Playoff projections: Georgia muscles in

Playoff projections: Georgia muscles in
September 2, 2014, 8:00 am
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(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

No major upsets this week, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a major shakeup in the playoff projections!

Lackluster performances from some of the top teams point to future troubles down the road leaving me to rethink my top four. Here are my new playoff picks after watching Week 1.

Who managed to steal a spot from one of last week's playoff hopefuls?

1. Florida State

A 37-31 win over an Oklahoma State team that I don’t think will finish in the top three of the Big 12 is not what the Seminoles had in mind for their opener. Still, Florida State is in good shape.

The ACC looked horrendous in the opening week and the schedule plays out well for the Seminoles. They face Clemson in two weeks, but that game is in Tallahassee and Clemson has to figure out who their quarterback is going to be. Clemson will eventually right the ship, but right now they look weak which is good news for Florida State. After that, the Seminoles are not going to be tested until Oct. 18 when they host Notre Dame.

For a team like Florida State that was expected to cruise into the playoffs, a close game early in the season can be a good wakeup call. Let’s wait to see how they look against Clemson before we knock them off their pedestal.

2. Oregon

The Ducks took care of business against South Dakota, but this week they host Michigan State. Talk about playoff implications!

The Pac-12 is considered the SEC’s equal by many this season and Oregon will have a chance to prove it against the best Big Ten team. This game will not only mean a lot for both these teams, but it will mean a lot for their respective conferences.

You can pretty much pencil the winner of this one into the playoffs.

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3. Georgia

Analysts love overreacting to Week 1 and perhaps I am guilty of that, but the Bulldogs had the most impressive win of the weekend with a 45-21 win over Clemson.

It’s easy to dismiss Clemson and say they aren't as good this season as they have been, but Georgia actually trailed 21-14 in the second and it was tied at halftime. The Tigers are better than they looked, they were simply made to look bad by a good Georgia team.

Todd Gurley showed he is a legitimate Heisman candidate with 198 yards on the ground and four total touchdowns. He is going to be a player to watch this season.

There are still plenty of questions surrounding the Bulldogs to be sure such as who can they turn to if Gurley is struggling and is the defense good enough to keep up in the SEC?

Those are all legitimate concerns, but based on how South Carolina and Alabama looked in the first weekend, the Bulldogs look like the conference front-runner.

Someone from the SEC is going to get into the playoffs. Right now, that team looks like Georgia.

4. Michigan State

Though I think they are going to lose to Oregon this weekend, the path to the Big Ten Championship looks pretty clear for the Spartans

Ohio State did not look anything like the powerhouse they have been. Once J.T. Barrett settles in, they may look different, but as of now the Spartans look like the runaway winners of the division.

Wisconsin looks like they can provide a challenge in the BIg Ten Championship and that win can provide the exclamation point the Spartans need for their playoff resume.

First teams out: Oklahoma, Alabama

Questionable quarterback play is going to doom both the Sooners and Crimson Tide if things do not improve.

Oklahoma dominated Louisiana Tech, Trevor Knight did not.

Knight completed 19 of 34 passes and threw an interception. The Sooners are going to play a lot of good teams this season and Knight will have to play better if Oklahoma hopes to get through their schedule unscathed.

I was surprised when Nick Saban went with Blake Sims over Jake Coker after Coker transferred to Alabama. Coker, however, struggled in training camp and Sims earned his shot. He may not have done anything to lose the job on Saturday, completing 24 of 33 passes for 250 yards with one interception, but he didn't show me he was capable of taking this offense where Saban and Lane Kiffin want it to go.

Can Alabama make the playoffs with average quarterback play? Perhaps, but West Virginia made the Crimson Tide look very beatable. Alabama still has to navigate the always treacherous SEC schedule, including a visit to Death Valley and after watching them on Saturday, I now think they will lose at least once.

In an SEC Championship matchup against Georgia, right now I would give the edge to Georgia.

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