With the college football selection committee releasing the first set of its rankings tonight on ESPN, I would like to throw out my own predictions on who will be placed in the first four. If the first half of the college football season has taught us anything, it is that anything can happen. Knowing this, do not be surprised if the rankings drastically change over the course of the season. Let the debate begin.
- Ohio State: The best part about the new selection system is that unlike in the confusing computerized calculator known as the BCS, winning does not guarantee everything. Look at Florida State from last year as they slipped from first to third in the polls over the season due to their lack of quality opponents. This year the same argument can be made for Ohio State. When looking at Ohio State however, I still think they are the best team in the country. Let me change that, they are the best team in the country… when J.T Barrett is the starter. With Cardale Jones under center, the team looks out of sync and incoherent. Now I know head coach Urban Meyer named Barrett the starter, but with his recent one game suspension it will be interesting to see if this will turn out to be a one time violation or the beginning of the end to his season.
- LSU: Any team that goes undefeated in the SEC West deserves a top spot in the first four of the rankings. It is no different with the Louisiana State Tigers. With Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette at running back, along with an improving Brandon Harris under center, it is no surprise that they have controlled every game that they have played in. With wins against Mississippi State in Starkville, as well as a win over SEC East leader Florida, it is hard to argue against placing LSU high up in the rankings. The committee loves to emphasize a team’s strength of schedule as well as their wins over ranked teams and in result, expect LSU to hold a leading ranking when the poll is released tonight at seven on ESPN.
- Clemson: As long as Clemson’s quarterback Deshaun Watson, stays healthy, expect the tigers to be in featured in the first set of rankings. Now they do not have as many impressive wins as LSU, but with a win over an improving Notre Dame team, Clemson is a legit contender among all of college football.
- TCU: My sleeper pick of the poll has to be the Texas Christian Horned Frogs. They may be fifth in the Associated Press poll, but look for them to be one spot higher tonight. Even with Baylor, a rival in the Big 12, ranked ahead of the Horned Frogs in the AP poll with the two spot, TCU has one thing that Baylor does not: Trevone Boykin. Boykin was my preseason Heisman pick and with my prediction of LSU losing to Alabama, I expect Boykin to eventually jump Forunette in the Heisman ranks.