1. Alabama – Just keep winning.
Your offense is humming and the defense is packing punches. As long as you can win out and win your conference championship, do not expect to move from your current standing.
2. LSU – Beat Bama.
Of course you have to beat the other teams on your schedule too, but a road loss to Alabama on November 9th could hurt your chances, especially if you don’t make your conference championship game. It is possible that if Alabama is your lone loss that you can sneak in at #4, but I wouldn’t take that chance if I were you.
3. Clemson – Clemson needs to get back to being Clemson.
Your schedule favors you heavily, so you need to get back to putting up large numbers on offense while reeking havoc on defense. A close call against North Carolina saw you drop in the rankings. Another close call like that could drop you even further and show the committee that you are not one of the four best teams in the league.
4. Ohio State – Beat Wisconsin on October 26th.
I’m not talking about win by 3, I’m saying BEAT THEM. Show the committee what everyone has been saying about you: You deserve to be number 1. A solid home victory against the #6 team in the country should propel them to the top.
5. Oklahoma – Win your conference.
You just silenced even more doubters with a convincing win in the Red River Rivalry, but right now it’s not enough. Texas was your toughest game so far and it was a sloppy game. A road win at #18 Baylor on November 16th should boost your resume, but ultimately a Big 12 title should get you over the hump and back into the top 4!
6. Wisconsin – Beat Ohio State (and of course be the Big 10 champs).
The goal every year is to always win your conference, however there are some tests along the way that can make or break your season. A road trip to #4 Ohio State in two weeks will be your biggest test of the year and ultimately will decide your fate. A win here will almost guarantee you a spot in the top 4 and a trip to the conference game. After that game in Columbus, the chance is yours to lose.
7. Penn State – Fine tune your play.
After narrowly escaping with a win against Iowa, it’s safe to say that there are lots of things that need to be tidied up if you are to have any chance at winning your conference. With only one win against a Top 25 opponent, it’s hard to even put you in the conversation at this point. Clean up your play on offense a little and beat the bad boys in Columbus and you will be considered a legitimate contender.
8. Notre Dame – Beat the teams you should beat.
With just one loss on your resume right now to Georgia, it’s time to start winning games and winning big. The only other true test on your schedule is an upcoming game against Michigan this week. Beating them should raise your respect a good amount. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you face no other ranked teams for the rest of the year. So you need to make sure that they are convincing wins or you will most likely be on the outside looking in.
9. Florida – Win the SEC East.
Well, last week did not go the way you wanted it. That’s okay. The good news is LSU is in the other division! The bad news is, you still have to beat Georgia and Missouri in order to qualify for the SEC Championship game. Take care of business for the rest of the year and you will have a chance to prove yourself worthy with a trip to Atlanta.
10. Georgia – Win the SEC Championship.
Wow. Just wow. Everyone is still kind of recuperating from that loss against South Carolina. Unfortunately, you only have one scenario in which you make the Top 4 and that is win your conference. Losing in the conference will put you at two losses and essentially eliminate you from contention. Win it all and you should be in Top 4 at the end of the year.
Photo credit: Yahoo! Sports, NCAA.com, The Morning Call, FiveThirtyEight, SI.com.
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