NCAA Football Playoff Predictions: Oregon Takes Top Seed

Oregon picked up the first true resume-building win of the College Football Playoff era this past Saturday with their 46-27 win over Michigan State, and in doing so knocked Florida State from the top seed in our playoff predictions.

There were plenty of other big games over the weekend, so who else helped their cause in the eyes of the playoff committee?


10) UCLA

Last Week: 8

The Bruins struggled again, hanging on to beat Memphis 42-35 a week after beating Virginia 28-20. Jim Mora's squad still has all the talent in the world but have failed to put together a good outing, but they're still 2-0. Grinding out wins in games you don't play well is essential for championship teams, assuming they turn things around. And that's a big 'if' at this point.

9) USC

Last Week: NR

USC enters our rankings for the first time this week after their 13-10 win over Stanford in Palo Alto. The Trojans didn't look particularly good either, but they did what they had to do and picked up a marquee win. They still need more of those marquee wins - no matter how they get them - but they have two very winnable games against Boston College and Oregon State coming up to get things back on track before facing another test in Arizona State.


8 ) Texas A&M

Last Week: 10

How did A&M and Kenny Trill follow up their 52-28 drubbing of South Carolina? Oh, nothing big really, they just put a 73-3 beatdown on Lamar.

Was that to be expected? Probably. But putting 73 points on anybody means you're elite and on the top of your game. The SEC, and the rest of the country, better watch out for Kevin Sumlin's squad.

7) Auburn

Last Week: 7

Auburn has some good under-the-radar wins against Arkansas and San Jose State, but now start their amazing stretch of facing eight teams currently ranked in their last 10 games against Kansas State. Everyone expects the Tigers to take care of business, which they should, but how they play will be a good sign of what to expect from them in the coming weeks and whether they're game enough to navigate through their schedule.

6) Baylor

Last Week: 6

Similar to Texas A&M, Baylor followed up a 41-0 win over SMU with a 70-6 win over Northwestern State without starting quarterback and Heisman contender Bryce Petty. Neither are impressive wins, except for the fact that the Bears won them in extremely impressive fashion, and that's what head coach Art Briles' guys are going to have to do if they want to make the playoff with their easy schedule.

5) Georgia

Last Week: 5

The Bulldogs had a bye week after beating Clemson, so they hold firm in our rankings. They have another test on the road against South Carolina and if they win, they'll already have two wins over teams ranked in the preseason top-20 - and move up our rankings into the playoffs.


4) Oklahoma

Last Week: 3

Oklahoma just keeps taking care of business as they followed up their 48-16 win over Louisiana Tech with a 52-7 smacking of Tulsa. The Sooners are still riding the wave of momentum from beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but they've looked solid so far. They play host to a tricky Tennessee team this weekend, which should tell us more about how good this team really is.

3) Alabama

Last Week: 4

The Tide looked like their old, dominant selves against Florida Atlantic after struggling against West Virginia (who's better than we thought they'd be), beating the Owls 41-0 while playing both Blake Sims and Jake Coker under center. For whoever wins that quarterback battle, last Saturday reminded us just how good the rest of Nick Saban's roster is - and it's scary good.

2) Florida State

Last Week: 1

FSU didn't do anything wrong against the Citadel (they won 37-12), but are out of the top spot because of their weak schedule to this point. Sure, Oklahoma State is a solid team, but the Seminoles failed to put them away like a top team should. Couple that with Oregon grabbing a HUGE non-conference win over Michigan State and, well, Florida State has to settle for being No. 2 right now.

1) Oregon

Last Week: 2

I already gushed about Oregon's performance, but the Ducks portrayed all the traits championship teams have. What was most impressive, however, was how they were able to take Michigan State's best punch and respond the way they did.

After taking the early 18-7 lead, the Spartans came back to go up 27-17 early in the third quarter. Oregon teams of years past would always fold under pressure like this, but instead Marcus Mariota led the Ducks to 28 unanswered points to win in blowout fashion. That resiliency will serve them well during their touch Pac-12 schedule, and makes them a serious threat to go all the way.

Who do you think is a dark horse to make the College Football Playoff? What four teams would you put in? Leave a response in the comments!

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