In the New World Order that is the College Football Playoff, teams will rise and fall based on who they play and how they play each week. Every Saturday is a new referendum. Oregon, for example, scheduled a Top 10 team (Michigan State) at home and won by 19. Thus the Ducks are rewarded by moving up to my No. 1 this week. Florida State scheduled a bad FCS team, The Citadel, and gets bumped down a couple of notches. Georgia, ranked No. 1 last week, was idle and drops a place because of Oregon’s impressive win.
Here is this week’s top four for the College Football Playoff. Disagree? Then give me your four.
1) Oregon (2-0): After watching the Ducks beat Michigan State, a team that I think will finish 12-1 and win the Big Ten title, the Ducks may well go 13-0 and find a place in the first College Football Playoff if quarterback Marcus Mariota stays healthy. Oregon, which in the past has been just good enough to break your heart, manned up against Michigan State. This is a tougher, more physical team.
2) Georgia (1-0): The Bulldogs travel to South Carolina with a chance to make a statement that this ranking is legit. The last time Georgia visited Columbia it did not go well (35-7). Steve Spurrier’s back is to the wall. Lose this one and the Gamecocks are done in the SEC East. Win this one and the schedule sets up nicely for Georgia.
3) Auburn (2-0): The Tigers continue to be incredibly efficient. They beat San Jose State 59-13, marking the 12th consecutive game (a school record) that Auburn has scored 30 points or more. The Tigers take this week off before going to Kansas State for a Thursday night game on Sept. 18.
4) Florida State (2-0): The Seminoles rolled past The Citadel 37-12 but me, you, and nine guys from the parking lot could roll over The Citadel (0-2). The Seminoles take this week off before hosting Clemson on Sept. 20.
Knocking on the door (in alphabetical order):
Alabama (2-0): The Crimson Tide looked crisper, especially on defense, in a 41-0 win over Florida Atlantic. Amari Cooper has 23 catches in two games. Alabama will be host to Southern Miss this week.
Baylor (2-0): The Bears have scored 115 points in beating SMU and Northwestern State. Another cupcake this week in Buffalo. We’ll finally find out about Baylor when it goes to Iowa State on Sept. 27.
LSU (2-0): Not sold yet on the Tigers but they had 584 yards of total offense in a 56-0 win over Sam Houston State. After another scrimmage with Louisiana Monroe this week, LSU opens conference play at home against Mississippi State on Sept. 20.
Notre Dame (2-0): The Fighting Irish beat Michigan 31-0 and as long as they keep winning they will be knocking on the door because of a schedule that includes Stanford, Florida State, Arizona State, Louisville, and Southern California. Everett Golson (23 of 34 against the Wolverines) used his year off (on suspension) to get better.
Oklahoma (2-0): Trevor Knight passed for 299 yards and Sterling Shepard had 177 receiving in a 52-7 win over Tulsa. The Sooners scored 48 points against a decent Louisiana Tech team. This week Oklahoma gets Tennessee at home, where coach Bob Stoops has an 87-5 record.
Texas A&M (2-0): We didn’t learn a whole lot new about the Aggies in a 73-3 win over Lamar. They get Rice and SMU (whose coach just resigned) before resuming the SEC schedule with Arkansas in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 27.
USC (2-0): The Trojans went on the road and beat a good Stanford team (13-10) that made a lot of mistakes. The schedule sets up nicely for USC but it finishes with UCLA on the road and Notre Dame at home. How about USC and Oregon in the Pac-12 title game?