clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Clemson Media College Football Playoff Poll: Week 12

Austin Jones runs against UCLA
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

So, so close. TCU, Ohio State, and Michigan all found themselves in games that should not have been as close as they were if you listened to the national media. Georgia also quietly played a close game against Kentucky, and UCLA gave everything it had against USC. Oregon won an important matchup against a tough Utah team, and 6 ranked teams lost to unranked opponents (Tennessee, North Carolina, Ole Miss, UCF, Oklahoma State, and NC State). I bet any South Carolina fans that have found this article wants me to eat some crow. All I will say is this: Saturday can’t come soon enough. With that being said, here is how our voters saw the Top 10 following this week’s results:

1. Georgia

Last Week STS Poll: 1

Current CFP Ranking: 1

Avg. Rank: 1.05 (96% of First-place votes)

Last Week: W @ Kentucky, 16-6

Georgia used their run game and impenetrable defense to wrap up SEC play unbeaten again. Their rushing attack gained 247 yards on 46 carries, and Kenny McIntosh found the end zone for Georgia’s lone touchdown on the day. Stetson Bennett threw for only 116 yards and an interception, but with the defense Georgia has, that is all they really needed from him at this point. For Kentucky, Barion Brown totaled 145 yards on 10 receptions to go along with a score of his own in a nice outing. Georgia now turns their focus towards Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate this week, as the Yellow Jackets from Georgia Tech come to town. This game could be interesting with Georgia Tech coming off an upset over heavily favored UNC (and I say that with almost 99% certainty that it won’t).

Next Up: vs. Georgia Tech, 12:00 PM, ESPN

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: David Hood from TigerNet was the only voter to not put Georgia first. He had them at number 2.

2. Ohio State

Last Week STS Poll: 2

Current CFP Ranking: 2

Avg. Rank: 2.00 (4% of First-place votes)

Last Week: W @ Maryland, 43-30

This game was closer than the final score indicates. Maryland led at halftime, and Ohio State had to fend off a furious 4th quarter rally from the Terps to remain unbeaten heading into “The Game” with Michigan this week. A fumble recovery in the end zone made this a two-possession final, and I’d be lying if I said Maryland had no chance to win this game. C.J. Stroud threw for 241 yards and a touchdown, while the star of the show on offense for the Bucks was Dallan Hayden. With Ohio State’s running back room dealing with injuries, the freshman from Memphis stepped up and pitched in 146 yards on 27 carries and 3 touchdowns. Good news for Ohio State: Maryland hurt them through the air, not the ground. If Ohio State can disrupt Michigan’s running game, I think they can run away with this one.

Next Up: vs. #3 Michigan, 12:00 PM, FOX

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: The only voters not to have Ohio State at #2 were David Hood from TigerNet (#1) and Nick Vivona (me) from STS (#3).

3. Michigan

Last Week STS Poll: 3

Current CFP Ranking: 3

Avg. Rank: 3.27

Last Week: W vs. Illinois, 19-17

Last week I said Michigan would blow out Illinois. Hand up, I was wrong. It took a 9-point 4th quarter for Michigan to squeak away with this one, culminating in a last-second field goal to sink the Fighting Illini. Blake Corum, who was injured during the game, finished with 18 carries, 108 yards, and a touchdown. The star of the day was Illinois’ Chase Brown, who rushed for 140 yards on 29 carries and 2 touchdowns. If Michigan is going to beat Ohio State this week and seriously contend with the teams that make it to the playoffs, they are going to need more from J.J. McCarthy. After all the hype he was given, it seems like Michigan is winning with him, not necessarily because of him. We are going to learn a lot about this team Saturday.

Next Up: @ #2 Ohio State, 12:00 PM, FOX

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Nick Tully from The Clemson Pawcast ranked Michigan the lowest at #5.

