After yet another full weekend of great college football, the new Top 25 for the College Football Playoffs will be announced tonight.
Obviously, the defense of Ohio State is a concern after the team struggled to contain two-win Nebraska despite a bye week to prepare for Scott Frost's offense. "Their two losses come against No. 1 Alabama, on the road to Florida". It will likely finish the season as a top 10 team in the country, but it can't compete with the elite.
Unbeaten Notre Dame moved up one spot to No. 3, and MI jumped a spot after a 42-7 victory against Penn State. What also helps is that No. 25 Virginia, No. 20 Texas A&M, No. 17 Texas, No. 16 Iowa, No. 15 Utah and No. 14 Penn State all lost. Unless they turn it around, they could unquestionable drop their second game out of their last three. Notre Dame fans believe their team holds a trump card against MI, with that season-opening victory in South Bend. The Big Ten went to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, joining the Big 12 and Pac-12, meaning more opportunities for those teams to pick each other off.
We think it is a rebuttable presumption and MI should be ranked ahead of Notre Dame.
Alabama still is No. 1 in the official College Football Playoff rankings. From the very start of the season, just about everybody associated with college football predicted Alabama and Georgia would meet in the SEC title game, a rematch of last season's national championship game. We think they will move to No. 7 with Washington State remaining at No. 8.
Oklahoma should be able to take care of business at home the next two weekends against in-state rival Oklahoma State and last-place Kansas, which leaves the showdown at West Virginia (7-1, 5-1) the day after Thanksgiving as the defining game of the Sooners' season. It has a strong defense, but offensively, it's limited at best.
If the season ended Tuesday, Alabama and MI would meet in the Cotton Bowl, and Clemson and Notre Dame would play in the Orange Bowl.
The Knights stayed at No. 12 after beating Temple 52-40 last week.