Rankings Reaction: Baylor gets demoted after loss to OU

Junior running back Shock Linwood sheds a tackle during the Baylor-Oklahoma game Saturday at McLane Stadium. The Bears, then-ranked No. 6, lost to then-ranked No. 12 Sooners 34-44. Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

After suffering their first loss of the season, the Baylor Bears fall out of my top four College Football Playoff rankings.

While the Bears were certainly disrespected by the committee, their loss does give way to some shake up in bottom half of the rankings.

All of the top four teams came away with a victory this weekend, little shake up in the official top four occurred. In fact, I completely agree with the committee’s selections.

Here’s my take on the final four heading into this weekend:

No. 4 NOTRE DAME

I’m officially on the Notre Dame bandwagon. After losing their starting quarterback to a season ending ankle injury, the Fighting Irish have willed themselves to a 9-1 record.

Their only loss on the season is to Clemson, at Clemson.

In a monsoon. By two. The Fighting Irish have been flying under everyone’s radar either because they usually play on NBC or because everyone already hates them.

What cannot be hated about the Fighting Irish is their resiliency and ability to overcome early season strife.

The Irish have beaten opponents down with a heavy run game and a great play action pass game.

Deshone Kizer has been tremendous filling in for Malik Zaire and it only helps that he has Will Fuller to throw to on the outsides.

Three Irish players have rushed for over 300 yards this season and with a defense that has played above average (44th in terms of total defense), the Irish have a good chance to remain in the top 4.

No. 3 OHIO STATE

The Buckeyes seem to be a repeat story of Florida State last year. They are undefeated and the defending champions but they have been less than impressive so far this season.

With J.T. Barrett resuming his role as the starting quarterback, he just hasn’t had the same effect as last year. The Buckeyes are turnover prone on offense, spotty on defense, and way to talented to only beat Illinois 28-3.

The Buckeyes have had numerous scares and this weekend against Michigan State will surely define their season. The talent is undisputable but the results just have not shown.

Nevertheless, the Buckeyes should remain in the top four based on their record and potential alone.

No. 2 ALABAMA

Alabama is by far the best one loss team in the nation and they have shown it. Their defense has played to its usual Nick Saban standards in the last two weeks and they are just now rounding into form.

After holding down Leonard Fournette, and Dak Prescott in back to back weeks, the Crimson Tide have solidified themselves amongst the nation’s elite.

They also field one of the nation’s elite running backs in Derrick Henry, who is surely at the top of everyone’s Heisman lists.

Henry has carried the load for the Alabama offense, rushing 240 times for 1,458 yards and 19 touchdowns.

With a portable offense, a stout defense, and special teams that are almost flawless, Alabama should run the table yet again and position themselves in the playoff in back to back seasons.

No. 1 CLEMSON

There is no doubting the placement of Clemson at the number one spot. They have no losses unlike Notre Dame and Alabama and have actually played decent opponents, unlike Ohio State.

Clemson is perhaps the only team in the nation that has an elite offense and an elite defense as well. Offensively, the trio of Deshaun Watson (QB), Wayne Gallman (RB) and Artavis Scott (WR) is a lethal combination.

The Tigers could explode at any time and they have shown that they can also slow down the pace in tight games.

Defensively, the Tigers have one the nation’s top units.

They rank 3rd in pass yards allowed per game, 25th in rushing yards, and only allow opponents to score an average of 18 points per game, 15th in the country.

Expect Dabo Swinney and the Tigers to dance their way to an ACC championship.

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