This past summer, the commissioners from all the major conferences got together and decided that starting in the 2014 season, college football (at the FBS level) will have a four team "playoff". Though all the details haven't been worked out yet, a decision was made to have a selection committee determine who the four "most deserving" teams should be. This year, we are going to have our selection committee (all ya all that want to post) determine the four teams that are the most deserving. And, so, we have our Week Two Selection Committee Guessing Game.
Week One - Alabama takes the top spot.
I think it's fair to say that Nebraska is not quite ready to belong in this discussion. I think a game like the UCLA contest can be a positive moving into conference play, but for now, the Rose Bowl is the pinnacle for this team.
When I make my top four picks, I like to look at how teams have fared against good competition. This list will evolve over the course of the season as we get into conference play and conference championship games, but for now, all we have is two weeks worth of games against (mainly) teams playing non-conference games. So who are my top four this week? We'll start off with the Crimson Tide.
No.1 seed - Alabama. They don't need to score 60+ to impress me. The way their defense is playing, they pretty much are guaranteed a win with 35 points. And, if they shut out everyone the rest of the way, 35-0, there will be few arguments as to who the best this year is.
No.2 seed - Michigan State. They are about the only (elligible) school in the B1G that could even remotely be considered for the top four. The Spartans defense seems to be real and they have shown that their offense can be multidimensional. They have a tough stretch in October, but if they can survive that, they should be rolling into Indianapolis undefeated. I have concerns about USC and Oregon because their defenses seem to lapse at times. Makes me think that some other team will catch them off guard at some point during the season (see UCLA, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State). Michigan State has a real solid team that think could take 12 of the 14 SEC schools. Which leads me to my third seed.
No.3 seed - Louisiana State. They come in here at number three because of their strong showing in their first two games. It's hard to say how good Washington will be this year, but Steve Sarkisian's offense has shown signs of greatness the past couple years and LSU shut them down. They are No.3 because they will have to play Alabama during the regular season and I don't think they will win that one. And now for the controversial No.4 spot.
No.4 seed - I haven't decided yet if I'm going to be serious about my No.4 picks this year or give a team that normally wouldn't have a shot at the playoffs a reward for a good week/season. Last week, I gave the No.4 spot to Ohio. This week I feel like I'm stuck with a whole bunch of schools that could be here, but not one of them really stands out quite yet. I'm not ready to put a Big XII team here, yet. Their best win seems to be Kansas State's drubbing of Miami, but the jury is still out on how good the Hurricanes are this year. Texas has looked good with their focus on defense and a strong run game, but I will wait until the Red River Shootout before making a call on them.
That leaves me with trying to decide between the best team in the ACC and the best team in the PAC-12. That, or give an independent (Notre Dame, BYU), a quality Big East team (Louisville?, Cincinnati?) or a potential BCS buster (Ohio) an opportunity. But I suppose it's just a guessing game so I won't make it too complicated. I'll go with Clemson like I did last week. I think the PAC-12 schools will beat up on each other enough to allow the best team in the ACC to get the bid. Florida State? They'll have their chance in a couple weeks when they play Clemson. Also, the Tigers beat the Hokies a couple times last year so they will get the nod over the Hokies until things change there. Congrats Clemson, you get to play Alabama.
Now it's your turn. Who would be in your Top 4?