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The Frogs O'War Four

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Last night, the first College Football Playoff poll was released--and TCU was sandwiched between Alabama and Michigan State, sitting comfortably at Number 7. Today, the FoW staff dishes out our own four playoff teams. It shouldn't surprise anyone that TCU was included in all of ours.

Ronald Martinez

Last night, the inaugural College Football Playoff poll was released. I left work early, something I didn't even do during the last Presidential election, to see how the elected minds voted. Three SEC West teams in the playoff didn't surprise me, but it did surprise me that Ole Miss made the initial four. It's hard to completely discredit them for a loss in Tiger Stadium, which again, is one of the most grueling places to play in North America. Did they really earn the initial spot over Oregon? I'm not so sure...

TCU, however is sitting nice. The number 7 ranking is not only optimistic just from the standpoint that the SEC West teams ahead of the Horned Frogs will drop once they cannibalize each other over the next month. Plus, being ahead of Michigan State and Notre Dame is a great sign, and shows the voters are liking what they see from the Horned Frogs. If you want more, read Jamie's piece from earlier today. Seriously, do it.

The Frogs O'War Four

(remember no one is safe)

Marsh:

1. Mississippi State

Again, this is if the season ended today. As opposed to some crystal ball of where we think these teams will end up. That being said, FSU, TCU, and Oregon work for the present and future--the Bulldogs? Not so much. They have two convincing wins; Auburn and LSU. The latter of which looks a lot closer than it was, but a win in Death Valley gets you points no matter what. It’s something their preppier magnolia brethren couldn't do. If they win out, I still think the Heisman goes to Dak Prescott over Marcus Mariota.

2. Florida State

It’s unfair to penalize the Seminoles for winning. Like, winning nearly 25 games in a row (they're also 33-2 since 2012). Are they the weakest in the four? Probably. Is the defense young and vulnerable? Yes. But they have the reigning Heisman winner, and they've beaten two solid teams; Notre Dame and West Virginia.

3. Oregon

Oregon may have the best win in college football thus far. The Michigan State shellacking gets the Ducks a very deserved spot. Dominating UCLA is not nearly as solid as it looked then, and the Arizona loss is a red flag. Normally the tie would go to the Wildcats, but the Michigan State win gives the Ducks the edge.

I’m still not sold on the Big 10. Yes Sparty, Nebraska, and Ohio State are starting to bang up the others in conference play--but what does it say more about the state of the Big 10 when one of those teams got beat by a horrible Virginia Tech squad, the other beat McNeese effin State by 7, and the other defensive team was made a fool by a Pac-12 team? Even in an 8 team playoff, I’d have a hard time including Michigan State.

4. TCU

Let’s speak on losses. A good friend of mine pointed this out; a good loss is better than a good win. Think about it. When it comes time to get four teams in, TCU’s resume won’t be defined by close wins against Oklahoma, or blowouts against Tech, it’s going to be defined by the 3-point loss to Baylor. Should TCU continue to go full 100-emoji and win out, will the voters really punish them for a bad 5 minutes of football? The Horned Frogs have played 28 quarters of football. They looked superb in 27, maybe 26 of them. Also, should TCU win out, Trevone Boykin would likely join fellow playoffers, Prescott, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota in New York come mid-December.

Also, dare I say that TCU is the most complete team in the Nation? Come. At. Me.

Jamie:

1. Florida State

They'll be No. 1 until they lose, it's that simple. That being said, they could very well lose tomorrow against No. 25 Louisville. Watch out for the Cardinals' defense. They're stingy.

2. Mississippi State

You gon' feel the Bulldog bite. Undefeated in the SEC is what puts them here.

3. Oregon

Because they beat Michigan State, and two SEC teams makes me hurt inside. Also, they've won by an average of 18 points per game, over teams with a 15-9 record, since their loss to Arizona.

4. TCU

What can I say, I'm a homer at heart. But, in lieu of a second SEC team, or Michigan State/Notre Dame, the highest ranked Big 12 team isn't too far of a stretch.

Melissa:

1. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs don't seem to have a glaring weakness on either side of the ball, and have a Heisman contender in QB Dak Prescott, who has been outstanding. MSU sports a win at LSU to go along with home victories over Auburn and A&M (though that doesn't make much of an impression anymore). The Bulldogs will have to face Alabama and Ole Miss on the road in the final three weeks, and then a potential SEC championship showdown looms with Georgia, but they clearly control their own destiny, and their resume makes them a clear choice for #1.

2. Florida State

As long as they can keep their players from spending the post season in hot water with the law, it's hard to find a loss on the schedule for the Noles. Winston has been stellar when he's needed, and though they lost a ton of talent, the defense is good enough. A showcase win against ND puts them in the top four for now, but they can't afford any loss down the line if they want to stay there.

3. Alabama

I hate myself for this a little bit, but if Bama runs the table, they will play for an SEC championship, and vault themselves in to the post season for sure. Other than the loss at Ole Miss and the lingering effects that almost saw them upset by Arky, the Crimson Tide train rolls on. The offense has looked incredible at times, and the D is still a Bama D. Saban gets the #3 ranking in the first release because he's Saban and they're Bama. Nick may have sold his soul a long time ago, but he got really good value for it at least.

4. TCU

The Pac 12 has been either really good or really bad, not unlike the Big 12, but the parity has caused teams to knock each other off at an alarming rate. I don't think a two loss team from either conference gets in over a second SEC team, and I don't think the Big 10 has done enough to deserve a spot at the table - yet. When you look at the best of the bunch between those two conferences, TCU has the edge over Oregon by a slim margin at this point. The Frogs have wins over two (then) ranked top 15 teams, while their lone loss was on the road to a then #5 Baylor team, by three, in a total meltdown in the final minutes. They embarrassed a decent Okie State team and humiliated two abominations (SMU and Tech), and if they win out, they should get the nod, in my completely biased opinion. Oregon also only has one loss, but it was at home, so they fall to five in the first look.

Nick:

1. Mississippi State

The clangers are putting on an impressive display so far this year, though "Every SEC game is so tough!" doesn't really fly with me when Kentucky is involved (improved or no).  Number one for now because they've beaten some good teams, unlike, say...

2. Florida State

Sure, the 'noles beat Notre Dame at home, but ND hasn't beaten anyone, and they beat Clemson in OT, but I don't really like the tigers either.  I can't knock them too bad for the ACC being crappy this year, but if they drop a game, they'll probably drop out of my top 10.

3. Oregon

Win over Michigan State in the non-con boosts the ducks up, and I'm forgiving of a loss to a dangerous Arizona team when their O-line was decimated.  The ducks will be scary from here on out.

4. TCU

A one loss champion of the likely second (but no less than third) best league gets the top spot, and right now I'm picking the Frogs to win out and claim that last playoff spot.  The defense is still solid (and can be schemed to cover up their deep ball vulnerability, hopefully), and the offense is... wow.  West Virginia this week is going to be a big deal though.

Next Four In

(barging in, invited or not)

Marsh:

5. Arizona

6. Alabama

7. Auburn

8. Michigan State

Jamie:

5. Ole Miss

6. Michigan State

7. Kansas State

8. Auburn

Melissa:

5. Oregon

6. Ole Miss

7. Michigan State

8. Auburn

Nick:

5. Michigan State

6. Auburn

7. Arizona

8. Kansas State

On the Fence

(we're still in the hunt!)

Marsh:

9. Georgia

10. Kansas State

Jamie:

9. Alabama

10. Notre Dame

Melissa:

9. