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. Clemson

3. LSU

4. Baylor

How I see it: The College Football Playoff committee unveils its first rankings next week. Here's what I'd tell those big-money suits. Step away from all the drama surrounding Ohio State's quarterback situation and you'll see that the Buckeyes still have the nation's most overall talent. And now J.T. Barrett has emerged as the QB. A week off will help OSU prepare for the stretch run. Baylor made the biggest news this week in unfortunate fashion. The Bears lost star QB Seth Russell for the season because of a neck injury that required surgery. Can his replacement, freshman Jarrett Stidham, keep the video-game offense humming? They still have receiver Corey Coleman, who West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen called "the best player in college." Clemson is playing as well as any team at the moment, but the Tigers have traditionally been a little too loose at times. Penalty flags fly in their wake. An upset loss could occur anytime, anywhere. Down in bayou country, the Tigers are showing they're more than just monster running back Leonard Fournette. They also have a top QB in Brandon Harris. Meanwhile, goodbye to Utah after the Utes were blasted by USC. Stanford is making a push out West, Alabama is stirring down South, and what do you do if Memphis goes undefeated?

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Ray Stein, Dispatch sports editor

1. Ohio State

2. Alabama

3. Clemson

4. Stanford

How I see it: Ohio State the past two games finally has started playing like the team that was unanimous No.1 in the preseason. Now comes the off week: Will this be a chance to heal up, or to slip back into poor mental mechanics without a game to play? Alabama did not look like a sexy No.2 choice against Tennessee, but the Crimson Tide is the SEC's most determined bunch between the ears.

New to the party: Clemson, which dominated Miami thoroughly enough to send Al Golden to the unemployment line. And Stanford, another no-nonsense outfit that was merely waiting for the Pac-12 seas to part.

Shown the door: Utah, a fine little-engine-that-could story that suddenly couldn't when matched against a team of serious athletes. And TCU, mainly because Clemson's body of work (read: the Notre Dame win) stands taller. Another Big 12 boo-hoo party? Could be.

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Rob Oller, Dispatch sports columnist

1. Ohio State

2. LSU

3. Clemson

4. Oklahoma

How I see it:After Ohio State, the next two are interchangeable. The Bayou Bengals continue to show they belong, while Clemson went into Miami and turned the Hurricanes into a gentle breeze, costing Al Golden his job. My outside-the-box pick is Oklahoma. The Sooners have a loss, but it was to rival Texas, which negates the magnitude of the upset. Also, I don't see Baylor belonging after quarterback Seth Russell going out for the season following neck surgery. And TCU's defense is decimated. That leaves the Sooners to sneak in ahead of ... others: Stanford. Alabama. Michigan State. Notre Dame.

Bill Rabinowitz, Dispatch OSU football beat writer

1. Ohio State

2. Clemson

3. Baylor

4. Alabama

How I see it:The Buckeyes finally have looked the past two weeks like the No. 1 team they're supposed to be. Clemson has been impressive and should be in good shape if it can beat Florida State. Baylor vs. TCU is a tossup, but I'll give the nod to Baylor for now by withholding judgment on their quarterback question after Seth Russell's season-ending neck injury. As for Alabama, one week the Tide looks as good as anybody. Other times, it looks quite beatable.

Tim May, Dispatch OSU football beat writer

1. Ohio State

2. Clemson

3. LSU

4. Baylor

How I see it:Another crazy weekend in college football, another shakeup in the top four. And again, when it comes to my top four, flip them into any order you'd like, because just making the list after the first weekend in December is what is key. Ohio State appears to be regathering its mojo with the reinsertion of J.T. Barrett at starting quarterback. Clemson beat Notre Dame a few weeks ago and ended the Golden age down at Miami. LSU looks to be the best of the SEC West, but we'll know for sure once the Alabama game is done. Baylor is on the slide with the loss of quarterback Seth Russell for the season.