Samuel Chi's Mock College Football Playoff Standings: Week 8

Samuel Chi@@ThePlayoffGuruCollege Football Playoff GuruOctober 13, 2014

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One Mississippi. Two Mississippi.

For the first time since...well, ever, the state of Mississippi is the epicenter of college football. In the latest AP poll, Mississippi State is No. 1 while Ole Miss checks in at No. 3, trailing defending national champion Florida State by just two points.

In the latest mock College Football Playoff standings, the two Mississippi teams have distanced themselves from the rest. The possibility exists now that half of the inaugural playoff field will be taken by the teams from the Magnolia State.

The SEC West continues to dominate the standings, with the top three spots all taken by teams from that division and also four of the top six. While the battle of attrition will continue, the teams from the states of Mississippi and Alabama have now separated themselves from the others. But against teams from outside of the division, the SEC West maintains a perfect 26-0 record.

In two weeks, the selection committee will unveil its first-ever rankings. What exactly that will look like is anyone's guess. But it should not be surprising that it will bear a striking resemblance to our mock standings.

 

The Rankings

Samuel Chi's Mock CFP Standings
RankTeamAP PollComputerSoSCFP Score
1Miss State12.5516.9581
2Ole Miss32.6121.9354
3Auburn63.633.8614
4Florida State26.6445.8527
5Baylor45.8167.8227
6Alabama77.2711.7767
7Notre Dame511.2351.7247
8Oklahoma118.6212.7188
9Georgia109.4923.7086
10Oregon911.3329.6832
11TCU1212.1725.6471
12Michigan State815.1170.5910
13Texas A&M2115.4217.4272
14Ohio State1321.3962.3989
15Kansas State1421.2374.3862
16Arizona1622.1743.3858
See <a href="http://www.bcsguru.com/2014_cfp_standings.htm">complete standings</a>

(See methodology of standings)

 

The Playoff Teams

1. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs defeated last week's No. 1 Auburn to ascend to the top of the standings, and it looks like they may stay there for a bit. While Mississippi State's schedule doesn't get considerably easier, its next real test likely won't come until Nov. 15 at Alabama.

Projected bowl: Playoff at Sugar Bowl

 

4. Florida State

Just like last season, the Seminoles are cruising through the ACC while teams in other conferences begin to kill each other off. This week, however, they'll meet their stiffest challenge yet, which could torpedo their chances of repeating as national champs. Notre Dame arrives in Tallahassee undefeated, with hopes of repeating its own dream season of 2012.

Projected bowl: Playoff at Rose Bowl

 

2. Ole Miss

Unlike their intrastate rivals, the Rebels won't have much of a breather in October, especially with a visit to Death Valley and then a visit from Auburn in back-to-back weeks. But if Ole Miss can get through these hurdles, it has a much more benign November schedule before hosting the all-important Egg Bowl.

Projected bowl: Playoff at Rose Bowl

 

5. Baylor 

On the brink of being eliminated from playoff contention, the Bears mounted a furious 24-point rally to defeat TCU. Baylor's lackluster nonconference resume, combined with what would have been a blowout loss at home, would've been enough to send it tumbling down the rankings. The Bears still have the weakest strength of schedule among top teams, but that will matter less as long as they can continue to defeat their Big 12 foes.

Projected bowl: Playoff at Sugar Bowl

 

Projected New Year's Six Bowls
GameMatchup
Sugar Bowl (Playoff)Mississippi State (SEC) vs. Baylor (Big 12)
Rose Bowl (Playoff)Florida State (ACC) vs. Ole Miss (SEC)
Orange BowlAuburn (SEC) vs. Clemson (ACC)
Cotton BowlAlabama (SEC) vs. Oklahoma (Big 12)
Fiesta BowlOregon (Pac-12) vs. Michigan State (Big Ten)
Peach BowlNotre Dame vs. East Carolina (American)*
*Group-of-five bid

 

First Four Out

3. Auburn

The Tigers' loss at Mississippi State isn't a deal-breaker, as they still have a chance to play their way back into the playoff field. The problem is that their schedule simply doesn't let up. After a bye week, they'll face South Carolina, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Georgia in consecutive weeks, with the latter three ranked in the Top 13 of our standings. And then there's the pesky little game called the Iron Bowl after all that.

Projected bowl: Orange Bowl

 

6. Alabama

The Crimson Tide barely escaped Arkansas, needing a blocked PAT to squeeze out a one-point win over the Hogs. Shockingly (but unsurprising for those who have followed the polls for years), they were not punished at all by the voters. Alabama is very much trading on its reputation at the point, as it has beaten zero ranked teams so far.

Projected bowl: Cotton Bowl

 

7. Notre Dame

The Irish survived a sloppy game against North Carolina and now have grand hopes of pulling off an upset in Tallahassee to get into the College Football Playoff field. One word of caution, though: The visit to Doak Campbell will be Notre Dame's first true road game of the season, as its previous two games away from South Bend were played at neutral sites. 

Projected bowl: Peach Bowl

 

8. Oklahoma

Baylor's comeback win over TCU gave Oklahoma a reprieve, as it can now win the Big 12 without any outside help. The Sooners have the schedule on their side, as their toughest opponents—Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State—will all have to visit Norman.

Projected bowl: Cotton Bowl

 

Other Fun Facts

* Inexplicably, Michigan State is still ranked ahead of Oregon in both polls despite both teams being 5-1 and Oregon having soundly defeated MSU 46-27 earlier in the season. If the selection committee is worth its salt, its rankings should be radically different from the polls. The Ducks should be in a better position to enter the playoff field if those two teams finish the season with identical records while winning their respective conference titles.

* Outside of Oregon, the Pac-12's prospects of landing a team in the playoff field have dimmed considerably. The conference now has no unbeaten team and only the Ducks in the Top 15 of the rankings. It's likely that the Pac-12 champion will be a two-loss team and that probably won't be good enough to land in the playoff. 

* East Carolina continues to hold the pole position for the group-of-five bid, but a new threat now emerges in Colorado State. Like ECU, the Rams own two victories over power-five teams—against Colorado and at Boston College, the latter something that USC couldn't do. If it can win the Mountain West without another loss, CSU will warrant major consideration. For now, undefeated Marshall is probably the only other team in the conversation.

 

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