Top 5 College Football Playoff Storylines Heading Into Week 9

Penn State College Football Top 10 Rankings

Am I a jinx? In my Week 7 column, I wrote about Boise State and how we need to keep an eye on them going forward. Last week, I added SMU to the mix and said the race is on between Boise State and SMU for the right to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game. For Boise State, that dream was derailed after a 28-25 loss to BYU. Apologies to all of my Bronco fans. Ahead of Week 9, my College Football Playoff includes:

  1. LSU
  2. Alabama
  3. Ohio State
  4. Oklahoma

No changes to the top four. Without a doubt, these are the four best teams in the country right now. You can make an argument for each team to be number one and I wouldn’t disagree with your rationale.

Week 9 is highlighted by two Top-15 matchups: No. 13 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Ohio State and No. 9 Auburn vs. No. 2 LSU. Here are the Top 5 CFP storylines heading into Week 9.

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State In Potential Big Ten Championship Preview

Wisconsin, you blew it! Wisconsin suffered an inexcusable loss to Illinois, 24-23, which could be their nail in the coffin in terms of making the College Football Playoff. However, the Badgers have a gigantic opportunity to make up for their loss when they travel to Columbus on Saturday to take on the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. Both offenses are led by Heisman hopefuls Jonathan Taylor, who leads the nation in touchdowns with 19, and Justin Fields, who is tied for second in points responsible for with 180. However, the offensive fireworks may be hindered because Wisconsin and Ohio State have the number one and number two defenses in the country respectively. No matter what happens in this game, these two teams could meet again in the Big 10 Championship.

LSU Faces Another Top 10 Opponent

Find me a team with a better resume than LSU. The Tigers defeated Texas in Austin and Florida in Baton Rouge when both opponents were ranked in the top ten. Now, the Tigers will once again have a top 10 opponent when Auburn comes to Death Valley on Saturday afternoon. If Coach O, Joe Burrow, and the boys defeat Auburn, they will be the number one ranked team in the country.

Penn State Continues To Shine Despite Brutal Schedule

Two down, three more tough games to go. Penn State survived a late comeback against Michigan to hold on 28-21, improving to 7-0. The schedule does not get any easier for the No. 6 ranked Nittany Lions. Penn State heads to East Lansing to take on Michigan State, who is coming off back-to-back blowout losses against Ohio State and Wisconsin. Their Big Ten title hopes are dead, but they would love to play spoiler against Penn State for the third straight year. The Spartans own this rivalry as of late, having beaten the Nittany Lions in five of the last six years.

Alabama’s Season Rests Upon Tua’s Ankle

Alabama will beat Arkansas this weekend no matter who lines up under center. Mac Jones will start this weekend and Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s little brother, will serve as his backup. Frankly, a third-string offensive lineman could play quarterback and the Tide would still win by double digits. That being said, the future of Alabama’s season will come down to Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle. The superstar quarterback will miss at least one game with a right ankle sprain. Remember that Tua sprained his left ankle last season and it affected his mobility at times. High ankle sprains are no laughing matter. Thankfully for Tide fans, Alabama has a bye week after this game before the LSU Tigers stroll into Tuscaloosa for the SEC Game of the Year. If Tua’s not healthy for the LSU game, it will be tough for the Tide to roll.

It’s Do-or-Die For Jim Harbaugh

Is this Jim Harbaugh’s last stand? After the Wolverines suffered their second loss of the season to Penn State, NFL rumors circulated, stating that Harbaugh has an exit strategy in place to leave Michigan. Harbaugh quickly denied the rumor, but can we really trust college coaches in general? Most of them are snake oil salesmen who would leave at a moment’s notice if a better job came calling, leaving the players to suffer. So if you’re asking if I believe these NFL rumors, then I would say I do. Michigan will have to look past these distractions and worry about No. 8 Notre Dame coming to the Big House for a Saturday night showdown. If Michigan loses, it could be the final nail in the coffin for Harbaugh.

What are your top College Football Playoff storylines for Week 9? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.