Phil Steele College Football playoff Predictions: Week 5

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports /

We are four weeks into the College Football season, and Phil Steele is ready to predict who will be in the Playoffs at the end of the season. 

The College Football Playoffs are still months away from happening but already there is speculation about which teams will be a part of the action and which teams will be on the outside looking in for another straight year. We’re only four weeks through the season, but already the cream is starting to rise to the top and the best teams in college football are making themselves known.

Phil Steele isn’t wasting any time in rolling out his predictions for the College Football Playoffs, as he has four teams on the brain entering the fifth weekend of the season this Saturday.

Here’s who Steele has as his projected Final Four heading into this weekend’s slate of games:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Alabama/Georgia Winner
  3. Baylor
  4. USC

Setting aside, for now, who Steele has no the outside looking in at the moment, this is an interesting group of teams to expect in the running for the Playoffs. Obviously, the team that sticks out is USC, as they’re ranked No. 17 in the AP Polls and they’re not even close to the discussion when talking about Ohio State, Michigan State and other schools at the top of the rankings.

USC isn’t roasted yet, despite their loss to Stanford but it’s a bold choice to have them in the Playoffs at the end of the season as they still have some rough matchups ahead of them. Then again, as difficult as the matchups against Clemson and Notre Dame look, they could end up benefiting the Trojans as far as strength of schedule is concerned.

The rest of Steele’s playoff teams seem right in line with what the rest of the country is thinking. Alabama is a fringe team thanks their loss to Ole Miss, but you can never count the Tide out.

As for the teams that Steele has on the outside of the playoff bubble at the moment, that’s where things get interesting:

  • Notre Dame
  • TCU
  • LSU
  • Ole Miss
  • Michigan St
  • UCLA
  • Florida St
  • Utah
  • Clemson
  • Oklahoma

Notre Dame is on a lot of people’s radar as far as being a ‘wild card’ team, but they’re no lock to make it into the Playoffs. Ole Miss did themselves a lot of favors with a huge win over Alabama but their SEC schedule is still harsh and far from being a sure bet.

The ACC seems to be in a bad spot this year, as despite being undefeated, Florida State isn’t lighting anyone on fire and Clemson isn’t scaring many when stacked up against the other schools vying for playoff spots. Of course, this is just the fifth week of the season and we can’t form a true opinion for a few more Saturdays.

But the field is starting to make itself known, and as the weeks fall off the calendar, so too will teams off the Playoff chart.

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