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Alabama and Georgia battled it out again for first place in our writers’ College Football Playoff picks — and the Bulldogs got closer than usual — but the Crimson Tide simply refuses to give up the No. 1 ranking.
If Alabama is No. 1 after a 42-21 walk on a prized Ole Miss team, Georgia is No. 1B this week after wrecking a top-10 Arkansas team 37-0. Alabama and Georgia are unanimous picks from our writers, with the Tide getting seven votes for first place and the Dawgs finishing with six.
Iowa — close to Colorado State last week — was selected on seven of the ballots this week following a 51-14 road route from previously undefeated Maryland on Friday night. The Hawkeyes turned their opponents around seven times in a statement win and cemented their spot in the top five this season. The win set up a pivotal Big Ten matchup next week, with Iowa welcoming Penn State to Iowa City.
The Nittany Lions also proved themselves worthy of the CFP with a 24-0 win over Indiana on Saturday night, earning them 11 picks. Penn State’s game against the Hawkeyes next week will certainly be a litmus test for both teams, but a loss doesn’t necessarily have to fall out of their respective Big Ten division races or the CFP talk.
In what was a huge win for the Group of 5, the Cincinnati Bearcats defeated Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and put their name firmly in the race to become the first Group of 5 school to make it to the CFP. It was the first time a group 5 team defeated a top 10 team on the road. The historic win gave the Bearcats eight ballots for most of the season.
Oregon was dropped from the roster after a 31-24 loss in overtime at Stanford on Saturday. The defeat leaves the Pac-12 out of the playoff conversation — for now — and the westernmost team in our writers’ picks is now Iowa.
The field with five teams is the smallest of the year so far this week.
Andrea Adelson: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Iowa, 4. Cincinnati
Kyle Bonagura: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Penn State, 4. Cincinnati
Bill Connelly: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Penn State
Heide Dinich: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Iowa, 4. Penn State
David M. Hale: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Penn State
Chris Low: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Iowa, 4. Cincinnati
Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Penn State, 4. Cincinnati
Ryan McGee: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Penn State, 4. Cincinnati
Adam Rittenberg: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Iowa, 4. Penn State
Alex Scarborough: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Penn State, 4. Cincinnati
Mark Schlabach: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Iowa, 4. Penn State
Tom Van Haaren: 1. Alabama, 2. Georgia, 3. Penn State, 4. Iowa
Dave Wilson: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Iowa, 4. Penn State
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