Evaluating The Contenders For The College Football Playoff


The Miami Hurricanes are on track to make the College Football Playoff. (via Jack Rubin, senior)

The College Football Playoff is quickly approaching, and the competition between teams trying the make the playoffs is rapidly heating up.

Replacing the BCS championship game for the first time in the 2014-15 season, the CFP has brought a new, exciting aspect to college football by allowing four teams to compete for a championship instead of two. These four top teams are selected to participate in the CFP based on the College Football Playoff rankings.

Right now, those teams are Alabama, Clemson, Miami, and Oklahoma, in that order. However, no spot in the CFP is secured, as the top teams will need to continue to win in order to retain their spot. It will be a tough fight, and teams like Wisconsin, Auburn, and Georgia look to steal a spot in the CFP away from one of the current top four teams.

Lots of Pine Crest students are fans of No. 3 Miami. Not many thought the Hurricanes would be ranked so high this far into the season, but they have exceeded expectations and proved any doubters wrong, posting an undefeated 10-0 record thus far.

A dominant 41-8 victory over rival and then-No. 3 Notre Dame is just one of the many highlights of this Cinderella season for Miami. Led by their tough and resilient defense along with offensive stars like QB Malik Rosier and WR Braxton Berrios, Miami has secured a spot in the ACC championship for the first time in school history. The turnover chain, a 10-karat gold chain worn by players who force turnovers when they return to the sideline, has become synonymous with Miami football and has united fans and motivated players.

Type One spoke to Johnny Kolettis, a huge Hurricanes fan, about the team. He spoke about what he thought of the Hurricanes’ play so far.

“I really like how we have been able to have a successful defense while maintaining a good offense as well,” Kolettis said. “Our defense has been great at holding off juggernaut offenses.”

Miami’s defense has become hot at just the right time, as they are second in the FBS in takeaways. The defense is a crucial part of the Hurricanes’ identity.

Kolettis believes his favorite team can maintain their spot in the rankings and qualify for the CFP.

“I think Miami can make the playoffs,” he said. “If they keep it together and play like they did against Notre Dame, they could maybe even make it as far as the championship game.”

Outside of Coral Gables, teams like Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Wisconsin are threats. Alabama and Auburn will face off next weekend in the Iron Bowl, in what is essentially a CFP quarterfinal game. After that, the winner will have to play Georgia in the SEC Championship game. It will be a grueling road for whoever comes out of the SEC West division.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin has posted a quiet undefeated record. Critics of the Badgers cite their weak schedule, but Wisconsin can silence any remaining doubters with a win in the Big 10 Championship game. Their opponent could be the always threatening Ohio State Buckeyes.

The last National Championship contender is the Clemson Tigers. Miami’s ACC Championship opponent racked up strong wins against Auburn, Louisville, and Virginia Tech early in the season, but their mark is greatly diminished by an awful loss to  4-7 Syracuse. The Clemson Miami ACC Championship on December 3 is another unofficial CFP quarterfinal game, where the winner all but secures a spot on the top four.

No matter if you are a Miami fan or not, the College Football Playoffs are an exciting time. It will be an exciting, action-packed set of games, and fans everywhere cannot wait until its start on January 1. Until then, college football fans will still have competitive regular season football while teams try to qualify for the playoffs. The CFP is going to be a wild ride, and nothing is for sure until there is a champion.

Sources: NCAA, Virginia Pilot