By Judge Nukk, Staff Reporter
After week 8 concluded, few teams stood out as playoff contenders. Although the first playoff rankings come out October 28th, I have my own predictions for the playoff.
Les Miles went through a rough 2014 campaign, but has come back strong in 2015 with an undefeated record beating Ole Miss and Florida. Running Back Leonard Fournette is right now the runaway Heisman trophy winner. He is a beast of a running back, who can outrun you and run over you. Although they do not have a strong passing game with QB Brandon Harris, they do not need to throw the ball a lot with one of the strongest running games in the nation. Les Miles always has trick plays ready to call, including many fake field goals that end up touchdowns for the kicker. We will see how good LSU is when they go to Alabama to play the Crimson Tide, that game will settle who will be in the playoff for the SEC.
Michigan State #2
They have not looked great this year with close victories almost every game, but they are winning games. They have two key victories against Oregon and Michigan, both by four points or less. MSU is lead by QB Connor Cook, a projected top ten pick in the next NFL draft. MSU has always had a good defense, but this year's defense is not as good as usual. Lead by Shilique Calhoun and Riley Bullough, this defense has showed up against Oregon and Michigan. Head coach Mark Dantonio is considered to be a top 5 coach in college football, and can get to the playoff with a win over Ohio State in Columbus. I think MSU will go undefeated and ultimately win the Big Ten championship and get the number two seed in the playoff.
A team that plays hard and parties harder is the Clemson Tigers. Notorious for their post game dance parties in their locker room and having a crazy atmosphere at home games. Clemson is 7-0 coming off of a 58-0 victory over the Miami Hurricanes in Miami. Head coach Dabo Swinney has built a team good enough to win the championship with star quarterback Deshaun Watson. Clemson has beaten Notre Dame, and if they beat Florida State at home in week 10, they will go to the playoff. Clemson has a loaded offense that puts up numbers with an offensive line run by true freshman tackle Mitch Hyatt. Yes you read correctly, a true freshman starting on the O-Line in a power five conference. Clemson will beat FSU and go onto the playoff as a 3 seed, and as a dark horse title winner.
When Bryce Petty left after last year for the NFL, many speculated that Baylor will not be as good with Seth Russell. Russell however has played amazing all year, throwing it to Heisman contender wide receiver Corey Coleman. Russell was injured with a neck-bone fracture against Iowa State, but true freshman Jarrett Stidham, the top rated high-school quarterback in Texas last year filled in just fine with a statline of, 23-27 with 319 yards and 5 TD’s. I predict Baylor will run the table beating TCU and getting the number 4 seed in the Playoff. Head coach Art Briles has done a great job, and will finally get his shot on the biggest stage in college football.