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Week 4 Playoff and Heisman Watch

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0)

Last Week: W – Kent State – 48-0

alabama

While Kent State may not be the toughest of competition for the Crimson Tide they were as perfect as a team could be in their 48-0 shutout victory. Nick Saban will surely be able to pick the team apart after the win, but with Jalen Hurts actually providing some real play-making ability at quarterback, Alabama is as dangerous as ever.

2. Louisville Cardinals (4-0)

Last Week: W – @ Marshall – 59-28

louisville

It took them a little bit of time, but Louisville blew past Marshall and Lamar Jackson added seven more touchdowns to his Heisman resume. Seriously, this guy has had at last five touchdowns in each of the first four games this year, what an incredible talent leading a football team that is stacked across the board with many great players.

3. Stanford Cardinal (3-0)

Last Week: W – @ UCLA – 22-13

stanford

UCLA was a very tough test and an important game for Stanford and after a slow start they came up with a huge fourth quarter to pull away. Christian McCaffrey isn’t having as incredible a year as he did last year so far, but he’s still almost impossible for teams to defend.

4. Michigan Wolverines (4-0)

Last Week: W – Penn State – 49-10

michigan

Easily the toughest test for Michigan so far and they were up to the challenge, blowing out the Nittany Lions. The Wolverines out-rushed Penn State 326 to 70 in their game, forced two turnovers and never had the result in doubt.

Rose Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) vs. Washington Huskies (4-0)

There is no change in the Rose Bowl that’s been projected the past couple of weeks, but Ohio State and Washington both have some other teams they have to look out for. Wisconsin has shown great potential and made a statement with a win over Michigan State. They still have a lot of tough games ahead by right now they look like they can compete in all of them. Out of the Pac 12, Washington was stuck in a closer-than-expected fight against Arizona. Utah and Arizona State are both undefeated and playing well right now.

Sugar Bowl: Tennessee Volunteers (4-0) vs. Baylor Bears (4-0)

Tennessee still has yet to have that truly dominant performance against a really good team to show off what we all think they are capable of, but they are undefeated and beating teams. At the end of the day, that is what matters. But the reason Baylor jumped into the Sugar Bowl against them over Texas, that win over Notre Dame is looking less impressive as time goes on. Baylor still needs to show something big, though; it’s still wide open.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (4-0) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (4-0)

Clemson had a big game against Georgia Tech in a one-sided game. At no point did they not look like the superior team. DeShaun Watson was great too and as they get going with all of the new pieces they have, they are only going to be closer to getting back into the playoff picture. Wisconsin is building a tremendous resume and got a huge win over Michigan State. They have a very tough road, but right now they look like they can contend in all of them and should be an at-large selection.

Cotton Bowl Bowl: Houston Cougars (4-0) vs. Florida State Seminoles (3-1)

It was against Texas State, but still, 64-3, that’s an impressive victory. This Houston squad is going to have a tough time getting into the playoffs because they are in the AAC, but they certainly look like one of the very best teams in the country. They are easily the best ‘group of five’ team. Florida State gets back in with a nice victory over South Florida, but they will need to tighten up their defense to stay in this spot.

Dropping Out

michigan-state

Texas A&M Aggies (4-0): We can’t fit every team in these rankings. Texas A&M certainly is a top team, but they are the third-best team in a dangerous SEC and we could easily see three games they could lose (Alabama, Tennessee, and Ole Miss). They have every ability to get back up and in the big bowl game projections but other at-large candidate’s just beat them out.

Michigan State Spartans (2-1): Michigan State was sitting pretty last week but they were completely dominated by the Wisconsin Badgers, never looking to be in that game. The Spartans now have a close win over Furman, a win over Notre Dame that looks worse this week, and a bad loss to Wisconsin. They need to get some huge wins to get back in the selected bowl game picture.

Texas Longhorns (2-1): Once again, a win against Notre Dame doesn’t look all that great anymore and last week’s loss to Cal looks worse. This doesn’t mean Texas isn’t back under Charlie Strong and it doesn’t mean they can’t get back into a big bowl game.

On the Cusp

utah

Texas A&M Aggies (4-0): As mentioned, it wasn’t even a comfortable decision to take Texas A&M out of the selected bowl games, but not every team can bit in the mix. They’ll get back in if they keep winning.

Utah Utes (4-0): Washington, and Stanford at times, have both shown they can lose and if either lose Utah is right there to get in the bowl game picture. The Utes have some nice wins over BYU and USC. Next week at Cal will be important.

Key Week 5 Games

Washington Huskies vs. Stanford Cardinal: This is a huge battle for the top spot in the Pac-12. The winner will cement themselves as the team to beat and the loser, depending how the game plays out, may even drop out of the bowl picture. This game is crucial for that conference.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers: A tremendous game between big Ten heavyweights, this will tell us which team is legitimate and which one has been a product of their schedule. The winner is a sure bet to be in the top four next week.

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Tennessee Volunteers: Georgia will have a lot of work to do to get into the selected bowl picture, but Tennessee has the Aggies right on their heels, maybe even truly in front of them. They have to win this game to keep their playoff and selected bowl game hopes alive.

Clemson Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals: Another great game between two of the best teams in a conference. Clemson and Louisville have clearly showed they are the best teams in the ACC right now and the winner will clearly be deserving of a spot in the top four.

Heisman Watch

lamar-jacksonLamar Jackson – QB, Louisville

74/126 (58.7%), 1,330 Pass Yards, 13 Pass TDs, INTs, 526 Rush Yards (8.6 YPC), 12 Rush TDs

Christian McCaffrey – RB, Stanford

436 Rush Yards (5.5 YPC), 3 Rush TDs, 12 Rec, 119 Rec Yards (9.9 YPC), 1 Rec TD

JT Barrett – QB, Ohio State

49/73 (67.1%), 650 Pass Yards, 10 Pass TDs, 1 INT, 159 Rush Yards (4.1 YPC), 3 Rush TDs

Greg Ward Jr. – QB, Houston

67/102 (65.7%), 936 Pass Yards, 5 Pass TDs, 2 INTs, 113 Rush Yards (2.2 YPC), 3 Ruh TDs

Dalvin Cook – RB, Florida State

495 Rush Yards (6.3 YPC), 4 Rush TDs, 13 Rec, 180 Rec Yards (13.8 YPC)

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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