Alabama expected to maintain lead in All Time Rankings
In spite of the Alabama loss to Clemson in the National Championship game, the Crimson Tide is expected to widen their lead over Notre Dame in Billingsley's All Time Top Programs list. The Irish suffered another disappointing season and Alabama continues riding a 21st Century ratings bonanza that started under the leadership of Nick Saban. Stay tuned. The ratings are being calculated now, and the Encyclopedia updates are underway.
Clemson Shocks Alabama 35-31 to Claim 2016 National Championship
The naysayers, myself included, said it could not be done. Alabama was poised to become the greatest team in CFRC college football history. All week I repeatedly said the only way the Crimson Tide could lose would be to beat themselves. I stand corrected. I want to congratulate the Tiger Nation.....you did what I said couldn't be done. You beat the best, and in the process became one of the best. The Clemson team of 2016 will go down in history as one of the greatest teams of all time. The final Billingsley Reports are posted and the Encyclopedia will be updated throughout the coming weeks of January and February. Stay tuned to see how your favorite team shifts up and down in the Top Programs list and browse through the updated All Time Scores. Updates for navigating through the Encyclopedia are planned for the off season. Get ready for some exciting changes. CFRC.com first joined the world wide web in 1997. I want to thank all of the viewers who have made the College Football Research Center, and Billingsley's Encyclopedia one of the web's favorite destinations for college football fans. Your loyalty over the last 20 years is greatly appreciated. In my 50 years of compiling rankings, college football has been very good to me, and the wonderful memories of great seasons, great games, and great teams along the way sustain me and bring untold joy into my world daily. I've gone from a 16 year old boy who dreamed that one day his rankings would be noticed, to a 66 year old (in April), who's rankings served on the Bowl Championship Series to assist in determining National Championships, and what an exciting journey it has been. The closure of the 2016 season is barely 12 hours old......and I'm already longing for the 2017 kickoff!
Alabama and Clemson set for Championship Rematch
The National Championship in College Football has been set. Alabama and Clemson both won their semi-final games in convincing fashion and will meet for the title on Monday, January 9th at 7PM CT. The Bowl season was marked with numerous upsets. The Orange Bowl and Rose Bowl provided the most thrilling games, both ending in dramatic fashion. Florida State came from behind to beat Michigan 33-32 and Southern Cal kicked a field goal as time ran out to top Penn State 52-49. The Final Reports will be posted Tuesday January 10 after the championship game on Monday. Both Billingsley Reports are predicting a Crimson Tide win, along with Las Vegas and every other predictive service known to the human race. The opening line in Las Vegas is Alabama by 6, the Billingsley Report predicts Alabama by 10 and the Margin of Victory Report predicts Alabama by 8. Billingsley's Personal prediction: Alabama 35 Clemson 31
Holiday Season Comes to Life as Bowl Games Begin December 17
New Mexico and Texas-San Antonio kickoff this year's slate of Bowl Games on Saturday December 17. The Bowl Season of 41 games runs through the January 2 Sugar Bowl featuring Oklahoma and Auburn with the National Championship Game on January 9 completing the 2016 College Football season. For all the Bowl Game projections, follow these links. Billingsley Billingsley+ (MOV) There will be rankings posted on January 3, concluding the Bowl Games, followed by a projection on the national championship game on January4. The Final Rankings will be posted on January 10.
Army Ends Drought Against Navy in Stunning 21-17 Upset Win
The streak has finally ended. Army beat Navy for the first time since 2001, handing the favored Midshipmen only their 4th loss of the season and their second in a row. Navy lost the AAC Championship Game to Temple last week. The game also marked the end of a storied career in college football broadcasting for Verne Lundquist. He will be greatly missed. Projections for the Bowl Games will follow early this week. The Bowl season begins Saturday December 17th.
