Each week during the college football season, Dispatch sports writers Todd Jones, Tim May, Rob Oller and Bill Rabinowitz and sports editor Ray Stein make their choices for the College Football Playoff field.
Each week during the college football season, Dispatch sports writers Todd Jones, Tim May, Rob Oller and Bill Rabinowitz and sports editor Ray Stein make their choices for the College Football Playoff field.Todd Jones, Dispatch college football writer
1. Ohio State
2. Michigan State
3. Texas Christian
How I see it: A ho-hum four games have convinced me that Urban Meyer is just trying things because Ohio State's weak schedule is basically the same as preseason in the NFL. After experimenting, Meyer will know what he has to work with when the real season begins on Nov. 21, when Michigan State comes to town. Those Spartans were pedestrian against Central Michigan, and the knee injury suffered by stud offensive lineman Jack Conklin could spell trouble. Texas Christian is hanging on by its fingertips. The Horned Frogs could be due to fall sooner than later. And UCLA, the dark horse I've been riding all season, looked like the real deal in thrashing Arizona 56-30 on the Wildcats' home field.
>>Dispatchsports writer Rob Oller answers your questions about Buckeyes football during our weekly chat, 1 p.m. Thursday, dispatch.com/osuchatRay Stein, Dispatch sports editor
How I see it:It's not your imagination -- these names keep changing like the numbers in a lottery-drawing machine. For predictors, college football is an unpredictable business.
New to the party: Ohio State, back on the beam, at least to the extent that the Buckeyes looked like a team that would have beaten Michigan State on Saturday. Also, Georgia. So maybe the SEC won't be shut out of the playoff. But an East team has the cleaner path, and the Bulldogs have a favorable schedule if they get past Alabama.
Shown the door: TCU, which has been giving off vibes as a paper tiger much of the season, and easily could have (should have?) lost to Texas Tech. Also, Michigan State -- not because of how the Spartans handled Central Michigan, but because there will be only one Big Ten team.
>> Get the most out of college football season, follow @BuckeyeXtra on TwitterBill Rabinowitz, Dispatch OSU football beat writer
How I see it:Utah? Yes, Utah for now. It's still way too early to put much stock into these playoff predictions, and no, I don't think Utah will be in the playoff picture when it matters. But for now, the Utes deserve their moment in the sun. They beat a Michigan team that looks to be better than expected in the opener. Then last week they crushed Oregon 62-20 in Eugene. No other team has a better pair of quality wins. Winning big at Oregon trumps Michigan State's narrow victory over the Ducks in East Lansing. Ohio State took a step in the right direction last week against Western Michigan, and you can start to see the pieces coming together for the Buckeyes. Ole Miss slips after an uninspiring victory over Vanderbilt. Expect a lot of volatility in these playoff brackets for the next several weeks.
>> Click here for details on how to win tickets and trips to Ohio State's football games fromDispatchReader RewardsTim May, Dispatch OSU football beat writer
1. Ohio State
3. Michigan State
4. Ole Miss
How I see it: TCU fell into the "under consideration" group after that great escape from Texas Tech last week. Playoff teams don't give up 50-plus points to anybody. Plus, Ole Miss and Utah deserve their spots for major wins on the road, Ole Miss beating Alabama two weeks ago, Utah laying waste to Oregon last week. Georgia has a great chance to jump to the fore, and into the four, if it knocks off Alabama this week.Rob Oller, Dispatch sports columnist
1. Ohio State
How I see it: TCU now stands for Too Close University. Barely beating Texas Tech is no way to make the playoff. As for Michigan State, Sparty remains close, but the win against Oregon doesn't look so good now.