It’s worth questioning the official slogan of the playoff, “Who’s In?”, because it no longer applies when the actual event takes place. That’s right CFB fans, we know who’s in and the Playoff has almost arrived!
The previous three months of college football have all led to this one week. Funneled out were the inferior teams; all to pave way for the big dogs to clash together to determine a conference champion. Get ready college football fans, this week is going to be one for the ages. Now, on the fringe of what is sure to be a week full of epic match-ups, I take a look at each game, analyzing and predicting along the way.
On Tuesday November 17th the State Farm Champions Classic tournament will tip off at the United Center in Chicago. For those of you that don't know, the State Farm Champions Classic is a NCAA men's college basketball tournament played by four of the best teams in the nation. The four teams this year consist of Duke, University of Kansas, Michigan State and University of Kentucky. This will be the fifth ever State Farm Champions Classic. The first game being played will be Duke vs. Kentucky and the second game is Kansas vs. Michigan State. Those are two great games. Unlike typical tournaments we have become so accustomed to in the NCAA, the winner of the first game does not play the winner of the second game.
The recent Northwestern football game was a nail biter. This game was crucial to see if Northwestern can really contend for the Big Ten title. Coming into the week Northwestern had a record of 6-2. Northwestern this week would face off against the 7-2 Penn State Nittany Lions. Both teams look for a huge win.
If the College Football Playoff was to begin today, it would look something like this: Ohio State vs LSU; Baylor vs Clemson. According to the coaches’ polls, those teams are supposedly the best, however coaches historically tend to miss the full story. Todays playoff (in some committee based polls) would be excluding TCU, who has beaten every team they have played in close to convincing fashion. It would be skipping on Alabama, who other than one blunder with a loss to Ole Miss, has beaten everyone they’ve played (including 4 ranked teams) with pure domination. Clemson (according to some polls) is not a lock, and they're a team that has repeatedly proven it is good enough to crack the top four. The list of equally deserving teams does not stop there. There’s Michigan State, Stanford, Iowa, Notre Dame, Florida State, Florida and hell, even Michigan has looked impressive this season. All these talented and deserving football squads shed a clear light on a key flaw of the College Football Playoff: it only includes four teams.
Its a business. That’s the unfortunate truth. The NCAA’s decisions to prevent college football players to profit off of their likeness and to prevent them from declaring for the draft until their red-shirt sophomore season have been called into serious question since their conception. Their latest challenger, LSU running back Leonard Fournette.
College football is very similar to the classic high school popularity caste system. Teams like Alabama, Oregon, USC and OSU are the popular kids. They’re the most respected, powerful, and richest. They get the coolest jerseys, best coaching staff, best recruits in the nation and stadiums filled to the brim.
College football is filled with upsets and surprises, for both teams and players. Who would have guessed Mississippi State was in for a comeback season last year? I wouldn’t have. Who would have guessed Ohio State was in for a National Championship run (including a win over Alabama)? I wouldn’t have. That being said, this season will be more of the same insanity, so get ready America. Below, I go in depth into players everyone overlooks. These are the players that I think will strongly contest for a Heisman.