3 predictions on initial College Football Playoff rankings

The initial College Football Playoff rankings will be announced this evening at 7:00 pm ET. College football is not an exact science, add in the fact that humans are the ones making the decisions on all the rankings and you’ve got yourself instant controversy. When you are watching the initial rankings tonight, keep in mind that there is a lot of football left to be played. Tonight’s rankings can and most likely will change.

Clemson, barring a huge goof on behalf of the committee, will be listed in the top four of tonight’s College Football Playoff rankings. The Tigers secured a 37-34 victory over Florida State which should look good in the eyes of the committee. It will be interesting to see where the Tigers land. Many compare this Clemson squad to the 2014 Florida State team and last seasons Ohio State team because of their perceived Championship hangover.

Oct 29, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Bradrick Shaw (7) celebrates following the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin will leap frog Texas A&M

Wisconsin (8) currently sits below Texas A&M (7) in the AP Poll. The Aggies are deserving of their ranking. However, Wisconsin, even with the two losses, has the more impressive resume. As it stands, the Badgers have defeated two teams within the AP top 15, LSU (15) and Nebraska (9). Texas A&M on the other hand, has only defeated one team ranked within the AP top 15 in Auburn (11).

As odd as it sounds Wisconsin also has better losses than Texas A&M. The Badgers two losses came at the hands of Michigan (2) and Ohio State (6), by a combined 14 points. Michigan and Ohio State are two of the best teams in the country and Wisconsin took them both to the wire. Texas A&M’s only loss was to the number one team in the country in Alabama, however, the Aggies were beaten 33-14.

I believe that Wisconsin’s victory over ninth ranked Nebraska will be fresh in the minds of the committee. Texas A&M is still a quality team and I think they will be ranked in the top 10 in the initial rankings, however, I think Wisconsin is the better team as of right now.

Oct 29, 2016; Oxford, MS, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Kamryn Pettway (36) carries the ball to score a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn lands in top ten

Gus Malzahn looked like he was on his way out of the door after the Tigers 1-2 start. Then, the Tigers upset LSU. Since that game Auburn has continued to improve. Malzahn’s team is back to playing their physical brand of football that we’ve come accustomed to seeing. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has this Tigers offense humming. In the last four games, Auburn is averaging 48 points per game, 372 rushing yards per game, and nearly 5 rushing touchdowns per game.

Defensively, Auburn is allowing just 16 points per game on the season. The Tigers have a large, explosive group of defensive lineman including Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams, and freshman Marlon Davidson. Auburn does a good job of getting after the quarterback, the Tigers currently have 20 sacks on the year. With their running game and sound defense Auburn will be tough for anyone to beat down the stretch.

Florida is currently ranked tenth in the AP poll, however, I believe that Auburn will jump them because they have the momentum in the polls at the moment. Florida has not made any statement wins as of late. As we all know momentum is huge in the College Football Playoff rankings. Point in case the 2014 Ohio State team.

Auburn has an intriguing match-up with Alabama at the end of the season. Should Auburn walk into that game at 9-2 and Alabama 11-0 there could be playoff implications on the line.

Oct 22, 2016; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) celebrates his returned fumble for a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies during the third quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff top 10 prediction

  1. Alabama (8-0)
  2. Michigan (8-0)
  3. Clemson (8-0)
  4. Washington (8-0)
  5. Louisville (7-1)
  6. Ohio State (7-1)
  7. Wisconsin (6-2)
  8. Texas A&M (7-1)
  9. Nebraska (7-1)
  10. Auburn (6-2)

This is what I believe the initial rankings will turn out to be tonight. There is still time for plenty of teams to move up and down in these rankings. Some teams to watch out for are Auburn, LSU, Louisville and Ohio State. Each of these teams has enough opportunities down the stretch to work their way into the College Football Playoff discussion.

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