The college football odds makers are busy setting lines but keeping an eye on which schools will be summoned by the playoff committee to compete in the four team tournament at season's end.
1. Clemson (10-0 SU, 5-5 ATS) - The Tigers defeated Syracuse on the road in Week 11 but being installed as 30-point favorites by the college football odds makers would suggest that they should have won this game in far more convincing fashion. When the final gun sounded Clemson walked away with a 37-27 victory that will hardly endear them to the college football playoff committee. Nevertheless, I doubt they lose their top ranking because of it.
2. Alabama (9-1 SU, 5-5 ATS) - Bama rolled into Davis Wade Stadium and did exactly what they needed to do to secure their spot as the No. 2 ranked team in the country with a 31-6 trouncing of Mississippi State. Their defense is not just good, it's one of the best ever but their passing offense leaves you yearning for another quarterback to take the helm if you're a Tide fan. Jake Coker was 15-of-25 for 144 yards with one touchdown pass and one pick. As pedestrian as Coker is under center running back Derrick Henry is an absolute beast with the rock. The 6'3" tower of power gained 204 yards on 22 carries with two trips into the endzone. If Alabama had even an above average passer they would be undefeated and the odds on favorite to win it all.
3. Ohio State (10-0 SU, 4-6 ATS) - If you included the Buckeyes in your college football picks over the last four weeks then you have cashed a ticket on three of those four occasions including this past week when they crushed Illinois 28-3 on the highway. OSU appears to be getting stronger as the season progresses and their victory could ease them ever so gently into the No. 1 spot as Clemson did themselves no favors in struggling to defeat unranked Syracuse.
4. Oklahoma State (10-0 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) - Unlike the college football committee, I ranked the Cowboys fourth in last week's Super Seven edition and am doing the same this week. While Oklahoma State could have changed the pollsters' minds far easier if their win on Saturday over Iowa State was more convincing than the 35-31 result they are nonetheless one of only five undefeated teams in the nation and that should be good for something.
5. Iowa (10-0 SU, 6-4 ATS) - The Hawkeyes had their hands full with Minnesota but ultimately prevailed 40-35. However if it wasn't for LeShun Daniels and his 195 rushing yards and three touchdowns then Iowa would not be able to crow about their first 10-0 start in school history. As nine-point home favorites the Hawkeyes were lucky to win the game never mind cover the number but 10-0 is impressive and enough so to warrant them on the verge of a playoff berth.
6. Notre Dame (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) - The casual fan of the Irish will be perfectly content with their 28-7 home win over Wake Forest but those who backed Notre Dame with their cold hard cash will be none too pleased. The Irish put forth a solid performance and dominated the Demon Deacons but it was not quite dominant enough as they were installed as 25-point home chalk. The Fighting Irish will most likely be on or near the bubble again after the rankings are released and may ultimately find that their lone loss to top rated Clemson will preclude them from any tournament opportunities.
7. Oklahoma (9-1 SU, 8-2 ATS) - Apologies to all those Gator fans out there but Oklahoma's 44-34 victory over Baylor as three-point road dogs was more impressive than Florida's road win over the Gamecocks in South Carolina. The Sooners are for real and if they defeat Big 12 foes TCU and Oklahoma State then we could very well see Oklahoma in the playoff tournament.