With the first College Football Playoff Rankings of 2018, the table is now ready for the season's run of the season.
Below we will follow the effects of each Top 25 game before and after the final score. We pay close attention to the business of the CFP committees, not highlights and other things.
Remember the things the committee has largely rewarded: victories over the last 25 top teams, victories over bowl teams, street wins, dominant victories, strangely excusable losses, being Alabama and not a median major. It does not matter how high your opponent's rank was.
All times ET. All days Saturday unless otherwise stated. Final results in bold,
Games where the winning team is expected to get a good 9th win at the end of the season. Or: really meaningful moods.
- No. 1 Alabama (8-0) at No. 3 LSU (7-1), 8, CBS: The biggest game of 2018 so far … somehow. Assuming you do not believe that Mississippi State or Auburn Bama could beat Tuscaloosa, the tide could be practically a playoff spot (knowing that they do not necessarily need a SEC title to make it). The tigers can be in great shape to hold a six-year bid for the new year.
- # 5 Michigan (7-1) Vs. # 14 Penn State (6-2), 3:45 pm, ESPN: I have the wolves in the playoff, and of course they are there when they win. I also think Penn State has a NY6 shot even if lost here.
- No. 6 Georgia (7-1) at No. 9 Kentucky (7-1), 3:30 pm, CBS: The winners of the SEC Championship and a surprise outside the playoff. This is a real phrase about a game with the Kentucky Football Wildcats. Hello.
- # 13 West Virginia (6-1) at # 17 Texas (6-2), 3:30 pm, Fox: The winner is most likely in the Big 12 Championship, where he will likely lose to Oklahoma. The conference wants the WVU to stay alive in the playoff race, but how much would they love a second Oklahoma Texas game?
Games where the winner has probably defeated a decent bowl team.
- No. 4 Notre Dame (8-0) in the northwest (5-3), 7:15 am, ESPN: Northwestern won the Big Ten West. Northwestern could be a .500 team that lost to Akron. Something, from an OK win to a great win, is on the table for the Irish, but watch out for these underdogs.
- No. 7 Oklahoma (7-1) at Texas Tech (5-3), 8, ABC: Should be a decent victory for OU against one of about 263 surviving teams for the Big 12 title available.
- # 8 Washington State (7-1) Vs. Cal (5-3), 10:45, ESPN: WSU is still alive in the playoff, but realistically, goal # 1 is one step closer to Pac-12 North. Before the Apple Cup, ideally.
- # 11 Florida (6-2) Vs. Missouri (4-4), 4, SEC Network: If the Gators are only doing business from here, they are in Dan Mullen's first year of the new six years.
- # 15 Utah (6-2) Vs. Arizona State (4-4), 4, Pac-12 NetworkThe Utes can approach a point to claim their first Pac-12 title bid and win a road victory over a likely pool team.
- No. 16 Iowa (6-2) in Purdue (4-4), 3:30 pm, ESPN2: I still think Iowa is the most likely Big Ten West champion, but maybe I'm an idiot.
- # 18 Mississippi State (5-3) Vs. Louisiana Tech (6-2), 7:30 am, SEC Network
- No. 19 Syracuse (6-2) vs. Wake Forest (4-4), noon, ACC network
- # 20 Texas A & M (5-3) vs. # 20. Auburn (5-3), noon, ESPN
- No. 21 NC state (5-2) vs. Florida State (4-4), 3:30 pm, ABC
- # 22 Boston College (6-2) Vs. Virginia Tech (4-3), 3:45, ACC Network
- 25 Virginia (6-2) Vs. Pitt (4-4), 7:30 am Friday, ESPN2: Do you think it's weird that Virginia introduces the ACC Coastal in November? That's nothing. A 500cc Pitt can steal the lead with a win.
Since the committee has shown over four years that non-power teams have a REALLY long way to the playoff, we have a separate section for the race as the best mid-major champion.
- No. 12 UCF (7-0) vs. Temple (5-3), Thursday at 7:30 am, ESPN: Based on record wins and S & P +, these will be the best UCF teams played year-round. This team has lost to FCS Villanova but has improved rapidly since then.
- No. 23 Fresno State (7-1) at UNLV (2-6), 10:30 am, CBSSN: The rebels fade, so you better call style points. The mountain-west may have to hope that UCF loses, as it is clear that the committee is very concerned about the number in the loss column – Fresno was probably much better than UCF in the year to date.
- Cincinnati (7-1) vs. Navy (2-6), 3:30 pm, ESPNU
- Houston (7-1) at SMU (3-5), 7, ESPNU: I thought Houston would have a rank, but no worries. Get the AAC title game and beat UCF. The cougs have a strong NY6 case.
- UAB (7-1) vs. UTSA (3-5), 7:30
- USF (7-1) vs. Tulane (3-5), 3:30, CBSSN
- State of Utah (7-1) in Hawaii (6-4), midnight, stadium
The committee does not bother much about your winnings against teams that end up with bad records Really to put it to the people. So for the ranked teams here: Do not lose!
- No. 2 Clemson (8-0) against Louisville (2-6), noon ABC: Holy shit, please do not watch this slaughter.
- # 10 Ohio State (7-1) Vs. Nebraska (2-6), noon, Fox: Buckeyes' schedule is not big, and that does not help, but they control their fate anyway.
- # 24 Iowa State (4-3) Vs. Kansas (3-5), noon, FSN