Over the past few weeks, if you're one of the (few) Clemson fans that read this site, you've been very happy with my College Football Playoff projections since I've had the Tigers at #1. Well, I've got good news and bad news for you. The bad news: I don't think they'll be there tomorrow. The good news: they're still safely in the Top Four.
Here's my College Football Playoff Top Four and New Year's Six projections ahead of the official announcement tomorrow.
The Top Four
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1)
Have to put the Tide at #1 this week. They are the best team in the country right now, with the best player in the country in Derrick Henry (240 carries, 1458 yards, 19 TDs). In fact, I'd be shocked if the committee didn't put them at #1. They're primed to run the table all the way to the semifinals in my opinion.
2. Clemson Tigers (10-0)
Clemson drops in part due in part to Alabama's dominance and due in part to their less than convincing win over Syracuse. The Tigers were on upset alert for much of the afternoon against a team they should have handled easily. They'll beat Wake Forest and South Carolina, but they'll be on serious upset alert against North Carolina in the ACC Championship.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)
The Bucks stay put because they basically did what they were supposed to do. They didn't overwhelm Illinois with points, but it was a win that they were expected to get as their defense did most of the work. Now comes the hard part: beating Michigan State on Senior Day and topping Michigan at the Big House.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1)
Same story for the Irish. Not a blowout win over Wake Forest in South Bend, but a win nonetheless. They should beat Boston College at Fenway Park on Saturday before taking on Stanford, who is now fully out of the playoff picture with a loss to Oregon.
First Two Out
Iowa (10-0): Hawkeyes stay put. Got the win against Minnesota (barely) so didn't do enough to move into the Top Four in my opinion.
Oklahoma (9-1): Big Game Bob strikes again. Huge win over Baylor, facing their toughest test of the season, to essentially knock the Bears out of the conversation.
Next Two Out
Oklahoma State (10-0): Cowboys move up a tad after escaping Ames with a win over Iowa State. We could be looking at the most significant Bedlam since 2011, when #3 Oklahoma State ripped the #10 Sooners 44-10 in Stillwater.
Florida (9-1): A lot of movement above the Gators (Stanford, LSU, Utah losing) have allowed them to get back in the hunt. They'll need to run the table and beat Alabama (provided the Tide don't slip) in Atlanta to get in.
Keep an eye on...
Michigan State (8-1): Mark Dantonio and Co. might not be out of it yet. A win over Ohio State might put them ahead in the East and should move them up at or near the Top Four.
Michigan (8-2): The Wolverines might be out of the playoff hunt with two losses, but might be able to firmly position themselves for a NY6 Bowl if they can take down Penn State in Happy Valley and Ohio State in The Big Game at home. I do have them in the Fiesta Bowl right now, though.
Houston (10-0): The Cougars will jump tomorrow after their win over Memphis, which will give them the edge over Navy as the top Group of Five school and in the driver's seat for a bid to the Fiesta Bowl.
New Years' Six and College Football Playoff Projections
|Rose Bowl Game||Stanford (Pac-12 #1)||Iowa (next-highest B1G team due to Ohio State in CFP)|
|Allstate Sugar Bowl||Oklahoma State (Big 12 #1)||Florida (next-highest SEC team due to Alabama in CFP)|
|Capital One Orange Bowl||(2) Clemson||(3) Ohio State|
|Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic||(1) Alabama||(4) Notre Dame|
|Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl||Oklahoma (at-large)||Michigan State (at-large)|
|Vizio Fiesta Bowl||Houston (Group of Five #1)||Michigan (at-large)|
|2016 College Football Playoff National Championship||(1) Alabama||(3) Ohio State|