After a crazy college football weekend, ACC Network analyst Tommy Bowden believes that the four best teams in America – right now, today – are Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Michigan. He also believes that Clemson will be ranked ahead of Louisville in this week’s playoff rankings, despite the Tigers losing at home to Pitt, 43-42, on Saturday.
“Yeah, I really do,” Bowden said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think Louisville is going to have a hard time. No doubt they’ve got the most electric guy in college football right now (Lamar Jackson). He can beat you with his arm, beat you with his legs. There’s few guys that can do both. A guy like Michael Vick comes to mind. He is that dangerous. With that being said, the committee is going to go on team rather than player, and head-to-head competition and a more challenging schedule. If you take those two things into context, I think very much so Clemson deserves to be ahead of Louisville at this point in time.”
Louisville, which is ranked third in this week’s AP Poll, has won five straight games since losing at Clemson by six points on Oct. 1. The Cardinals have won their last two games – at Boston College and against Wake Forest – by a combined 96-19. They close the season at Houston (8-2) this Thursday and against Kentucky (5-5) on Nov. 26, while Clemson plays at Wake Forest (6-4) and against South Carolina (5-5) on Nov. 19 and 26, respectively.
Barring another Clemson loss, Louisville remains a long-shot to make the playoff.
“I think Louisville is going to have a hard-time jumping a one-loss Michigan, a one-loss Alabama – if they were to lose – or a one-loss Clemson,” Bowden said. “I think they can jump a one-loss Washington because of overall strength of schedule, margin of victory, the things that the computer starts spitting out.”
In other news, Bowden isn’t ready to give up on Michigan, which has reportedly lost quarterback Wilton Speight for the season. The Wolverines will hope that John O’Korn can pull a Cardale Jones and rally the team to a national championship.
“Ohio State responded,” Bowden said of the 2014 Buckeyes. “I think Michigan might have at least the talent to do that. I think (the committee will) be a little more patient with Michigan than just to spit them out because they lost that quarterback and see what plays out in the next couple weeks. So I see Louisville right now having a hard time to get in. The only one-loss team I think they can surpass would be Washington.”