This week's ballot for the Athlon Sports mock playoff poll.
1. Florida State
5. Mississippi State
7. Ohio State
8. Ole Miss
*The shade getting thrown Florida St.'s way from some circles strikes me as silly. Going undefeated in college football is so damn hard. As the only unblemished Power 5 team left in the mix, the Seminoles deserve all the No. 1 votes.
Someone will beat FSU this year. Alabama is probably a better team. For right now, that doesn't matter until the Seminoles lose.
*Another one that is weird to me: Minnesota loss to Ohio St. hurts TCU's case versus Baylor.
Did anyone expect the Gophers to win that game? If anything, I'd say Minnesota playing the Buckeyes relatively close helps TCU's argument. At worst, the Gophers' seven-point defeat at home feels like a wash.
*By the by, Baylor, wait until the season is finished before you go getting a bee in your bonnet over your position. TCU has work left to do with that Thanksgiving trip to Austin. (So do the Bears, for that matter, who have a season-ending game against Kansas State.)
*I view 'Bama and Oregon as nearly interchangeable from a resume standpoint. I really hope we get this matchup in a semifinal game. Seems like it has eluded us for so long now.
*If you're looking for a team that could seriously bolster its case in the last three weeks of the season, give UCLA a gander. The Bruins still have to tangle with USC, Stanford and the Ducks. Win all three, hope for some chaos – maybe they slide into the top four.
*I'll add a new feature to this column and predict how I would set the field should the rest of the season play out the way I'm projecting that it will:
- Rose Bowl: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oregon
- Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Florida St. vs. No. 4 TCU
I've got Mississippi St. losing to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, which would remove the Bulldogs from contention for a spot. The big variable is how to treat a projected 12-1 OSU against a projected 11-1 TCU and Baylor. The loss to Virginia Tech really doesn't help the Buckeyes' cause. On the other hand, I've got OSU getting an extra win over a solid Wisconsin team in a conference title game.
Based on how I think the rest of the games will play out, I'd still take the Horned Frogs. In reality, however, they might have the worst odds to make it into the field out of those three teams.