Who’s Still Standing? – College Football Playoff Contenders

Tuesday’s College Football Playoff Rankings Still Mean Nothing

On Tuesday, the College Football Playoff Committee will release their third edition of playoff rankings. This is just a friendly reminder, the rankings release is just another cash grab by the NCAA and ESPN to generate excitement. Right now, no one has a clue who will actually be the last four standing. Everything is so convoluted for the sake of debate. For sanity’s sake, here’s a clearer view of where every contender stands right now. 

There are three tiers of teams to look at: Undefeated and one-loss Power 5 teams, of course, but also two-loss teams with really good losses. While no team with two losses has ever made the college football playoff, one team, if not many, have a legitimate shot at changing that.


(Rankings based on AP Top 25)

1. Alabama (10-0)

A loss to Auburn in two weeks would put Saban and the Tide in a weird spot. Otherwise, Bama seems destined for another playoff appearance.

2. Miami (9-0)

The Canes still have an ACC title matchup with Clemson looming. Right now it looks like it could be a de facto playoff play-in game.

5. Wisconsin (10-0)

With Alabama/Auburn and Miami/Clemson still on the horizon, Wisconsin just needs to take care of their own business.  Their first test, the weekend versus Michigan. Then they need to win the Big 1o title. It will be hard to leave a Power 5 team with a zero in the loss column out of the playoff.

14. Central Florida (9-0)

They’re undefeated, but their non-Power 5 schedule really hurts. They need everyone to lose, like twice. 

One Loss

3. Oklahoma (9-1)

Baker Mayfield and the Sooners are in the driver’s seat. They just need to avoid the trap against Kansas, take care of a West Virginia team that they are better than, and win the Big 12. They have the easiest road to the playoffs out of any team still remaining.

4. Clemson (9-1)

All eyes are on the ACC Championship game between Miami and the defending National Champs. It’s most likely that the winner is in the playoffs and the loser is out.

7. Georgia (9-1)

Georgia needs to redeem themselves in the SEC Championship Game. Right now, it looks as if only a conference title will land the Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff.

Legitimate Two Losses, Power 5

6. Auburn (8-2)

Auburn is still alive based on the notion they win out. If they win out that would entail beating Alabama at home on the 25th and then beating a one-loss Georgia in the SEC Championship. Basically, the Tiger’s control their own destiny. 

8. Ohio State (8-2)

The Buckeyes need a lot of help from the top to sneak into the playoffs. They need Alabama to win the SEC title and Miami to beat Clemson. Then Ohio State needs to beat Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship. The cards have to fall the right way but don’t count these guys out yet.

Next In Line Should Everything Hit the Fan

9. Notre Dame (8-2)

12. USC (9-2)

13. Penn St. (8-2)




NC FBS Report Week 11

Week 11 Scoreboard

Week 11 had a little bit of everything. Check it out here.

Mountaineers Get Back on Track

Georgia Southern (0-9, 0-5) 6
Appalachian State (6-4, 5-1) 27

App State made easy work of their rivals at home Thursday night. Marcus Williams Jr. paced the Mountaineer offense. The freshman RB from Rocky Mount, NC rushed the ball 28 times for 130 yards. Taylor Lamb did as Taylor Lamb does. Lamb completed seven of his fifteen attempts for 161 yards and two touchdowns. One to Collin Reed, one to Ike Lewis. “We’ve got it down pat,” Lamb said. “If they got one-on-one with (Lewis), that’s where we are going.” On defense, Austin Exford, Antonious Sims, and Rashaad Townes all recorded a sack each. For the most part, the game was in the Mountaineers’ favor throughout the afternoon. 

With the win, the Mountaineers are now bowl-eligible. “It’s awesome to get six wins,” App State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “It’s really fitting and nice to get it against Georgia Southern, that’s awesome too, against our big rival team.”

Heels Notch Second Win of Season

North Carolina (2-8, 1-6) 34
Pittsburgh (4-6, 2-4) 31

Eleven days between games proved to be beneficial to the beat-up Tar Heels Thursday Night. Nathan Elliott threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns as Carolina earned their first conference victory of the season in Pittsburgh. Anthony Ratliff-Williams was a playmaker all night for the Heels. For starters, he returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Later, Ratliff-Williams took a reverse handoff on an end-around play, pulled up and launched a bomb to Josh Cabrera for a 35-yard touchdown.  The day wasn’t over for ARW. Midway through the fourth, Elliott hit Ratliff-Williams in the end zone with the eventual game-winning touchdown. In total, the sophomore ended the day with five receptions for 75 yards, 230 total yards, and three total touchdowns.

ARW after the game, “I’m tired.” Heels Head Coach Larry Fedora, “You go on the road in the ACC and win here, that’s a tough thing to do. I’m proud of those guys. It’s something they can build off of. The staff and the seniors have done a great job of keeping them close and keeping them believing. Good things are starting to happen.”

Pack Survive Scare

#23 NC State (7-3, 5-1) 17
Boston College (5-5, 3-4) 14

#9 Notre Dame, #4 Clemson: acceptable losses. Unranked Boston College: unacceptable. Fortunately for NC State, a healthy Nyheim Hines wasn’t ready to let that happen. Hines led the Pack with 110 rushing yards, none bigger than the 50-yard scamper early in the fourth for the eventual game-winning touchdown. “Not only did we have him, but we had him back healthy,” said Dave Doeren after the game. Furthermore, he added that Hines was a “difference maker.”