Playoff Committee Results to Be Released 11AM CT Today
There is little suspense surrounding the announcement of the Top 4 teams this morning. All of the contenders won their championship games except idle Ohio State. The Buckeye's position seems likely to hold even though the Buckeyes did not win a conference championship. Michigan, Penn State and Oklahoma will most likely garner conversation within the committee, but in the end I believe Alabama, Ohio State, Washington and Clemson will be our playoff participants. The only question becomes the seeding order. Alabama will no doubt be #1. Last week Ohio State was #2. I have a hard time believing Clemson's 42-35 win over Virginia Tech would leap frog the Tigers over the Buckeyes but it is possible. If the committee values a conference championship highly, even Washington could move ahead of Ohio State moving the Buckeyes all the way to 4. My guess is we are looking at an unchanged Top 4 from last week, leaving us with: #1 Alabama #2 Ohio State #3 Clemson #4 Washington Bowl Game projections will not be posted until a few days after next Saturday's Army-Navy game.
Playoff Teams To Be Decided On Championship Weekend
After a long often topsy turvy season, the participants in the college football playoff will finally be named Sunday morning. Alabama, even in a loss to Florida, would most likely still make the coveted top 4. Ohio State seems a likely choice even though the Buckeyes will not be a conference champion since Penn State and Wisconsin will play for the Big 10 Title. Clemson seems a sure bet (with a win over Virginia Tech that is) and Washington, if they secure a win over highly regarded Colorado, seems a likely choice. The Nittany Lions and the Badgers are still outside possibilities, especially Penn State since they hold a head to head win over Ohio State. The Big 10's chances of landing two teams in the Top 4 is a long shot unless Clemson or Washington falls. Should either the Tigers or Huskies (or both) lose their championship games, the winner of the Bedlam Game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will most likely be in the discussion as well. For all this week's projections follow these links: BillingsleyBillingsley+ (MOV)
Ohio State Inches By Michigan, Washington Jumps Clemson in Rankings
It's not often that games live up to their pregame build up, but college football was treated to a spectacular contest Saturday as Ohio State squeaked by arch rival Michigan 30-27 in double overtime. In other notable news, Washington, based on playing a superior opponent, jumped Clemson to take the #3 position in the Billingsley Report. Both teams won handily, but Washington State was a far superior opponent for Washington above South Carolina for Clemson. The CFP Committee has it's hands full this week with a very tight choice for the #3, 4, 5 and 6 positions. The Top 4 will be chosen to play for the National Championship, and other than Alabama and Ohio State, very little separates the next 5 or 6 teams. Still in consideration are Washington, Clemson, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Penn State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Sooners and Cowboys play this Saturday in the annual "Bedlam" Game.
Top Four Remains Unchanged
With Alabama maintaining a tight grip on the #1 position, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington held on to the next three positions with Michigan a very close #5. The Wolverines travel to Columbus for a much anticipated match with Ohio State next Saturday. In the weekend's most shocking result the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Texas Longhorns 24-21 in overtime, sealing the Jayhawks first win over Texas since 1938.
The Mighty Hath Fallen.....And Very Little Changes
Chaos reigned supreme Saturday as #2 Clemson, #3 Michigan and #4 Washington all suffered defeats at the hands of teams to whom they were all double digit favorites. Just as surprising however is that it really changed very little in terms of rankings or projections for the college football playoff. All three teams are still in contention and control their own destiny....win out, and they are in. What is most interesting is that the weekend results hurt Ohio State more than it helped them, in spite of the fact it temporarily vaulted the Buckeyes to #2 in the nation. Had Ohio State won out by defeating an undefeated Michigan team, they would have cliched the Eastern Division title of the Big 10. With Michigan losing, it creates a potential 3 way tie in which Ohio State would lose to Penn State in a tiebreaker (the Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes earlier this year). All is not lost for the Buckeyes however....if Penn State wins the division, but loses to Wisconsin (assuming the Badgers are in), then the CFP committee is faced with choosing between an 11-1 Ohio State and a 11-2 Wisconsin with the Buckeyes holding an edge because of a head to head win by Ohio State. Would the committee choose a two loss conference champion over a one loss team they had lost to in the regular season? Who knows, but it would be a tough choice and a very interesting scenario. A true nightmare for the committee. Of all the losing contenders, Clemson still has the easiest path. The Tigers are virtually a shoe in not to lose another game. Washington on the other hand must still face a very hot Washington State in the Apple Cup, and a good team (Colorado, Utah or rematch with USC) should the Huskies reach the Pac 12 Championship game. Michigan must still contend with Ohio State, in Columbus no less. Still a lot of football to go and as we know.....on any given day.
