College Football Playoff rankings: LSU, Oklahoma statement wins; Clemson snubbed

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers talks with his team during the first quarter against the Florida Gators at Tiger Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers talks with his team during the first quarter against the Florida Gators at Tiger Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images) /

LSU gets a big win against Florida while Georgia loses a stunner, shaking up the projected College Football Playoff rankings.

Week 7 had plenty of expectations as the best week so far this season, and it definitely lived up to the hype with a pair of top-10 upsets. There were great games all around today, all the way up to a fantastic duel in Death Valley that had significant College Football Playoff implications.

The big shocker of the day came in Athens, where the number three ranked Georgia Bulldogs lost a shocker to South Carolina between the hedges. Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm threw three picks, including a pick-six, and a missed field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship cost the Bulldogs a shot at triple overtime.

This loss from Georgia shakes up the rankings a bit, with everyone else in the top six winning their games.

College Football Playoff rankings projection after Week 8

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

It seemed like the Alabama Crimson Tide was going to be in a dog fight after Texas A&M went down and found the end zone on their opening drive. However, Alabama wasn’t fazed and scored on a Tua Tagovailoa touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle.

The Crimson Tide kept the foot on the gas throughout the game and went on to win 47-28. It was a solid road win for the Tide, who have other tough games down the stretch this season. Tua did throw his first interception of the season and did seem a bit off today, but he still threw for 293 yards and four touchdowns. Najee Harris contributed 114 yards on the ground.

The defense looked a little shaky once again, giving up 389 yards of offense and allowed 6.3 yards per pass and 4.5 yards per run. It’s something to monitor with this team because the defense is usually very stout under Nick Saban.

The Tide gets Tennessee at home next week.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

Not too much to say for the Ohio State Buckeyes this week, other than they appear to be the second-best team in the country even on a bye week.

Justin Fields has looked very good this season and fought through some adversity against Michigan State. J.K. Dobbins looks faster and stronger at running back this season, and what can you say about Chase Young and Jeffrey Okudah on the defense.

They are back in action against Northwestern next Friday in Evanston.

3. LSU Tigers

Another big statement win for the LSU Tigers, this time at home. The undefeated Florida Gators came in looking to create the upset, but LSU had other plans. Quarterback Joe Burrow looked calm, cool, and collected once again and quarterback, dicing up the Florida defense through the air. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire looked great on the ground and the LSU offensive line looked motivated after last season’s loss.

Florida kept it close until the fourth quarter, where the LSU defense made some key stops, especially K’Lavon Chaisson‘s big sack on third down and Derek Stingley’s interception in the red zone.

Burrow completed 21 of 24 passing and threw for three touchdowns against a good Florida defense. If the defense can get pressure and the secondary holds it down, this team is as legit as anyone out there. This is a different LSU team right now with two big wins on the resume.

The Bayou Bengals travel to play Mississippi State next week.

4. Oklahoma Sooners

The biggest game of the year for the Oklahoma Sooners, at least in the regular season, came today in Dallas in the Red River rivalry against the Texas Longhorns.

It was an expected shootout, but the defense came to play early in this one. Quarterback Jalen Hurts led an early touchdown drive with a pass to CeeDee Lamb, but he struggled in the second quarter with two key turnovers, especially his interception in the red zone. The offense got it going more in the second half, where Hurts found Lamb twice more for touchdowns. Hurts ended up throwing for 235 yards and added 131 more on the ground. But the day belonged to Lamb, who caught 10 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns.

The defense put pressure on Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, especially nose tackle Neville Gallimore and linebacker Kenneth Murray, who was making plays in open space all day long. The Oklahoma defense accumulated nine sacks as a unit and looks very improved from last season and not quite like a traditional Big 12 defense, which could be key for them down the stretch this season.

The Sooners get West Virginia next week.

Just missed: Clemson Tigers

Clemson is the No. 2 ranked team in the country but due to a weak schedule and some so-so performances to this point, the reigning national champions are outside our projected College Football Playoff rankings. The Tigers looked better this week in their win over Florida State and appear to be headed toward being the team we expected to see this year. Travis Etienne ran for 127 yards and Trevor Lawrence had a bounce-back game through the air. If the season ended today, Clemson would be on the outside looking in. Thankfully, for Clemson, it doesn’t, and if the Tigers go undefeated, they’ll be in the playoff.

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