College Football Championship Report (OFN Rankings)
OFN Rankings…Each week we rank our top teams projected to make the final four as well as leading contenders, risers and our “Group of Five” teams battling it out for a major bowl.
Final Four…Our current picks to make the playoffs.
1 Penn State…Saquon Barkley is the best player in college football and the defense is better than last season. The Lions are 13th nationally in total defense and fourth in turnover margin thanks to a solid core led by senior safety Marcus Allen.
2 Clemson…As the Tigers defense continues to dominate, QB Kelly Bryant is growing before our eyes which is bad news for the rest of the country.
4 Oklahoma…Baker Mayfield, not Sam Darnold, is the top quarterback prospect in the country.
Top Contenders…Teams that still have a good shot at receiving an invite to the final four.
8 Washington State
Next in line…Michigan, Oklahoma State, Washington, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
RISERS…Teams that have a good chance of earning a higher-ranked bowl game invitation than originally expected.
Texas A&M…The Aggies make this group because most analysts thought they would have dropped a few more games and fired Coach Kevin Sumlin by now. The season can still go downhill though with four tough opponents over the next five weeks starting with a visit from top-ranked Alabama on Saturday night. The offense is surging thanks to a potent rushing attack led by running backs Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford as well as true freshman QB Kellen Mond, while senior safety Armani Watts leads the way on defense.
Maryland…The Terps are back on the rise thanks to fourth-string quarterback Max Bortenschlager’s big performance against Minnesota last week. Just in time too with Ohio State and Wisconsin on tap over the next three weeks.
Miami…QB Malik Rosier has more room to grow, but he’s doing a solid job early on while leaning on junior rusher Mark Walton, who’s averaging over nine yards-per-carry following a thousand-yard season. The Canes first true test is to put a stop to their losing streak against rival Florida State on Saturday. If they can survive that matchup then look out, because they have two tough games left on their schedule and both are at home against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in early November.
GROUP OF FIVE…Our leading contenders for the one major bowl invite extended to the top-ranked team from the non-Power Five FBS conferences.
1 Central Florida
2 San Diego State
3 South Florida
4 Colorado State
Next in line…Troy, Navy and Ohio.
Tune in to OFN College Football Preview every Friday for more in-depth analysis on the players and teams making our headlines each week and all season long.