No need for a Playoff Committee this year......So Far
The Top 4 teams just keep rolling along, making the job for the playoff selection committee a no brainier. But don't hand out the invitations just yet. All four teams have games left that could easily upset the apple cart before the end of the season. Clemson is the only contending team left with what I would describe as a "manageable" schedule, with Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and South Carolina still on tap. Alabama has a crucial date in the Iron Bowl with a rising Auburn team (and Mississippi State may not be a pushover), Michigan still has Ohio State, and Washington is most vulnerable of all with USC and Washington State still to go. Ohio State, Louisville, Wisconsin, Auburn, Oklahoma and yes, even Western Michigan are patiently waiting in the wings for the right dominoes to fall. Complete chaos is still not out of the question with 4 more weeks to go. Stay tuned for this week's projections coming Wednesday.
First College Football Playoff Rankings Release Tuesday. Who's Number 2?
Alabama has proven (so far) to be so superior to the rest of college football's elite that there is really no question of "who is the number one team in America". Instead, the greatest suspense surrounding the release of Tuesday nights first rankings revolve around which of the very deserving three teams will land in the number two position. Not that it matters really, as four is the magic number that teams will aspire for when the final playoff rankings are released on Sunday, December 4th. All three teams are certainly worthy. This week the Billingsley Report places Clemson #2, Michigan #3 and Washington #4.
Tigers Travel To Tallahassee to Tangle With Seminoles
This weekend's highlighted game features Clemson on the road to face ACC conference foe Florida State. The undefeated Tigers, fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoff, are a slight favorite over the Seminoles. This is a very tough game to pick. Florida State had an early season meltdown at Louisville and was upset by North Carolina. Clemson squeezed by Louisville and at times has looked sluggish on offense. I expect both teams to be at their best, but if the crowd is rowdy and loud, a Seminole upset would not surprise me. Florida State 27 Clemson 24. Baylor @ Texas - Gone are the days when this was always a shoo in for the Horns. It appears Charlie Strong's days are numbered. The loss to Oklahoma was a no no and the loss to Kansas State was, well, maybe the last straw. Even a win over undefeated Baylor may not be enough to save his job....but we will never know cause he ain't gonna get it. Close, but no lights in the tower Saturday night. Baylor 42 Texas 31. Miami (Fla.) @ Notre Dame - A few weeks ago I thought this would be an awesome game. Today I'm talking about it because Brian Kelly is on the hot seat. Really? I just don't get that. One bad season does not make a bad coach. I have no faith in Miami. That home loss to North Carolina and poor performance against Virginia Tech weigh heavy on my mind. I'm a huge Richt fan, but I think the Irish will pull this out. Notre Dame 31 Miami (Fla.) 30. West Virginia @ Oklahoma State - The Big 12's other undefeated team is quietly proving they may be the best in the conference, and a legitimate playoff contender. Winning in still water would go a long way towards proving that, and it won't be easy.....but I think they will. West Virginia 35 Oklahoma State 31. Florida vs Georgia in Jacksonville - Once again it's time for the largest outdoor......nope, I'm not going there. The Gators and Bulldogs both had a week off to prepare. This is such a great rivalry and we all know anything can happen, but, I just can't believe that Florida's superior defense is going to make the difference. Florida 28 Georgia 17. Nebraska @ Wisconsin - The Cornhuskers are undefeated, 7-0 for the first time since 2001's National Title contender. I hope the Husker fans enjoyed the ride.....because it's over. Wisconsin 28 Nebraska 13. Washington @ Utah - This is the most intriguing game of the weekend for me and thank goodness, it's an afternoon game, not one of those ridiculous 9:30 CT kickoff's that the Pac 12 is so famous for. The entire nation will actually get to see the two best teams in the conference slug it out. I'm very anxious to see this match-up, which could easily be a preview to the conference championship game. The Utes are hard to beat at home, but the Huskies are playing awesome football. Could go either way.... but I'm going with Washington 35 Utah 28. For all Projections follow: Billingsley Billingsley + (MOV)