Ohio State, LSU battling for No. 1 spot, Penn State not far behind, according to Kirk Herbstreit
Maybe the biggest question about the College Football Playoff rankings coming out on Tuesday night is which team will sit atop the first poll of the year?
Does Ohio State deserve the nod with its weekly dominance? Or is LSU worthy of the throne with so many big wins on the resumé? What about Alabama and Clemson, should they get a crack at it?
All of this will be answered on Tuesday night.
But ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit couldn’t wait to talk about the potential of what we’ll see on the board when the selection committee reveals its top 25. Right now, he believes that the No. 1 ranking is a battle between Ohio State and LSU.
“I think Ohio State has been the most consistent and efficient team, both offensively and defensively and I think that’s what gives them the edge,” Herbstreit said on SportsCenter. “To me, when you don’t play dominate teams but you dominate every week, that consistency should give the Buckeyes the edge right now.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, if you look at resume, LSU is No. 1 team, but if you’re looking at efficiency the way Ryan Day’s team has played, the Buckeyes would have the edge.”
The Buckeyes have beaten every team on the schedule by a minimum of 24 points, and have completely eviscerated teams like Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Indiana and Nebraska. Many believe they’re the best team in the country, but they’ve been ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
It’ll be interesting to see the committee’s thoughts on Ohio State.
Shifting away from Ohio State, Herbstreit has also been impressed by the work James Franklin’s crew is doing in Happy Valley. He thinks the Nittany Lions aren’t too far behind the likes of Ohio State and LSU right now.
“No matter what you do tonight with the (selection) committee, who’s the next team? I think it’s Penn State,” Herbstreit said. “They’ve got playmakers on the outside. Four running backs they rotate in. This kid, (quarterback) Sean Clifford, who has taken over for Trace McSorley, has been commander of the offense and he’s been a boss. They’ve responded to his leadership whether they’ve played at home or on the road.
“I think everybody who has watched Penn State has been impressed with the way they’ve played and executed up to this point. Of all the teams that are remaining there on the back end, I would put Penn State at No. 5.”
Penn State has notched impressive wins over Pitt, Iowa and Michigan so far this season.
There are plenty of storylines later tonight, and plenty of teams who could make a case for landing in the top five. We’ll see what happens later this evening.