The playoff committee will release their first round of playoff rankings tonight at 8pm CT/ 9pm ET, which will be sure to insight much reaction from the college football world. There are many unknowns about tonight’s rankings. How does the committee view the strength of schedule of teams like LSU, Ohio State, and Alabama? Did the one-point win over UNC hurt Clemson’s chances? There are many scenarios that could play out tonight and shape the college football playoff chase.Here I give my predictions on where you could find your favorite team. I know we are all rooting for chaos.

  1. LSU (8-0): Has there really been a more impressive team this year outside of LSU? This team has multiple top 10 wins and has looked absolutely impressive throughout the season. Joe Burrow and this revamped LSU offense allows LSU to compete with any team in the country. 
  1. Ohio State (8-0): If there is a team to give LSU a run for their money it would be Ohio State. I would argue no team in the country has a more balanced attack than this team. Heisman candidates on both sides of the ball, an explosive offense, a dominant defense is a perfect recipe for a national championship. 
  1. Clemson (9-0): A lot of people have totally forgotten about this Clemson team and I think Dabo Swinney loves it. This team will shock a lot of people if they make it to the playoffs. Trevor Lawrence has quietly improved his play, while this defense is still elite and I think the playoff committee has noticed. 
  1. Alabama (8-0): Another impressive team, but a team that has yet to play in a big matchup. That will come this weekend when LSU comes to town and a lot of questions about this Alabama team will be answered. If Tua is healthy this is a championship team, but if the injury is more than Nick Saban has let on then it may be time to look towards next year in Tuscaloosa. 
  1. Penn State (8-0): We are Penn State and they are really good. This team may be the most overlooked team outside of Clemson. The offense is not spectacular, but does not turn the ball over and can score just enough points. The defense is what makes this team a contender and they will give Penn State a chance in every game this year. 
  1. Oregon (8-1): This is the best one-loss team in the country and I am not sure if it is even a debate. The only loss is to Auburn in Week 1, where Oregon led the entire game until 7 seconds left in the 4th quarter. This team does not have your average PAC-12 defense and has the experience at QB a team needs to make a run late in the year. Watch out for the Ducks.
  1. Georgia (7-1): I think this team is really good and suffered an upset due to looking over a sneaky good team in South Carolina. This team has some experience at key positions (QB, RB, OL, DL) and has a coach that has experience in the playoffs. I think this team is motivated and could make a run late if everything falls in the right place. There are still big games (@ Auburn, SEC Championship) in their path, but if Georgia wins out then watch out. 
  1. Baylor (8-0): I may have Baylor higher than most expected, but I think the playoff committee will respect this team and have them higher than most. I don’t think anybody (do not lie to me) saw this coming. This team plays defense in the BIG-12 and I think that is why this team is winning and will continue to win. This team leads the BIG-12 in sacks and is 3rd in total defense while leading the conference in points allowed (18.5 ppg). 
  1. Utah (8-1): The quietest team in college football history finds themselves in contention for an elusive playoff spot. The offense quietly moves along and the defense stays dominant. This team is silent but deadly and should be viewed as a dangerous opponent. 
  1. Oklahoma (7-1): The honeymoon phase has passed and Jalen Hurts realizes he cannot carry this team to the promised land. The defense has to play well, the run game must show up, and Lincoln Riley must put this team in good positions. This team still has a chance, but it is no guarantee that a 1-loss BIG-12 team will make the final four. 
  1. Minnesota (8-0): Another unlikely undefeated team, but a quiet threat to make the playoffs right now. This team is cruising through their BIG-10 schedule and still have huge matchups against #5 Penn State and #16 Wisconsin. If this team wins out and beats #3 Ohio State in the BIG-10 championship, there is no way to leave Minnesota out of the final four.
  1. Florida (7-2): The first 2-loss team appears in these rankings and not all 2-loss teams are created equal. This team has 2 losses to top 10 teams; both away from the confines of The Swamp. This team lost their QB and inserted Kyle Trask, a QB who started his first game since high school, and has not lost a step. Dan Mullen has done an excellent job with this team and if things fall correctly this team could find themselves with a chance at the playoffs. 
  1. Auburn (7-2): This is the second 2-loss team in these rankings and this team also has 2 losses to top 10 teams; both of these were on the road. This team started a true freshman QB for the first time since the 1940s and it has been a bumpy season for the Tigers. Yet, they find themselves as a long shot for the playoffs and a schedule back loaded with huge games against #2 Alabama and #6 Georgia. Gus Malzhan may avoid the hot seat if Auburn can win either of these two games. 
  1. Michigan (7-2): Well, who would have thought that a 2-loss Michigan would still be a playoff dark horse come November? This team still has a matchup against #3 Ohio State and the BIG-10 Championship if things fall right. This team never seemed to find its stride, but recently the offense has found its footing. If this team puts it all together they could be dangerous, but a lot must happen to get Michigan to the playoff. 
  1. Memphis (8-1): Will Memphis be #15 tonight when the rankings are released? Probably not, but I think they should be. This team has one loss to Temple by 2 points, which is a respectable loss. I think this is the best Group of 5 team in the country and they proved it on the biggest stage last weekend against SMU. Memphis is most likely out of the playoff race, but should find themselves in a NY6 bowl. 

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