Top 5 College Football Playoff Storylines Heading Into Week 11

After two months of the regular season, the first College Football Playoff rankings were revealed this past Tuesday. Let’s just say that fans of the Big Ten and SEC should be very happy.

Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, and Penn State are in the first four spots. For reference, my playoff heading into Week 11 is LSU, Ohio State, Alabama, and Clemson. The playoff rankings are guaranteed to change after this weekend because of the showdown in Tuscaloosa when No. 1 LSU plays No. 2 Alabama. Here are the Top 5 CFP storylines heading into Week 11.

The SEC (And National) Game Of The Year

If No. 1 vs. No. 2 doesn’t get your juices going, then you must be a corpse. LSU and their high powered offense travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama in one of the most important games of the year. However, the real story is the health of Tua Tagovailoa. Will his ankle hold up? If Tua has limited mobility and can’t make the plays fans are used to seeing him make, Alabama is in for a long day especially if their defense can’t contain Burrow and the fourth-ranked offense in the country.

Can Minnesota Derail Penn State’s Perfect Season?

Should we be rowing the boat with Minnesota? The Golden Gophers have been the surprise of the Big Ten with an 8-0 record. However, the committee did not show any love towards the Gophers as Minnesota ranked 17th in the first playoff ranking. That ranking reflects their lack of quality opponents and 77th ranked strength of schedule. However, that can all change with a win over Penn State on Saturday. The Nittany Lions surprised some by receiving the final playoff spot over Clemson. Penn State still has a clash with Ohio State later this month, but they can’t afford to overlook Minnesota. PJ Fleck could have the entire country rowing the boat around 3 o’clock on Saturday if Minnesota upsets Penn State.

Clemson Is Fine… If They Win Out

Clemson is the defending National Champion and owns the nation’s longest winning streak (24), but the Tigers were outside of the top four in the CFP. Tiger fans are wondering why “no one respects them.” What do you want me to tell you? The toughest game Clemson has played all season was in Week 2 against Texas A&M. Currently, A&M is 6-3 and unranked. The Tigers started off slow and accumulated few quality wins. That being said, the Tigers still have Dabo Swinney, Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and the fourth-ranked defense in the country. Clemson fans, relax. Win out and the Tigers will be in the playoff. However, lose one game and Clemson won’t be able to defend their championship.

Iowa And Wisconsin Still Fighting For The Big Ten West

Minnesota is in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten West with a 5-0 conference record. However, Iowa and Wisconsin are both alive at 3-2 in the conference. After Penn State, Minnesota plays both Iowa and Wisconsin (along with Northwestern) to wrap up the regular season. If Minnesota loses to Penn State, the winner of this week’s Iowa and Wisconsin game will control their own destiny for the chance to play in the Big Ten Championship. Expect a low scoring game at Camp Randall as Wisconsin and Iowa have the first and sixth-ranked defenses respectively.

Hypothetical Season Has Only Just Begun

College Football Playoff

The reveal of one playoff ranking has sent both teams and fans into pandemonium. The long list of hypotheticals aka “What Ifs” will dominate discussion over the next month. George broke down each team’s potential road to the playoff, but I want to focus on the biggest hypothetical in college football. Let’s say LSU, Ohio State, and Clemson all win out and win their respective conference championships. Those three teams would make the playoff, which leaves one remaining spot left. Who gets in if Alabama has one loss to LSU, Penn State has one loss to Ohio State, and Oregon has one loss to Auburn but wins the Pac-12? The answer should be Oregon, but that’s no guarantee. As we’ve seen in years past, teams with one loss have gotten into the playoff over conference champions. Nothing is written in stone.

What are your top College Football Playoff storylines for Week 11? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow or email us immad@unafraidshow.com.