College Football: Contenders vs. Pretenders

College Football: Contenders vs. Pretenders

Carson Field, Sports Editor

After six weeks of the college football season, the teams in contention for the College Football Playoff are starting to get clearer. The coming weeks of the season will help spectators determine which teams are contenders, and which ones are pretenders.



Alabama, like many previous seasons, has had a great start to the season, as they have a 6-0 record. The Crimson Tide play the hardest two games of their season in the next two weeks against Tennessee and Texas A&M. My verdict is that Alabama is definitely a contender for the Playoff. They have been impressive in all six of their wins, as the only close game they played was against Ole Miss, defeating the Rebels 48-43 in a comeback victory. I expect the Tide to end the season with one loss or less, as their defense is so dominant. Unless they are defeated by A&M, I expect the Tide to once again appear in the SEC Championship.

Ohio State

Ohio State, who is perennially a football powerhouse, are once again dominant in 2016, and I expect them to reach the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes have not played a close game all year, for they defeated their closest opponent by 21 points. The Buckeyes’ most impressive win was their week two victory over Oklahoma. The Buckeyes came into Norman and made the Sooners look silly, winning by 21. The Buckeyes will likely reach the College Football Playoff, as they only have two more tough tests in the regular season, Wisconsin and Michigan (Nebraska doesn’t count, they’re overrated). If they can take care of business and end with one loss or less (but not to Michigan), they will likely appear in the Playoff.


The Huskies are back! Washington, who was a powerhouse in the 90s, is back to prominence, as they are the fifth-ranked team in the nation. The way they have played to start the season makes me believe the Huskies are here to stay. Besides the overtime close call against Arizona, they have been dominant. The Huskies outscored Stanford and Oregon by a total of 114-27. Stanford and Oregon may not be up to their usual standards, but they are still decent Pac-12 teams, which makes these dominant performances really impressive. Jake Browning has been a menace this year, as he is currently in the top five of most Heisman predictions. If Browning can keep up his production, there is a good chance Washington will be in this year’s playoff.



Louisville has had a surprisingly good season, as they are currently ranked seventh in the nation in the AP poll. However, I don’t view the Cardinals as a Playoff team. I will not deny, quarterback Lamar Jackson is likely the best quarterback in college football and is leading the Heisman race for good reason. He is a beast. My problem with Louisville is the team surrounding him. The Cardinals’ defense is weak, as it allowed 28 points to Syracuse and Marshall. A couple weeks ago, their weak defense caught up with them when they fell to Clemson 36-42. There is still a chance the Cardinals make the Playoff, as their only tough test remaining is against Houston. If Louisville makes the Playoff by some chance, they will be routed by any team they play.


I have one question for the voters of the AP poll: how the heck is Nebraska ranked No. 10? The Cornhuskers have a strong record, as they are 5-0, but they haven’t played one good team yet. Their most quality win is against Oregon, who is down this year. The Nebraska defense is not bad, but their offense is not great. I don’t think Nebraska is worthy of being in the top 20, but the committee is high on the Huskers. The good news is they will likely have to beat both Wisconsin and Ohio State to have a chance at the College Football Playoff. This will not happen. Wisconsin and Ohio State are so much better than Nebraska.


Baylor is 5-0 to start the season, but they aren’t as strong as their record shows. The Bears started the season with three cupcakes and have since defeated an overrated Oklahoma State team and Iowa State, who is bad nearly every year. The unfortunate thing for college football fans is Baylor has one of the easiest schedule of all Power Five teams, so there is still a chance the Bears make the College Football Playoff. If the Bears defeat overrated TCU and Oklahoma teams, there is a good chance the Bears will take a spot from a more deserving team.