This college football season has been one of FBS’s wildest ever, filled with unbelievable plays, players and teams. While some of the elite teams have already been established, a lot of teams are fighting to rise into the top 4 before it is too late.
This college football season has been one of FBS’s wildest ever, filled with unbelievable plays, players and teams. While some of the elite teams have already been established, a lot of teams are fighting to rise into the top 4 before it is too late. On these teams, certain players need to step up in order for them to even have a prayer at advancing to the second annual College Football Playoff.
1. North Carolina QB Marquise Williams
North Carolina is the hottest team in college football. Since an opening weekend loss to South Carolina, the Tar Heels haven’t looked back. They are currently 11th in the AP poll and 17th in the CFB playoff rankings, and set for a date with #1 Clemson in the ACC Championship. This is thanks to the fantastic play of dual threat QB Marquise Williams. Williams has thrown for 2,427 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading the ‘Heels to previously unforseen heights. They need him to continue his spectacular season if they want to even contend against Clemson. If UNC wins out, they could wrap up a playoff spot despite an awful loss to begin the year? [sounds familiar]
2. Iowa QB CJ Beathard
Still undefeated, Iowa is unquestionably the most surprising team in 2015. After a 7-6 season last year, they are ranked #3 in the AP poll and #5 in the playoff rankings. After incumbent QB Jake Rudock transferred to Michigan, Iowa was left with a hole at the position, one that Beathard has filled most admirably. Beathard has had several great games, but also a couple poor ones. If Iowa has a prayer at winning the title, Beathard has to be at his best this week against Nebraska, and while trying to take down Michigan/Michigan State or Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game.
3. Stanford RB Christian McCaffery
McCaffery has been an all-purpose monster this year. This week, he has 386 total yards, adding to his season total of 2,807. If he continues at this pace, McCaffery will break the record of 3,250 yards set by Barry Sanders. McCaffery is in the Heisman hunt and his team is still clinging to a chance at a playoff berth. Although Stanford has two losses, Northwestern is solid and Oregon is on fire right now, which helps their playoff chances. However, Stanford has no chance of even winning the Pac-12 if McCaffery falters.
4. Navy QB Keenan Reynolds
Navy still has a legitimate chance at qualifying for the playoff. If Michigan (9-2) or Michigan State (10-1) were to win the Big 10, and 2 loss Stanford wins the Pac-12, the committee will have a tough decision to make. They can either let a 2 loss power five team in or let a team like Navy, who has only lost once to #4 Notre Dame in. Reynolds has had a stellar season thus far, which included setting the record for rushing touchdowns in a career. If several things fly their way, Navy could have a strong chance at a CFBP bid. This would thrust Reynolds into the spotlight. If he shines, it could mean huge things for college football and the Navy program.
5. Notre Dame RB Josh Adams
CJ Prosise was having an incredible season until he went down with a high ankle sprain. With Prosise doubtful, the task of replacing him will fall to freshman Josh Adams. Notre Dame already has a freshman quarterback and they are in the mix for a playoff spot. Everybody knows that a quarterback’s best friend is a consistent running game. So far, Adams has been fantastic, running for 589 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. However, if the pressure gets to Adams, and his performance slips, Notre Dame could miss the playoff. This makes Adams one to monitor as the college football season wraps up.
Written by Jacob Sosler
Edited by Alex Zlotnik