Well...here we go. First, The Ohio State Derangement Syndrome is in full effect. Why is it when my Buckeyes are ranked high everyone starts the ridiculous "they haven't played anyone" but when Bama gets ranked high it's "yeah but they're blowing everyone out"? To suggest ANY power 5 team "hasn't played anyone" by itself is not only a terrible argument, but I feel dumb as well.
I played in Division 3 at Mount Union and was surrounded (ok, they weren't everywhere) by guys that would eventually play professionally. We also had several transfers from D1 and D2 schools all over the field....and this was D3!! The difference between a Cincinnati (ranked 20th and only loss was to Ohio State 42-0) and Ohio State, Bama, etc usually comes down to speed and depth at each position. This isn't purely a defense article for the Buckeyes, but they've played a legit schedule. Cincy is ranked, Wisconsin's defense has been crazy good except against the Buckeyes, Indiana is almost ranked and they haven't played a lower division team (here's looking at you SEC).
Don't believe me? Check the computer rankings for strength of schedule. You know, those pesky machines that don't care about your feelings or geographical bias. The machine says they have the 3rd toughest schedule so far (with no close results):
Now that we got that settled let's all take a deep breathe and remind ourselves that the current Top 4 all play each other within 3 weeks. LSU and Bama are about to have an epic battle this weekend, then 2 1/2 weeks from now Penn St will travel to The Shoe in Columbus to settle the other half of the playoff rankings. So does anyone see what the committee did here? They keep trying to convince us the regular season is actually a playoff (unless you're in the ACC) so their Top 4 just so happens to have 2 key matchups coming up soon in the regular season.
There's way too many scenarios that could unfold here so I'm going to keep it generic. Whichever Big Ten team wins in Columbus will likely run the table and make the playoff because the Big Ten West can't beat either Penn St or Ohio St (in theory), while the other is eliminated. The winner of LSU and Bama will be in the drivers seat to make the playoff but not without hurdles. Don't get too excited SEC haters, there will be at least 1 SEC team in the playoffs whether they have any undefeated teams remaining or not, and there's very strong evidence that there's going to be 2 of them in the playoff, whether any of them are undefeated or not.
Let's look at the Top 10, as it's packed with studs and even with losses most of these teams will remain in the Top 10:
As you can see, there's tons of football to be played. In my belief Ohio State and Clemson will run the table the rest of the way and be #1 and #2 - I honestly feel this is the year LSU beats Bama but will they win the SEC Title game is the big question. I say no, because this year feels like chaos is going to break out. Georgia has a fairly easy schedule remaining aside from Auburn. Let's say LSU, Bama and Georgia all have 1 loss...who gets in? LSU would have the tougher schedule but just lost to Georgia and Bama would've missed the SEC Title game (which didn't hurt them recently). Does Georgia and LSU get in over Oregon or Utah...or even Oklahoma? Or, if LSU wins out does 1 loss Bama get in over Oregon or Utah, or Oklahoma?
This could very well be the year that exposes the system (let's hope, preseason rankings are stupid too by the way, just wanted to slip that in) but as you can see there's way too much football to be played for anyone to be getting "Faux Upset". The top 4 I believe is correct, regardless of what order they're in...let's let the dust settle before we get up in arms.