The Emery’s Pre-Bowl Season College Football Rankings

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Conference Championship week in college football began with a lot of questions. What if Alabama lost? What if Oklahoma lost? What if Ohio State lost? Same for Clemson. But the one thing that had the College Football Playoff Committee quaking in their boots was the so called “nightmare scenario” in which Alabama, Ohio State, and Oklahoma lost. Much to the committee’s joy, none of those three teams lost. It was a relatively low-key weekend. Doesn’t mean the rankings change though. Here are the Emery’s top 4 teams for the playoff, and 15 for the upcoming bowl season.

(1) University of Alabama (-)

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The consensus is that 1-2 will be Clemson and Alabama, not necessarily in that order, but we chose to go with Alabama due to their pure dominance. With a convincing 29-0 road win over LSU, who was ranked no. 3 at the time. The surprise insertion of Jalen Hurts, who was able to bring Alabama back from a 14 point deficit against the Georgia Bulldogs, leaves Nick Saban with a tough choice on who to start at quarterback for the Crimson Tide. Will we see Jalen Hurts, or Tua Tagovailoa.

(2) University of Clemson (-)

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While no top team can go through a season without bumps, Clemson’s season has been bumpier than most. A freshman quarterback with no experience was chosen over a quarterback with proven playoff experience in one of the most confusing moves of the year. After a 27-23 come from behind scare against the Syracuse Orange, this Clemson team has looked downright dominant with the a victory coming against the Louisville Cardinals by a whopping score of 77-16. The Tigers have 2 wins against ranked teams, AP #16 NC State, and #17 Boston College, with another strong win coming against Texas A&M. The Tigers dominated Pittsburgh, who was the only team to come remotely close to beating them earlier, and will be a tough out in the playoff.

(3) University of Notre Dame (+1)

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Our number 3 team is the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. They have 1 quality win over Number-3 Michigan but have played many close games against mediocre teams, including games within 10 points against Ball State, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, and Northwestern, and USC. Should Clemson and Alabama win, and the rankings stay the same for the most part, look for Notre Dame to give Clemson a fight in the Playoff game.

(4) University of Oklahoma (+1)

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is our number 4 ranked team because they have performed up to par all season save for a singular slip up against Texas in the Red River Rivalry game, which they avenged in the Big 12 Championship Game. They have strong wins over many good teams like West Virginia and Iowa State. With their high octane offense, in our opinion they would give Alabama some trouble, but not as much as teams like Georgia. We ultimately chose Oklahoma over Georgia and Ohio State because they played consistent, and their offensive fireworks could give a good defense a problem, coupled with their only loss being avenged in the league championship game, Oklahoma is undoubtedly a playoff team.

(5) University of Georgia (-1)

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comes in at number 5 because they are an all-around team that threatened Alabama’s SEC crown, and with the recent resurgence of the traditionally high-powered run game we’ve seen from Georgia teams past, they should easily win their bowl game.

(6) The Ohio State (-)

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is at number 6,  we like what we saw from them at the beginning of the season, and how the defense is adjusting after the loss of Nick Bosa who wanted to put a halt on his season in order to avoid injury and prepare for the NFL draft in which he is projected by many to go number 1 overall. Ohio State’s offense looks dangerous with Dwyane Haskins leading the charge. With the 62-39 shellacking of Michigan, Ohio State firmly supplanted themself in the discussion for a spot in the playoff, but didn’t make it due to their season-long inconsistency, and poor defensive play.

(6) University of Central Florida (-)

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UCF is ranked 1o because of their complete dominance over their opponents, they do have a very weak strength of schedule, but with recent wins over a ranked Cincinnati team, and Pittsburgh, they look good, and with 26 straight wins, they are no doubt the hottest team in the country.

(8) University of Michigan (-)

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Our number 3 team may come as a bit of a shock, but we’re going to go with 1-loss Michigan here, due to their quality wins. After beating Wisconsin and Penn State by 50 combined points, and going through a complete offensive transformation after the opening-weekend loss to Notre Dame, and a good Ohio State team, Michigan’s defense is still a top-5 defense, and their offense can play with some of the best, don’t count them out come bowl season.

(9) University of  Texas (-)

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We have Texas ranked 12th because they beat playoff contender #6 Oklahoma, and kept it to a 1 point loss to slightly less of one but still a playoff contender West Virginia.

(10) University of Washington (-)

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We have the Huskies ranked number 10 because they are a good team, with wins over 3 ranked teams, including one in the Apple Cup over AP #8 Washington State.

(11) University of Florida (-)

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Florida’s SEC East play has them ranking number 11 due to good wins, and a great strength of schedule.

(12) Pennsylvania State University(-)

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We have Penn State ranked #12 because they have wins over Pittsburgh, Iowa, and Wisconsin and are 9-3 with a tough 1 point loss to Ohio State

(13) Louisiana State University (-)

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LSU is number 13 because they have 3 quality wins, and an outrageously good defense, they have three losses, one to top 15th ranked Florida, and 1st ranked Alabama, and one to a ranked Texas A&M team. They also have a very tough strength of schedule.

(14) University of Utah (-)

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Utah is 14 because they have good wins over Stanford and Oregon, and a tight loss with a ranked Washington State team.

(15) West Virginia University (-)

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is number 15 because they have a strong wins over 2 ranked teams, and have one of the best offenses in the nation. During  showdown at the end of the year with Oklahoma, West Virginia lost by only 3 points.