College Football Playoff Rankings: Week 4

Welcome back to the fourth week of Campus Pressbox’s College Football Playoff rankings. Check out the previous rankings here.

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)

In a result that surprised no one, the Crimson Tide blew out Kent State by the tune of 48-0. There isn’t a whole lot to discuss regarding this win, to be honest, as Alabama did exactly what it was supposed to do against one of the worst teams in College Football right now. Other than a handful of injuries, this game was nothing to write home about. Frankly, last week was pretty much a bye week and with Kentucky this week, Alabama should be safe. Any fluctuations with the play out of Nick Saban’s squad would be a shock. Alabama remains a lock for the College Football Playoff, though Tennessee and Texas A&M continue to gain ground in the SEC.

  1. The Ohio State Buckeyes (2)

The Buckeyes were off last week after winning big against the Oklahoma Sooners two weeks ago. The Buckeyes only have to beat out Rutgers this weekend, a game between the best and worst team (that just lost key players to injury) in the Big Ten. Just like Alabama, seeing anything other than a blowout would be troubling and could hurt the Buckeyes’ CFP hopes. However, it looks like Ohio State is really taking its time with its game prep this week. As things stand now, the Buckeyes are a lock for the Playoff.

  1. Louisville Cardinals (3)

Louisville (unsurprisingly) continued to impress the college football world with a 31-point win over Marshall. Though Lamar Jackson never seems content with his own performances, everyone else is, and Jackson continues to be the Heisman front-runner by a very wide margin. Louisville travels to Clemson this weekend in what is probably the game of the weekend. This is another tough test, but if their demolition of Florida State showed us one thing, it’s that we should never underestimate the Cardinals. If the Cardinals manage a win this weekend, expect changes to the top of next week’s standings.

  1. Clemson Tigers (5)

Clemson is finally starting to look more and more like the team we expected to see at the beginning of the season and, as stated above, that has come just in time. Clemson opens as a slim favorite over the Cardinals, but I think most of the college football world will see Clemson as the underdog for this game. Clemson must win this game in order to fully dispel any and all memories of the Tigers’ struggles in the early season.

  1. Houston Cougars (4)

After becoming a household name following their win over Oklahoma in Week 1, the Cougars have begun to slip, slowly, back into a bit of obscurity. So many Power 5 teams have proved themselves thus far that Houston’s big wins over bad teams are starting to mean less and less. Houston really cannot afford to lose any games this season. With their weak schedule, compared to some Power 5 schools, doing so will most certainly eliminate the Cougars from playoff contention. The biggest concern for Houston right now is LSU’s open head coaching job.

  1. Michigan Wolverines (6)

Well, would you look at that, the Michigan Wolverines finally have a challenging game coming up this weekend. Michigan really hasn’t been tested at all this season, a large part of that due to the fact that it hasn’t left Ann Arbor so far. However, the Wolverines have to beat Wisconsin, which has to be one of the most “proven” teams in college football right now. We will finally be able to see how legit the Wolverines are this weekend and be able to really figure out their playoff odds.

  1. Stanford Cardinal (7)

Stanford continues to sit pretty at No. 7, as the Cardinal has more or less just sat back with a bag of popcorn and watched Christian McCaffrey continue to prove that he is a cut above everyone else in college football, even if his spotlight is getting stolen. If Lamar Jackson were not putting up out-of-this-world numbers right now, there is no doubt that McCaffrey would be leading the Heisman charge. Stanford has a big chance to gain national attention with its visit to Washington this week. While this game is bigger for the Huskies than for Stanford, the Cardinal’s Playoff argument would unquestionably be bolstered with a big win on Saturday.

  1. Texas A&M Aggies (9)

Following an explosive fourth quarter, the Aggies’ win over Arkansas went from decent win to a huge win for A&M. A&M has officially racked up a number of impressive wins versus competitive opponents. Still, Kevin Sumlin needs his team to keep up its pace if it is to have any chance of prying the SEC West away from the grip of Alabama. The next several weeks of difficult matchups will truly show whether or not the Aggies are Playoff contenders.

  1. Wisconsin Badgers (10)

Wisconsin’s string of impressive wins continued on Saturday with a devastation of the Michigan State Spartans. The Badgers have proved themselves a legit contender for the Big Ten championship. Wisconsin’s matchup against Michigan in Ann Arbor this weekend will truly prove whether or not it deserves to be the Big Ten favorite to make the Playoff. The Badgers, much like the Aggies, cannot afford any type of regression now, especially considering the Badgers upcoming schedule.

  1. Washington Huskies (8)

The Huskies, sitting at the bottom of this week’s list, remain the biggest enigma competing for a spot in the Playoff. None of Washington’s victories thus far have proven whether or not it should be seriously considered. However, Washington hosts Stanford this weekend. As big as this game is for the Cardinal, it is exponentially more important for the Huskies. A victory this week would cement Washington as a household name and help begin to build the Huskies’ Playoff resume.

Honorable Mentions

Though none were close to beating out any of the teams that made the list, Tennessee, Baylor, and Miami are the next teams in line, all pretty much waiting for the three Top 10 face-off games to play out this weekend.

E-mail Cooper at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @uf_goetz.

Image courtesy of Andrew Horne – Wikimedia Commons

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