Sport

Ohio State, Notre Dame enter top four

Ohio State, Notre Dame enter top four

No. 3 Georgia (8-0) beat Florida 42-7.

- Expect even more focus on Bedlam with both teams ranked in the top 11.

If the Buckeyes are highly-ranked heading into that game, they could be a big draw, and the Wolverines might draw well too; they're now 6-2 and unranked by the AP (but #24 in the coaches' poll), and their next two games against unranked Minnesota and Maryland aren't that exciting, but they'll play Wisconsin (currently 8-0 and #4 in both polls) November 18. The defending champion Clemson Tigers are 7-1 in the ACC with their only loss coming on the road after losing their starting QB during the game. Then there's the final regular-season game at Auburn. Associated Press, coaches and Football Writers Association of America - include a combined 174 voters with thousands of years' collective experience in the sport.

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For the second consecutive season I'll be providing my own personal Top 25 poll each week during the college football season. For example, national schedule rankings compiled by Jeff Sagarin and Cody Kellner have Notre Dame 12th and ninth, respectively, and Clemson fourth and 10th. And their other two games (at Northwestern; at Iowa) aren't exactly guaranteed losses. The Aggies were dominated by Mississippi State 35-14 at home on Saturday. Plus, this is a ranking for right now, and I think the Buckeyes - and particularly quarterback J.T. Barrett - are much better than they were in September. Experts and analysts have all kinds of different ways that they break down teams and figure out who they believe belongs in the top four by the end of the year, but it seems like an very bad lot of work for something that will be controversial pretty much every time. The Big 12 could clear up over the next two weeks.

This team continues to handle its business, seemingly year in and year out. Instead, this week let's focus on what we are likely to see following Tuesday's first edition of the college football playoff.

The Bulldogs are loaded on defense, and the front seven swarms. If Georgia is undefeated heading into the SEC championship game and loses a tight game (presumably to Alabama), I wouldn't have an issue with them still getting in the playoff. Keep in mind that Ohio State-Michigan's double-overtime duel previous year drew a 10.4 overnight for ABC; the Buckeyes and Wolverines were #2 and #3 respectively in the College Football Playoff ratings heading into that one (and #1 and #2 in the AP poll when they met in 2006, which drew a 13.0). They will need to also either win at SC or at home against Florida State in the regular-season finale.


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