tallahassee. The October 18th match-up will be the toughest game on Florida State’s schedule by far, and if they need to win versus the Fighting Irish if they want a chance to make the inaugural college football playoffs come early January. In my opinion, a one-loss ACC team does not deserve the opportunity to play for the National Championship.
#2 Seed- Auburn
After Ole Miss gave Alabama their first loss of the season on Saturday, the favorite to win the South Eastern Conference is the Auburn Tigers. That being said, favorite is a term used very loosely in this situation. The SEC-West is easily the toughest division in football. Four of the seven teams in the West division are ranked in the top 7, and Texas A&M is ranked 14th in the AP Top 25. The final two teams, LSU and Arkansas, also received a significant number of votes in the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. In reality, there is no true favorite to win the SEC West and any team could win the SEC at this point. I believe that Auburn is the most likely team to run the table though, and that’s why they’re the #2 seed.
#3 Seed – Baylor
I am not a fan of this pick at all, but if the Baylor Bears finish the season undefeated and win the Big 12, then they’re a lock for the playoff. While the Bears are an excellent team, I am still not sold on them being the best team in the Big 12. The Bears have a tough test this week as #9 Texas Christian comes to town, riding the momentum off of their stunning win over Oklahoma. The fate of their season will most likely rely be determined during a two-game stretch in the middle of November, when they face former top 5 team Oklahoma in Norman, and then come home to face Oklahoma State in back-to-back weeks. Baylor would then finish the season against #17 Kansas State, who always plays hard for their coach Bill Snyder. It would not surprise if the Baylor Bears finish the regular season with two or more losses. They’re the #3 seed for now though.
#4 Seed- Ole Miss
Two SEC West teams in a four-team playoff? Of course. The SEC West is the best division in the FBS by far, and the whole point of switching from the BCS system to a playoff system was to have the best teams play for the National Championship come January 2015. A one-loss SEC West team is still a top four team in the country and, if the dominoes fall correctly, I envision a scenario where three SEC West teams, including two one-loss teams, could be playing multiple games in January.
Right now, Ole Miss holds the tiebreaker over Alabama, and they should finish the season with no more than one loss. In this scenario, that one loss would be to the #2 Auburn Tigers. The way the Rebels are playing defense right now, it would be tough to score any points offensively. Ole Miss is currently allowing opposing offenses to score only 10.2 points per game. That makes their upcoming matchups against the high-powered offenses of Texas A&M (47.8 points per game, 3rd in FBS) and Auburn (42.0 points per game, 15th in FBS) must watch games. After their signature win over Alabama, it might be difficult to recreate that performance. I am a believer in Coach Hugh Freeze’s team, and as long as Bo Wallace can perform like he did in the second half versus Alabama, the Rebels should have a strong argument for a playoff spot come January.