Tag Archives: College Football

2020 Big Ten Football Preview

Big Ten Championship: Ohio State over Wisconsin

Big Ten East

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

Projected Record: 9-0

Wins: Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin

Losses: None

QB Jordan Fields is back, but the offense will need to replace RB J.K. Dobbins and a trio of WRs KJ Hill, Binjimen Victor, and Austin Mack. Even with the losses at these skill positions Ohio State still has great options including receivers Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and true freshman Julian Flemming. The offense also got a huge boost with Oklahoma transfer RB Trey Sermon, who should take over the starting role. The line will continue to be a strength with three returning starters led by potential first round guard Wyatt Davis.

The defensive line replaces a few key starters including elite All-American Chase Young. The Buckeyes have some veteran defensive line players ready to step in, but the unit won’t be as dominant as last year. Instead the Linebackers will lead the defense in 2020 as one of the best in the country with Baron Browning, Tuf Borland, and Pete Werner. The biggest question for Ohio State is replacing two first round NFL cornerbacks in Damon Arnette and Jeffrey Okudah, as well as All-Big Ten safety Jordan Fuller. Other than returning cornerback Shaun Wade, there’s many unknowns in the secondary. There is also a depth question after two senior defensive backs for Ohio State were kicked off the team in February following Felony kidnapping and rape charges.

Final Outlook: Ohio State is the clear number one Big Ten title contender with an easy schedule. However, the defense isn’t as strong as last year after key losses in the secondary and defensive line. The offense should carry this team to a Big Ten title, but I project a Playoff semi-finals loss for the Buckeyes.

2. Penn State Nittany Lions

Projected Record: 7-2

Wins: Maryland, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State, Minnesota

Losses: Indiana, Ohio State

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This is a talented Penn State team that will go as far as returning QB Sean Clifford takes them. Clifford has his limitations, but if he makes a jump the Nittany Lions are a true contender in the Big Ten. At running back took a blow losing Journey Brown (202 yards in the Cotton Bowl) indefinitely, but they still have high-upside RB Noah Cain. The biggest challenge for the Nittany Lions is a wide receiver stepping up to replace KJ Hamler. WR Jahan Dotson most likely takes over that role, but he isn’t as dynamic as Hamler. Their best receiving threat right now is TE Pat Freiermuth who is one of the best in the nation. The offensive line has experience returning four starters.

On defense, LB Micah Parsons opted out for the 2021 NFL Draft as one of the best in the nation and a certain first round pick. Two of the linebacker spots will be filled by new starters including Ellis Brooks and former five-star Brandon Smith. On the defensive line they have to replace Yetur Gross-Matos, but returning DE Shaka Toney (6.5 sacks in 2019) should help with that. The biggest weakness is at defensive back where they started a young group last year. CB Lamont Wade is a rising star, but will need the rest of the group to pick it up.

Final Outlook: This is Head Coach James Franklin’s most talented team in seven seasons in Happy Valley. What could keep them from beating Ohio State and winning the Big Ten East is the lack of offensive explosion with QB Sean Clifford. If Clifford takes a step forward, the playoffs are possible.

3. Michigan Wolverines

Projected Record: 5-4

Wins: Michigan State, Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland

Losses: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa

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The new quarterback at Michigan will be unproven with Joe Milton. The offense will be deep at running back with the return of Chris Evans, Zach Charbonnet, and Hassan Haskins. At receiver Michigan loses Donovan Peoples-Jones to the NFL and Tarik Black to Texas, but the return of Nico Collins and Ronnie Bell should keep the unit solid. They also have a talented tight end in Nick Eubanks. The offensive line will be the Wolverines biggest issue replacing four starters who all were drafted in the NFL.

On defense, Michigan returns a decent amount of starters back with the strength being at defensive end with Kwity Paye and Aidan Hutchinson. Also, look for safety Dax Hill to have an All-Big Ten in his second season in Michigan.

Final Outlook: Michigan will be led by their defense as the offense has multiple uncertainties. Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines shouldn’t be surprised with another season where they aren’t serious contenders in the Big Ten East.

