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College Football Playoff Predictions: Where Does the Big Ten Stand?

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We’ve taken a look at predicting where the Playoff is after Week 3 and how the Big Ten fits into that picture. Hint: It’s good.

College Football Playoff National Championship - Head Coach Press Conference Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

It’s getting to be that time of year: the non-conference is practically over for most teams and we are about to enter conference play. We have already had some key matchups that have played a major factor in the playoff picture and Lamar Jackson just can’t stop doing his best Michael Vick impressions. It’s about time we take a look at where we think the playoffs stand.

After this weekend’s games we setup a poll amongst the OffTackleEmpire writers to predict the four playoff teams. First place votes garnered 4 points, second place 3 points, well...you get the picture. Here is how every writer voted:

"Writer" Number 1 Seed Number 2 Seed Number 3 Seed Number 4 Seed
Aaron Yorke Louisville Alabama Houston Stanford
WhiteSpeedReceiver Alabama Ohio State Louisville Stanford
MNWildcat Alabama Ohio State Louisville Stanford
Creightonm Alabama Ohio State Louisville Houston
AlnamiasIV Alabama Ohio State Louisville Houston
DJ Carver Louisville Alabama Ohio State Michigan
Candystripes for Breakfast Alabama Ohio State Louisville Stanford
GF3 Alabama Ohio State Stanford Louisville
Graham Alabama Ohio State Louisville Stanford
Jesse Louisville Ohio State Alabama Stanford
InsertName Alabama Ohio State Louisville Stanford
LincolnParkWildcat Alabama Ohio State Louisville Houston
Thumpasaurus Ohio State Alabama Louisville Stanford
StewMonkey13 Ohio State Stanford Louisville Alabama

Unsurprisingly, a lot of Alabama all over the votes. The Big Ten makes an appearance with Ohio State and Michigan garnering votes as well as the ACC and Pac 12. Missing? The Big 12 and Notre Dame. Here is how the voting shook out for where things stand today:

No. 1 Seed Alabama
No. 2 Seed Ohio State
No. 3 Seed Louisville
No. 4 Seed Stanford

Runners up: Houston, Michigan

Alabama edged out Ole Miss this weekend to keep the top spot as they’ve looked like a normal Nick Saban team otherwise. The Ohio State Buckeyes narrowly came in as the Number 2 seed with the Lamar Jackson Cardinals Louisville Cardinals taking the Number 3 seed. There was a huge drop off after Louisville for the Number 4 seed with the Stanford Cardinal taking fourth as I was the only voter who put in two Big Ten teams with the Michigan Wolverines in fourth.

So what could change the lineup after Week 4? In short, I don’t see much that would change the Top 4 teams unless some major upset occurs. Alabama plays Kent State, Ohio State plays bye (nothing guaranteed there), Louisville plays Marshall, and Stanford plays UCLA. UCLA has the talent to make an upset bid but I don’t see it happening. Stanford is just too good although UCLA has the QB talent to make it happen.

What could happen is that the fourth spot could get a lot more interesting. Michigan State faces Wisconsin in an 8 vs 11 matchup. If Sparty wins handily as they did against Notre Dame they could start garnering looks for that fourth spot. If Harbaugh decides to boat race Penn State and Stanford plays uncomfortably close, Michigan could grab a few more of those fourth place slots. Houston plays a yawner vs. Texas State and barring a loss shouldn’t change how they’re viewed. Bottom line is: The top three appear to be set in place for the upcoming week but the race for that fourth spot can definitely heat up going into Week 4.