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Playoff Projection and Heisman Prediction: 11/5

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 10 went into dumpster fire mode, but the landscape remains complicated nationally.

Here are my predictions for how things end:

Final Rankings:

1) Alabama (13-0)- The Tide still look like the best team in the country. Their resume isn’t the best right now, but I’m guessing they’ll beat Georgia in the SEC title.

2) Clemson (12-1)- The Tigers had a close game for a while against North Carolina State, but the Tigers came back and won fairly easily. The South Carolina game will be tough, and so will Miami in the ACC title, but they should be favored in both.

3) Georgia (12-1)- The Bulldogs are going to be significant favorites in their final three games. If they can survive Auburn and two teams they’ll be highly favored against, then the Bulldogs will likely just need to keep it close against Alabama to make the playoff.

4) Notre Dame (11-1)- The Irish have Miami, Stanford and Navy left. If they win those three games, they’ll have a very solid resume. I think a 12-1 Oklahoma would beat them out, but Washington at 12-1 would lose to an 11-1 Notre Dame.

My belief is that nobody will make it out of the Big 12 with just one loss. Oklahoma still has to play TCU. One of those teams will pick up a loss and be out of the race. Then the winner of that game needs to win their other two games, which theoretically should not be too tough, but then they have to win a rematch championship game. The Big 12 always finds a way to hurt itself. I’ll guess the winner of the Big 12 Championship is the No. 2 team.

Washington lurks as a playoff team. They will not jump any one loss team, except a one loss Wisconsin. The Huskies played a terrible non-conference schedule and the PAC-12 does not have anywhere near the strength of the Big 12, SEC or ACC. But without those quality teams left to play, Washington has a decent chance to finish 11-1.

Watch out for Wisconsin. With Ohio State’s horrific beat-down by Iowa, the Badgers look like they might really finish 13-0. I see no world where the committee will leave out a 13-0 power five champion. If Oklahoma, Clemson, Georgia, Washington and Notre Dame all have one loss, quite a few teams will be justifiably angry at being left out for 13-0 Wisconsin.


1) Baker Mayfield- If Oklahoma beats TCU, then this is his award to lose. He has the stats, and OU has the resume. With Saquon Barkley picking up a new loss, and Bryce Love playing out West for a team out of the national championship race, Mayfield is the favorite.

2) Bryce Love- His stats are amazing. But he’s going to need an overwhelming finish to overcome playing late at night for a team far from winning a championship.

3) Josh Adams- If Notre Dame finishes 11-1, I think he’ll pick up more support than Barkley or Tate.

This has been one of the strangest Heisman races I can remember.