4. Indiana Hoosiers

Projected Record: 5-4

Wins: Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Purdue, Nebraska

Losses: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin

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Indiana actually has a pretty good offense. After finishing in the top five in the Big Ten in points per game and the second leading passing offense, Indiana will look to have the same production. It is led by talented QB Michael Penix who returns his top receiving targets last year with receivers Whop Philyor, Ty Fryfogle, and TE Peyton Hendershot (I promise these aren’t NCAA 14 randomly generated names). RB Stevie Scott also returns after having 2000 yards in the past two seasons. The offensive line also returns most of their starters after an average performance last year.

The defense was not great last year, but returns most of their starters. The unit is led by leading tackler LB Micah McFadden. While the defensive tackles are strong with Jerome Johnson and Demarcus Elliott, Indiana will have to find an edge rusher capable of getting to the QB. The secondary needs improvement also.

Final Outlook: Indiana was a surprise last year finishing 8-5. Look for something similar as their offense will shock the average college football fan. If someone wants a potential sleeper top 25 team, Indiana is a great answer.

5. Michigan State Spartans

Projected Record: 3-6

Wins: Rutgers, Indiana, Maryland

Losses: Michigan, Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois

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The offense has not been great over the past few years and now they have to replace quarterback Brian Lewerke with either Rocky Lombardi and Theo Day. What may save the offense is RB Elijah Collins, who is a talented runner and should have a 1,000 yard season. The offensive line was bad last year and will need an improvement from their returning starters. At wide receiver Jayden Reed will finally get to play after being a Freshman All-American at Western Michigan in 2018, but they’ll need someone else to step up to make this offense watchable.

The defense was solid last year, but the Spartans return just three starters to the defense. One of the lone brightspots is LB Antjuan Simmons, who is an absolute stud.

Final Outlook: Coach Mel Tucker will spend his first year with the Spartans behind following a late arrival to campus and spring practice getting cut. Add the questionable talent on the roster and this might be a tough year.

6. Maryland Terrapins

Projected Record: 2-7

Wins: Northwestern, Rutgers

Losses: Minnesota, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana, Michigan, Purdue

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 Quarterback Josh Jackson was NOT GOOD as he finished the year completing below 50% of his passes. He will be replaced by either redshirt freshman QB Lance LeGendre or QB Taulia Tagovailoa (brother of Tua). Whoever starts at QB will have a decent receiving core with Dontay Demus, Jeshaun Jones, and five-star freshman WR Rakim Jarrett. At running back Maryland loses their top two starters, but have talented true freshmen Peny Boone and Isaiah Jacobs (Brother of Oakland Raiders Josh Jacobs) coming in. The offensive line returns three starters.

The defense also goes through a transition losing their two starting corners and safety Antoine Brooks. Maryland returns a few players to their front seven, but depth is a concern.

Final Outlook: The season was a disaster for the Terps. In the last seven games, the offense scored just 13.7 points per game. It won’t get any easier coming off their 3-9 season and 20 players in the transfer portal. Mike Locksley has increased the level of recruiting, but it may still take another year for Maryland to be a .

7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Projected Record: 0-9 

Wins: None

Losses: Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, Penn State, Maryland

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The quarterback battle will be between Nebraska grad transfer Noah Vedral and returning QB Artur Sitkowski. This should be Vedral’s job to lose as Sitkowski’s 5 TDs and 20 INTs over the past two years doesn’t signal much confidence. RB Isaih Pacheco is the lone skill player bright spot on the offense.  The offensive line was horrendous last year and return only one starter. In year one under Schiano the line will involve a lot of JUCO transfers having to play right away… which means the offensive line will not be good again.

The defense returns a decent amount of starters, but there aren’t many Big Ten starting caliber players. This rebuild will take time.

Final Outlook: Greg Schiano returns with a massive rebuild job in front of him. The strategy so far has been to hit the transfer portal, but only Michigan DT Michael Dwumfour is immediately eligible. Rutgers will need a few years of Schiano’s recruiting to be competitive.