Though Ryan Finley has put together a stellar season to date, Saturday he played rather pedestrian. The junior from Phoenix, AZ only completed 13 of 32 pass attempts for 146 yards. In terms of team stats, the two squads were essentially even. Total yards: NCST 367-347. Time of possession: NCST 30:28-29:32. Turnovers: 2-2. First downs: BC 20-17.

Army Fends of Devils

Duke (4-6, 1-3) 16
Army (8-2) 21

After starting the season 4-0, Duke is struggling to find a win. The sixth and most recent loss came at the hands of Army in West Point Saturday Afternoon. The Black Knights raced out to a 21-3 lead at halftime and never looked back. Duke rallied and cut the lead to five in the fourth quarter, but that was as close as the Blue Devils would come to victory. 

Coach Cutcliffe’s Devils struggled both on the ground and through the air. For the afternoon, Daniel Jones and the passing attack accounted for 164 of Duke’s 253 total yards. The struggling Blue Devil backfield accounted for the other 89 yards. Duke now must when their last two regular-season games to become bowl eligible. With Georgia Tech and Wake Forest left on the schedule, the road to bowl season is uphill for the Devils. 

Charlotte Falls at Home Again

Middle Tennessee (5-5, 3-3) 35
UNC-Charlotte (1-9, 1-5) 21

It’s been the theme of Charlotte’s season. A team gets out to an early lead and the 49ers can’t do enough to keep up. Saturday’s matchup with Middle Tennessee was no exception. The Blue Raiders used a 28-7 halftime lead to cruise to an easy victory. In total, Middle Tennessee outgained UNCC 457-356 and held the ball five minutes longer than the 49ers. Charlotte couldn’t contain Middle Tennessee’s run game at all. Tavares Thomas carried the ball 29 times for the Blue Raiders and totaled 195 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

“I was disappointed they ran the ball the way they did with 202 yards and Thomas had 195,” Charlotte Head Coach Brad Lambert said. We can’t allow that.” It also appears theirs a full-on kicking competition open in Charlotte. “Starting” Kicker Nigel Macauley has only made three out of ten field goal attempts this season. “We can’t make a field goal,” Lambert said. “We’re just going to go for it. We’ll let Kyle [Corbett] try and see if he can make some. We can’t keep coming up empty-handed all the time.”

Wake Hangs a 60-Burger on ‘Cuse

Wake Forest (6-4, 3-3) 64
Syracuse (4-6, 2-4) 43

Carrier Dome scoreboard operators were busy Saturday afternoon as the Orange and Demon Deacons combined for 107 points. The second half featured a furious comeback by Wake Forest. At halftime, Syracuse held a 38-24 led. By the end of the third quarter, it was 43-40 Orange. Then Wake Forest took over. In the fourth quarter, the Deacons scored 24 unanswered points to walk away with the conference victory.

John Wolford and Matt Colburn had outstanding days for Wake Forest. Colburn ran for 237 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. Wolford completed 25 of 38 passes for 363 passing yards, he also ran for 136 yards and scored six touchdowns in total. Wolford couldn’t take all the credit though, “The defense played lights out in the second half and we obviously put up some points. When you put all of those things together you’re going to come out with a win.”

Pirates Drowned in OT

Tulane (4-6, 2-4) 31
East Carolina (2-8, 2-5) 24

After trailing by ten at one point, ECU tied their conference bout with Tulane late in the fourth quarter. However, the Pirates couldn’t complete the comeback in overtime. In the extra session, Tulane took possession first and scored a touchdown. During their overtime possession, the Pirates drove to the one-yard line, but Darius Pinnix was denied on fourth and one to end the game. 

“I just take a lot of pain out of this one, that’s about it,” a distraught Scottie Montgomery said after the loss. “There’s no moral victories. We didn’t come out here tonight to play close and go to overtime. We came out here to win.”

NC FBS Power Rankings

1 NC State (7-3, 5-1)
2 Wake Forest (6-4, 3-3)
3 Appalachian State (6-4, 5-1)
4 Duke (4-6, 1-3)
5 North Carolina (2-8, 1-6) +1
6 East Carolina (2-8, 2-5) -1
7 UNC-Charlotte (1-9, 1-5)

Week 12 Games and Predictions

  • Cincinnati (3-7, 1-5) at East Carolina – Saturday, 12:00 PM
    • Prediction: Cincy
  • Western Carolina (7-4) at North Carolina – Saturday, 3:00 PM
    • Prediction: UNC
  • UNC-Charlotte at Southern Mississippi (6-4, 4-2) – Saturday, 3:00 PM
    • Prediction: So Miss
  • Georgia Tech (5-4, 4-3) at Duke – Saturday, 3:30 PM
    • Prediction: GT
  • NC State at Wake Forest – Saturday, 7:30 PM
    • Prediction: NCST

*RONGY- 44-24 (W11: 6-1) through Week 11 Picks*

NC FBS Report Week 10

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