Should Utah be in the top 4?

If college football playoffs were this weekend, there would be much debate. The AP Poll has Ohio State, Michigan State, Ole Miss and TCU. The Coaches Poll has Ohio State, Michigan State, TCU and Baylor. The Football Power Rankings chose Ohio State, Ole Miss, Michigan State and UCLA.

In all reality, how you feel the rankings should be going into Week Five is entirely dependent on what you think of Oregon in 2015. The biggest upset of the season so far was the 62-20 Utah win over the Ducks in Eugene. This game dropped Oregon from the top 25 for the first time in over four years, and now the Utes boast the best resume of the season.

This is the Ducks’ worst season opening in over a decade. Their two losses come from the current No. 2 Michigan State (31-28) and Utah. Their only wins came against “eh” teams — Eastern Washington (61-42) and Georgia State (61-28) — and the Ducks’ defense doesn’t leave anyone feeling very comfortable. This week Oregon heads to Boulder to take on Colorado, so it will take another few weeks to truly evaluate this Oregon team.

With the Utes’ upset over Oregon, some think they should be given a higher ranking than 10. Michigan State owes its No. 2 rank to a close win against the Ducks in East Lansing. The Spartans are 4-0 right now, but their other three wins come from “OK” teams and none were blowouts like they should have been.

Utah’s other big win of the season was against Michigan, who has broken the top 25 this week for the first time since 2013. Utah’s 24-17 win over the Wolverines didn’t seem like much until the Wolverines beat Oregon State and BYU, but even that’s not exactly impressive.

BYU’s most impressive game this season would be its 24-23 loss to UCLA despite their wins, by Hail Mary’s, against Nebraska and Boise State. UCLA is either in people’s top fours or just outside of it thanks to their 56-30 win over Arizona. The win wasn’t notable besides the fact that the Bruins were able to hold the Bears, who have a strong offensive game, to 20 points at home. UCLA’s win will look better if Arizona can take down Stanford on Saturday.

Another game outcome affecting rankings is the Ole Miss 43-37 win over Alabama, which was not great. The Roll Tide played sloppy, both teams had major turnovers and Bama had more yards despite the Rebel win. If Nick Saban and his team fall in Georgia this weekend, do the Rebels deserve to be in the top four either? Maybe a win against Florida on Saturday will help their case.

No. 1 seed Ohio State hasn’t been proving itself of that top spot. The Buckeyes’ only significant win was against Virginia Tech (42-24), but now that Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina, we are stuck wondering if they are only No. 1 because they were the 2014 champions. The Buckeyes head to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on Saturday.

Baylor and TCU round out the teams in current playoff spots. TCU needed that tipped-pass miracle to avoid an upset by Texas Tech, 55-52. TCU has been challenged in every one of its games and its offense despite returning most of its players is not where it was last year.

Baylor’s first true match up of the season comes against the Texas Tech team that almost upset TCU. The Bears’ only other wins were over SMU, Rice and Lamar.

Looks like it will be another few weeks before I start to feel confident with my top-four choices and even then I will probably disagree when the CFP committee releases its first rankings on Nov. 3.


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