NCAA Football Playoff Predictions: Crazy Weekend Creates New Top Four

What a weekend.

11 teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 lost, including five of the top eight and all of the top three in our Playoff Predictions. Alabama fell to Ole Miss, Oregon was upset at home by Arizona, and Oklahoma lost a close one to TCU.

As a result, we have three new teams in our top four and three brand new teams in the top 10. Who is currently sitting pretty in the eyes of the playoff selection committee, and who are the teams that will be upset next?


10) Michigan State

Previously Ranked: NR

Last Week: 27-22 win vs. Nebraska

This Week: Sat. at Purdue

Michigan State holds this spot for now, even though their loss to Oregon looks worse now that the Ducks were beaten by Arizona. They got a solid win over Nebraska this weekend, but won't play another good team until Ohio State on November 8. Until then, the Spartans have to keep winning big and hope more top teams lose to stay in our rankings.

9) Oklahoma

Previously Ranked: 4

Last Week: 37-33 loss at TCU

This Week: Sat. vs. Texas

The Sooners played well against TCU, but they were unable to overcome a slow start. The loss won't hurt them if the Horned Frogs can play well against Baylor, but Oklahoma has to worry about taking care of their business first. They can't afford to lose another game in the top-heavy Big XII and expect to make the playoff, so look for Bob Stoops' squad to come out strong against Texas on Saturday.


8 ) TCU

Previously Ranked: NR

Last Week: 37-33 win vs. Oklahoma

This Week: Sat. at Baylor

TCU wasn't supposed to be good this year - the Big XII media picked them to finish 7th in the 10-team conference. After beating Oklahoma, we might have to take a second look at this team. The Horned Frogs have athletes all over the field on both sides of the ball, and junior quarterback Trevone Boykin has proven to be a good leader. If they can beat Baylor on the road this weekend, they'll control their own destiny in the Big XII and jump into our top four.

7) Alabama

Previously Ranked: 3

Last Week: 23-17 loss at Ole Miss

This Week: Sat. at Arkansas

Alabama seemed to be in control throughout most of the game against Ole Miss, but their offense wasn't able to come up with the points they needed to late. They'll hit the road again to face an Arkansas team that's looking for its first big win under second year head coach Bret Bielema, but Nick Saban doesn't lose two games in a row. Look for the Tide to win in blowout fashion.

6) Baylor

Previously Ranked: 6

Last Week: 28-7 win at Texas

This Week: Sat. vs TCU

Baylor's offense finally looked mortal in their victory over Texas as the Bears had to rely on defense and special teams to overcome the Longhorns. A win's a win, but Baylor's offense is going to have to recapture their explosiveness this weekend if they want to keep up with a surging TCU squad.

5) Notre Dame

Previously Ranked: 9

Last Week: 17-14 win vs. Stanford

This Week: Sat. vs. North Carolina

The Irish needed a late touchdown to squeak past Stanford, but it gave them their first marquee win of the season. Now Notre Dame has to re-focus in a potential trap game against a struggling UNC team and avoid looking ahead to their matchup against Florida State next weekend.


4) Mississippi State

Previously Ranked: NR

Last Week: 48-31 win vs. Texas A&M

This Week: Sat. vs. Auburn

Quarterback Dak Prescott led to Bulldogs to a blowout of the Aggies that was a lot worse than the score indicated, and now Mississippi State has vaulted themselves into the top-four. Auburn comes to town next (gotta love the SEC West), giving Mississippi State a chance to move even higher up our rankings - a win will probably put them in the top spot.

3) Ole Miss

Previously Ranked: 10

Last Week: 23-17 win vs. Alabama

This Week: Sat. at Texas A&M

Ole Miss got the victory they've been looking for to announce that their program is back among the best in college football, and they've thrown a wrench in the SEC pecking order by doing so. Beating Alabama was great, but it won't mean anything if they turn around and lose to a desperate Texas A&M team this weekend. Head coach Hugh Freeze has to make sure his team fully shifts their focus to the task at hand and avoid any sort of hangover effect from beating the Tide.

2) Florida State

Previously Ranked: 4

Last Week: 43-3 win vs. Wake Forest

This Week: Sat. at Syracuse

Florida State managed to stay out of the spotlight on Saturday by taking care of business against Wake Forest. Quarterback Jameis Winston hasn't played as well as he did last year, but the Seminoles keep winning. Similar to Notre Dame, they need to avoid a trap game against Syracuse before facing the Irish.

1) Auburn

Previously Ranked: 7

Last Week: 41-7 win vs. LSU

This Week: Sat. at Mississippi State

Auburn takes the top seed instead of Florida State because of what they've already accomplished this year. They have big wins over Arkansas, Kansas State, and LSU, but they face their toughest test this weekend in Starkville. Mississippi State is looking to prove they belong at the top of college football, and there's no better way to do that than to knock off the reigning SEC champions. However, if Auburn dominates all phases of the game like they did against LSU, it won't be much of a contest.

Who do you think is this year’s dark horse to make the College Football Playoff? What four teams would you put in? Tweet your thoughts to @brauf33 and leave a response in the comments!

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