Big Ten West

1. Wisconsin Badgers

Projected Record: 7-2

Wins: Illinois, Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota, Indiana

Losses: Iowa, Ohio State

Spring practice would’ve given redshirt freshman QB Graham Mertz a chance to provide at least some competition. Instead it was an injury to senior QB Jack Coan that has led Graham Mertz to lead the Badgers. The challenge for the Badgers is replacing 2,000 yard rusher Johnathan Taylor. RB Nakia Watson is the most likely candidate as the second leading rusher last year. The receivers are unproven as they have to replace senior Quintez Cephus. TE Jake Ferguson was actually the second leading receiver last year and returns to the Badgers. The key for Wisconsin and the biggest strength is four of their five starting offensive linemen are back.

The defense was one of the best in the Big Ten in 2019 and only lose two starters (although they were key starters in OLB Zack Baun and ILB Chris Orr). The Badgers have the experience to replace Baun and Orr on the linebacking group and should continue to thrive. Also, the strong defensive line returns everyone. In the secondary, Caesar Williams and Faion Hicks are experienced corners, and safety Eric Burrell leads the unit. The Badgers defense should be a top ten unit in the country.

Final Outlook: Wisconsin will be led by a strong defense and a decent offense. While they may not have the fire power to beat Ohio State, the Badgers should give them a fight.

2. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Projected Record: 6-3

Wins: Michigan, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Nebraska

Losses: Purdue, Wisconsin, Penn State

Minnesota returns quality starting QB Tanner Morgan behind an offensive line that returns everyone. Add one of the best receivers in the Big Ten with Rashod Bateman, quality starting WR Chris Autman-Bell, and solid running back Mohamed Ibrahim… this looks like a pretty fun offense.

The questions for the Golden Gophers are around the defense. Nine of the top twelve tacklers are gone including four that were drafted in the NFL. This includes All-American Antoine Winfield Jr., who was an ultimate playmaker for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota returns one defensive lineman starter and is the weakness of the defense. The secondary will continue to be alright with CB Coney Durr and Safety Jordan Howden leading.

Final Outlook: Minnesota will have one of the best offenses in the Big Ten, but can Coach P.J. Fleck replace the key losses on the defensive side? Either way, Minnesota is Wisconsin’s biggest competition in the West.

3. Iowa Hawkeyes

Projected Record: 5-4

Wins: Purdue, Michigan State, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin

Losses: Northwestern, Minnesota, Penn State, Michigan

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QB Spencer Petras likely takes over the starting role left by Nate Stanley. The offense will be led by running backs Tyler Goodson, coming off a great freshman season, and Mekhi Sargent. The receiving core returns everyone including explosive WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Although they lost talented OT Tristan Wirfs, they still have left tackle Alaric Jackson, one of the best centers in the country and a group of other strong, experienced lineman.

The defense was stout last year, only giving up 14 points per game. DE Chauncey Golston will have to step-in for A.J. Epenesa. The linebackers will most likely be led by experienced LB Djimon Colbert and Nick Niemann. The secondary will have to replace stud CB Michael Ojemudia and safety Geno Stone. The probable replacements include safety Jack Koerner and experienced senior CB Matt Hankins.

Final Outlook: Iowa’s an interesting team that could surprise some this year. If Spencer Petras steps into Nate Stanley’s shoes alright, Iowa might be a surprise Big Ten West champion.

4. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Projected Record: 3-6

Wins: Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue

Losses: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana

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Will Adrian Martinez actually make a step-up? That is the big question going into 2020. RB Dedrick Mills is back for his senior year after being a workhorse in 2019. WRs Omar Manning and Wan’Dale Robinson makes up a decent receiving core as Manning is a highly touted JUCO transfer and Robinson is an explosive, do-it-all player. Another bonus is the offensive line returns all of their starters.

The defense made a slight improvement in 2019, but also lose six starters in 2020. This includes three on the defensive line which will be a project. The defensive unit will most likely be led by their secondary including corners Cam Taylor-Britt and Dicaprio Bootle.

Final Outlook: The media hyped up Nebraska way too much last year, even projecting them to win the West. Nebraska should have a good team, but winning the division is out of the question.

5. Illinois Fighting Illini

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Projected Record: 4-5

Wins: Purdue, Rutgers, Northwestern, Michigan State

Losses: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Iowa

Lovie Smith took a step forward in 2019 making a bowl game, finishing 6-7, and even upsetting Wisconsin. Will Illinois actually have a winning record in 2020? Lovie Smith loves his transfers and will have stud WR Josh Imatorbhebhe back for another year. After sitting out, former Georgia TE Luke Ford is also eligible. They will join former Michigan QB Brandon Peters and four returning starting offensive lineman. The key for Illinois will be trying to find someone to run the ball.