4. TCU

Last Week STS Poll: 4

Current CFP Ranking: 4

Avg. Rank: 3.73

Last Week: W @ Baylor, 29-28

In another game that ended with a last-second field goal, it seemed like Baylor had TCU’s playoff chances going down the drain. However, the Horned Frogs did what they did best: win. Down 8 with about 7 minutes left, TCU went on an 11-play, 90-yard drive in almost 5 minutes to score a touchdown and cut the deficit to 2. After failing to convert the 2-point conversion, the defense forced a three-and-out, and the offense once again covered 45 yards on 9 plays in 1:34 to kick the winning field goal with no time left. If TCU can win this week against Iowa State, and then again in the Big 12 Championship, they will have achieved the first playoff bid for the Big 12 that was not Oklahoma. Max Duggan amassed 377 yards and 2 total touchdowns in the winning effort.

Next Up: vs. Iowa State, 4:00 PM, FOX

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Me again, having TCU at #2. I think Ohio State and Michigan haven’t played anybody yet besides Ohio State playing Notre Dame in week one. In a sign of transparency, I will be putting the winner of Ohio State-Michigan at #2 next week.

5. USC

Last Week STS Poll: 6

Current CFP Ranking: 6

Avg. Rank: 5.27

Last Week: W @ #16 UCLA, 48-45

This game was fun. In a game where the first team to make a stop late would win the game, UCLA made a stop. Then USC picked off Dorian Thompson-Robinson for the 3rd time, sealing the win for the Trojans. Caleb Williams played arguably his best game since joining USC, throwing for 470 yards and 2 touchdowns (1 interception), adding on 33 yards rushing and another touchdown. Austin Jones, in for the injured Travis Dye, ran for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns as well. Jordan Addison flashed his Biletnikoff-winning capabilities, catching 11 passes for 178 yards and 1 touchdown. UCLA played well, but USC was just the better team Saturday. If they played this game 10 times, I genuinely believe both teams would win 5. It was a game that reminded me why I fell in love with college football.

Next Up: vs. #15 Notre Dame, 7:30 PM, ABC

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Nick Tully from The Clemson Pawcast has the Trojans at #4, while Brandon Rink from TigerNet and Alex Craft from STS slotted them at #7.

6. Clemson

Last Week STS Poll: 8

Current CFP Ranking: 8

Avg. Rank: 6.18

Last Week: W vs. Miami, 40-10

It was Senior Day in Tiger Town, and Clemson made sure their seniors were honored properly with a 30-point thumping of the Hurricanes. The offense stalled at the beginning of the second half, committing three straight turnovers, but they weathered the storm and refound their form in the 4th quarter. D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns (1 interception) and led the team in rushing with 89 yards and another touchdown. Will Shipley pitched in a touchdown, and Kobe Pace found the end zone in his first game back from injury. However, the star of the show was the defense.

Clemson limited Miami to 8 total yards in the first half. Let me say that again. 8 TOTAL YARDS IN ONE HALF. Dominance. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. continues to show his talent, finishing with 9 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. Trenton Simpson seemed healed from his injury, tallying 2 sacks, 2 TFL’s and a QB hurry. Toriano Pride sacked Jacurri Brown in the end zone for a safety, and K.J. Henry notched another sack. All told, Miami finished with 98 total yards in the game. This defense is playing its best football right before the most crucial games of the season: the State Championship vs. a South Carolina team that put up 63 points last week and the ACC Championship vs. a North Carolina team that has been built upon their offensive prowess.

Next Up: vs. South Carolina, 12:00 PM, ABC

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: John Chancey from Rubbing the Rock and Drew Archer from Nachos & Analysis put the Tigers at #8.

7. LSU

Last Week STS Poll: 7

Current CFP Ranking: 5

Avg. Rank: 7.05

Last Week: W vs. UAB, 41-10

LSU shut out UAB in the second half en route to an easy win to finish up their home schedule. Jayden Daniels threw for 297 yards and a touchdown, adding on 111 yards and another touchdown in the win. Noah Cain rushed for 3 touchdowns as well. This was a game and result that was expected for the Tigers, and they now turn their attention to a program that has turned into a dumpster fire, to put it lightly. Will this week be the final nail in the coffin of Jimbo Fisher's time at Texas A&M?

