The College Football Playoff

We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the college football season. There have been big wins, shocking losses, and nearly everything in between. Although the playoff picture has become clearer, there’s still plenty of football left this year. Let’s take a look at each of the top four college football teams, evaluating their current style of play, key players, and the potential hiccups they could face on the road to the College Football Playoff.

1. Alabama

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa // Image courtesy of Alabama.com

Previous Ranking: #1

Record: 6-0

The Tide is on another level. Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is unchallenged at the top of the Heisman race and leads the offense with a completion percentage of 75.2%. Alabama has won by an average of 40 points, with their smallest margin of victory coming in a win against #22 Texas A&M. But the Tide could face some trouble in the back half of their season, as three of their final four games are against teams that are currently ranked in the top 25 -- #13 LSU, #24 Mississippi State, and #21 Auburn. The biggest challenge will undoubtedly come in the SEC Championship, however, as they will likely face a solid Georgia team. Regardless, if the Tide continue to play with intensity and pace, they should be on track to make it into the College Football Playoff.

2. Georgia

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm // Image courtesy of NewJersey.com

Previous Ranking: #2

Record: 6-0

Like Alabama, Georgia has had an impressive start to their season. With a record of 4-0 in the SEC, the Bulldogs have climbed from the #4 spot to settle in comfortably at #2. The offense has it all—an exceptional quarterback, solid rushers, and receivers that can catch under coverage. Georgia will face their biggest test of the season thus far this weekend as they travel to play at #13 LSU. Unlike the Tide, however, the Bulldogs will need to remain undefeated to have a shot at the Playoffs, and proving themselves this weekend in Tiger Stadium would certainly be a good start.

3. Ohio State

Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins // Image courtesy of The Lantern

Previous Ranking: #3

Record: 6-0

Although Ohio State started their season without Head Coach Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes were able to get it done, and they continue to perform as the season continues.  Quarterback Dwayne Haskins and running back J.K. Dobbins are agile and cool under pressure, carrying an Ohio State offense which is scary good. The Buckeyes solidified themselves as a viable College Football Playoff contender in their 27-26 victory over #7 Penn State, where they demonstrated their resolve and tenacity, especially in a hostile away-game environment. Ohio State could find trouble in their final game of the regular season against #12 Michigan, but if the Buckeyes can get through November undefeated, they should be in good shape for a spot in the top four.

4. Clemson

Clemson running back Travis Etienne // Image courtesy of ACCsports.com

Previous Ranking: #4

Record: 6-0

The Tigers sit atop the ACC at 6-0, and they shouldn’t have much trouble winning their conference. The next highest ranked ACC team is #16 Miami, and Clemson isn’t even scheduled to play Miami in the regular season. Like the other top teams, Clemson has a dynamic style and a complete offense, with a solid rushing game led by Travis Etienne, who has carried for 761 yards and 11 touchdowns. Clemson has a weak schedule, however, which is something that could ultimately lead to their demise. Just one of their remaining opponents is ranked, and it is #20 NC State. The Tigers should be able to post wins, but they will need big wins if they wish to remain in the top 4 — particularly over an increasingly solid Notre Dame team. By beating NC State this weekend, Clemson could do their part to cement a place in the College Football Playoff.