The linebackers are a strength with Jake Hansen and Mileo Eifler returning. The secondary is also a strength with safety Sydney Brown and corners Tony Adams and Nate Hobbs. Young DB Marquez Beason is also looked at as a young playmaker who will make an impact this year. Where Illinois needs help is along the defensive line where it’ll be tough to replace Oluwole Betiku’s 9 sacks.

Final Outlook: Illinois is no longer looked at as a bottom dweller following last season, but Lovie Smith still has a ways to go before they’re a contender. Expect 2020 to look just like 2019.

6. Purdue Boilermakers

Projected Record: 4-5

Wins: Northwestern, Minnesota, Rutgers, Maryland

Losses: Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Indiana

Purdue was rough last year finishing 4-8. The biggest question is who will be the starting quarterback? The competition is between Jack Plummer, Aidan O’Connell, and UCLA grad transfer Austin Burton. Burton has looked good in limited action at UCLA, while Plummer and O’Connell received starting snaps with Purdue. The receiving threats are stacked with 1000 yard receiver David Bell and potential first round pick Rondale Moore. Purdue returns four starters to the offensive line but finished 126th in rushing yards per game last year.

Defensively Purdue was horrible, allowing over 430 yards per game. The defensive line actually has some depth and talent including freshman All-American DE George Karlaftis and DT Lorenzo Neal. However, the talent in the secondary and at the linebacker position are lacking.

Final Outlook: Purdue should have a better season than in 2019, but the defense will continue to be a weakness. With one of the best duos at receiver with Rondale Moore and David Bell, the offense will have to carry the team.

7. Northwestern Wildcats

Projected Record: 3-6

Wins: Iowa, Michigan State, Rutgers

Losses: Maryland, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois

The Wildcats have taken a major fall since winning the Big Ten West in 2018. Their offense was terrible averaging a little over 16 points per game. The four quarterbacks that played last year combined for only six touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Based on their performance from last season, incoming Indiana grad transfer Peyton Ramsey should win the job with no problem. Northwestern have a stable of running backs returning, but will have to find some skill players at the wide receiver position other than Riley Lees. Left tackle Rashawn Slater is one of the best in the Big Ten and leads the offensive line.

Northwestern has one of the Big Ten’s best group of linebackers with seniors Blake Gallagher, Paddy Fisher, and Chris Bergin. The secondary also returns almost all of their starters from a strong group last year. The key will to find someone who can rush the passer on the defensive line.

Final Outlook: The offense will be slightly improved and the defense should be solid. However, finding wins in the Big Ten is tough, especially when you play Penn State from the Big Ten East. Expect a more competitive Northwestern team than last year.

College Football Playoff Race

We are down to the last week in the College Football Playoff. The debate is heating up and there are six teams that will have their playoff chances decided this weekend. Here is a look at what I believe each of these 6 teams need to do in order to lock up a playoff spot:

TOP 4

1. Alabama (11-1)Alabama Crimson Tide

Their Resume: Alabama has been very impressive since their one loss at Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide has three wins against top 25 teams after a rivalry win against Auburn. A win this weekend will give them everything you look for. Quality wins, only one quality loss and a conference championship in the toughest conference in the nation. They also pass the eye test with a great stretch of games against LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn.

What they need to do to make the playoffs: A win against Missouri on Saturday will not only clinch a playoff spot, but more than likely the number one seed in the playoffs. A loss in the SEC Championship would diminish their chances, but not totally put them out. They would need some help most likely two out of these top six teams to lose.

.What they have left: SEC Championship Vs. Missouri

Oregon Ducks

2. Oregon (11-1)

Their Resume: They have three top 25 wins and a very good non conference victory against Michigan State. Oregon hasn’t even had a close game since their loss against Arizona beating teams by an average of 24 points. The Oregon Ducks will have a shot at the conference championship against Arizona which will just add to their impressive resume.

What they need to do to make the playoffs: Friday is a must win for Oregon against Arizona that will be for the conference championship. If they lose I do not see them getting a shot at the playoffs. With a win I believe they will be right there in the second seed for the playoffs.