Next Up: @ Texas A&M, 7:00 PM, ESPN

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: David Hood from TigerNet put LSU at #11, which feels both fair and harsh at the same time.

8. Alabama

Last Week STS Poll: 9

Current CFP Ranking: 7

Avg. Rank: 8.18

Last Week: W vs. Austin Peay, 34-0

Alabama won against an FCS program at home. I’m not sure what else to write about for this game, honestly. I guess I should mention Bryce Young threw for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns. Maybe I should say Jase McClellan ran for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns as well. If you’re interested, Jermaine Burton caught 7 catches for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is the first time in a while an Alabama game could be described as “Eh.”

Next Up: vs. Auburn, 3:30 PM, CBS

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Brandon Rink from TigerNet had Bama at #5, while Jonathan Smith from STS, Brian Lewis from STS, and Qualk from 105.5 The Roar put the Crimson Tide at #10.

9. Oregon

Last Week STS Poll: NR

Current CFP Ranking: 9

Avg. Rank: 10.55

Last Week: W vs. #10 Utah, 20-17

Oregon won a tough game against a pesky Utah team at home. Bo Nix threw for 287 yards and a touchdown (also an interception), but the highlight of the night was probably the defense picking off Cam Rising 3 times. It is becoming clearer that any team below Clemson/LSU is out of the national title conversation, making the analysis for these teams more important for fans of the teams and less important for national audiences. If Oregon wins this week against Oregon State, they clinch a spot in the PAC-12 Championship game against USC.

Next Up: @ #21 Oregon State, 3:30 PM, ABC

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: A popular pick for unique opinions this week, David Hood from TigerNet put Oregon at #15, as did Houston Burnett from Rubbing the Rock. Calvin Craft and Alex Craft, both from STS, had the Ducks at #14.

10. Tennessee

Last Week STS Poll: 5

Current CFP Ranking: 10

Avg. Rank: 10.82

Last Week: L @ South Carolina, 63-38

I wish Hendon Hooker the best of luck in his recovery from an ACL tear. He is a good guy, and I hate that his season is over. With that being said, WOW. I mean we all knew Tennessee didn’t really have a defense, but they made little brother look elite. Spencer Rattler threw for 438 yards and 6 touchdowns in obviously his best performance as a ‘Cock. It’s amazing, a week after hearing calls for South Carolina’s offensive coordinator to be fired, they hang 63 on the Vols.

One of the more surprising things about this game is the fact that it was never really close. South Carolina was in control for the entire game, and Tennessee looked shell-shocked. This result is actually good for Clemson fans, as the Tigers leap over the Vols in the rankings (and also knocks another SEC team out of contention), and with U of SC coming to town this week, Clemson can add another good win to their resume. So, as a Clemson fan, thank you for coming out, Tennessee!

Next Up: @ Vanderbilt, 7:30 PM, SECN

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: 14/22 of our voters had Tennessee outside of the Top 10. So, here are the voters who kept them in: Ryan Kantor from TigerNet/STS (#7), Nick Tully from The Clemson Pawcast (#7), Jason Priester from All Clemson (#8), Qualk from 105.5 The Roar (#8), Brian Lewis from STS (#9), Calvin Craft from STS (#9), and Nick Vivona (me again) from STS (#9).

This week, we also had our voters give their opinions on two questions:

Who would you pick to win in a neutral site bowl game? Clemson or Georgia?

Who would you pick to win in a neutral site bowl game? Clemson or Ohio State?

Just 14% (2 voters) say they’d pick Clemson to beat Georgia and only 18% (3 voters) say they’d pick Clemson over Ohio State. Matt Goldin (STS) and Houston Burnett (Rubbing the Rock) were the only voters to choose the Tigers over Georgia and and Drew Schneider (STS) joined them in picking Clemson over Ohio State.

What do you think of our rankings? Do you have any thoughts on our hypothetical matchups? Let us know in the comments!