What they have left: Pac-12 Championship Vs. Arizona

Florida State

3. Florida St. (12-0)

Their Resume: They’re still undefeated. Florida State continues to find ways to win close games against average teams. They do not have a signature victory as they’ve only beaten the number 19th and 21st ranked team. Notre Dame looked like a signature win, but they have been exposed as an average 7-5 team. They really haven’t passed the eye test, but you have to give them credit for going undefeated. They will have another chance to add to their resume against their toughest opponent yet with Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship.

What they need to do to make the playoffs: They need a win and they’re in. Going undefeated and winning the ACC Championship will be plenty for getting a bid to the College Playoff. With a loss I believe Florida State is done and do not have a chance at the playoffs. In case of a loss, Florida State would not have a signature win on their schedule.

What they have left: ACC Championship Vs. Georgia Tech

tcu logo4. TCU (10-1)

Their Resume: TCU had a big statement blowout against Texas on Thanksgiving day. They have looked good all season and pass the eye test. TCU also has two top 25 wins on their resume with a very impressive blowout of Kansas State. Their one downfall is losing a close game at Waco against Baylor. Baylor is also fighting for a playoff position, but I believe TCU right now has looked better and has a better resume with their non conference victory against Minnesota. A win this weekend will also give them a share of the Big 12 championship.

What they need to do to make the playoffs: The four spot in the playoffs is where things get interesting. TCU has one more chance to be impressive to look good for the playoff committee against Iowa State. I believe they will need to beat them soundly to stay in the top four with Ohio State and Baylor on their heels. If Baylor looks good this weekend it could lead the committee to look at Baylor and TCU as a tie, which I believe Baylor would get the nod due to head to head.

What they have left: Vs. Iowa State

First 2 Out

Baylor Logo5. Baylor (10-1)

Their Resume: Baylor has impressive victories against Oklahoma and TCU, with a chance for a third against Kansas State this weekend. They have one bad loss against West Virginia by fourteen points that I believe holds them back. They also only won by two points against Texas Tech this past weekend. Their non conference also includes SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo. I believe right now TCU has the advantage over Baylor in the eye test and a better resume. That could change this weekend as a win will most likely give them a share of the Big 12 championship with TCU.

What they need to do to make the playoffs: Baylor needs a win and to look good doing it against Kansas State. TCU has looked better than them and they do not have the resume that TCU does. A convincing victory over Kansas State could change that. I believe if it is neck and neck between TCU and Baylor then the victory over TCU gets them into the playoff. 

What they have left: Vs. Kansas State

ohio state6. Ohio State (11-1)

Their Resume: Ohio State will have a chance to add to their resume with the Big Ten championship this weekend against Wisconsin. However, they do lack quality wins as the only top 25 victory they have is against Michigan State. They also have a bad loss against Virginia Tech. They have looked good since that loss, but do not have the quality wins to jump Baylor or TCU. Another wrinkle to their resume is that JT Barrett looks to be done for the year and they will have to rely on Cardale Jones. The playoff committee does consider injuries, so I do not believe they will put an Ohio State team without their starting quarterback over Baylor or TCU.

What they need to do to make the playoffs: They need to win against Wisconsin and do it convincingly. Cardale Jones must look good in order to pass the eye test in front of the committee. I do not believe they have the resume to pass TCU or Baylor. More than likely I believe they are going to have to rely on a few losses in front of them to make the playoffs. I think they are a distant third behind TCU and Baylor for that fourth spot after the JT Barrett injury.

What they have left: Big Ten Championship Vs. Wisconsin

College Football Playoff Race

The College Football Playoff Debate is heating up. With only three weeks to go in the season, the playoffs should include four of these seven contenders. Here are my current rankings of the top 7 contenders:

TOP 4

1. Alabama (9-1)Alabama Crimson Tide

What they have going for them: Alabama has looked like the best team recently with a 59-0 win against A&M, a win at LSU and against Mississippi State. Their one loss was a close game in Oxford against the 8th ranked Ole Miss Rebels. Based on the eye test, leading the SEC and a big win against Mississippi State makes Alabama the top team.

What they have against them: Alabama currently only has one top 25 victory. This past weekend wasn’t a great weekend for Alabama past opponents. LSU lost to Arkansas and Texas A&M lost to Missouri. However, if they win out they will have wins against Auburn and the SEC East which should give them the Resume they need to be the number one team

What they have left: Vs. Western Carolina, Vs. Auburn, SEC Championship

Oregon Ducks

2. Oregon (9-1)

What they have going for them: They have three top 25 wins and probably one of the most impressive resumes around. Currently Oregon has taken down the teams ranked 10th, 11th and 20th. Their only loss was a close one against 15th ranked Arizona. Oregon has also been playing extremely well since the October 2nd loss with an average victory of 21.6 points.

What they have against them: Oregon really doesn’t have a signature win. They have a lot of good wins, but the lack of a signature win separates Alabama from Oregon. The SEC in my opinion has been a better conference this year then the Pac 12 also.

What they have left: Vs. Colorado, At Oregon State, Pac-12 Championship

Florida State

3. Florida St. (10-0)

What they have going for them: They’re undefeated. Florida State has found a way to win every game they have been in. They have played some decent teams with wins against Notre Dame, Clemson, Louisville and Miami. It looks like they will run away with the ACC Championship.

What they have against them: They do not have a win over a top 25 team. The non-conference win against Oklahoma State looks even worse now that they are 5-5. With this soft schedule, they haven’t looked impressive in their victories. If it was only about going undefeated Marshall would be a top 4 team. Florida State is in the top four because they are undefeated, but one loss I believe would eliminate them from playoff contention.

What they have left: Vs. Boston College, Vs. Florida, ACC Championship

tcu logo4. TCU (9-1)

What they have going for them: TCU has an impressive resume this season. So far they have two wins against top 25 teams Kansas State and Oklahoma. Their one loss was a close one against Baylor in Waco. If they win out it looks like they will be Co-Champions of the Big 12.

What they have against them: They stay in the top four, despite their struggle to beat a bad Kansas team. Even though they still won, it does keep the distance between them and Mississippi State much smaller. If they do end up Co-Champions with Baylor the committee will most likely look at Baylor as the champions.

What they have left: At Texas, Vs. Iowa State

Next 3

Mississippi state5. Mississippi State (9-1)

What they have going for them: They are a one loss SEC West team whose only loss was to a very good Alabama team. They have a quality win over Auburn and could get another quality win in the Egg Bowl over Ole Miss. Mississippi State passes the eye test too with Dak Prescott and a very good defense.

What they have against them: Just like Alabama they currently have only one win against a top 25 opponent. However, they are not in position to play in the SEC championship. With one of the criteria the committee looks at being conference champions, it could leave Mississippi State out of the top four teams. Right now they are on the fringe with their resume, but there is a possibility they get pushed out by a conference champion.

What they have left: Vs. Vanderbilt, At Ole Miss

Baylor Logo6. Baylor (8-1)

What they have going for them: Baylor has two impressive victories against Oklahoma and TCU. The win against TCU means if they win out they will be looked at by the committee as the Big 12 champions. Other than their one loss Baylor has looked pretty impressive winning at an average of 34.5 points per game. Baylor still has Kansas State left which would give them another impressive victory.

What they have against them: They have one bad loss to West Virginia where they were beaten by 14 points. Baylor also has had a very soft non-conference schedule playing SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo. The main thing that will hold them back is a combination of the weak schedule and loss to West Virginia.

What they have left: Vs. Oklahoma State, At Texas Tech, Vs. Kansas State

ohio state7. Ohio State (9-1)

What they have going for them: Ohio State has played much better since the loss to Virginia Tech. JT Barrett has improved throughout the season which has led to their 8 game winning streak. They also have a solid win at East Lansing over Michigan State. Right now it looks like they are in line to be in the Big Ten championship against Wisconsin.

What they have against them: An early loss against a bad Virginia Tech (5-5) team at home is their killer. They also only have the one signature win against Michigan State on their resume and  The Big 10 is not as strong as the other major conferences so their soft schedule plays against them. They will need to have an impressive finish to the season to be in that final four.

What they have left: Vs. Indiana, Vs. Michigan, Big Ten Championship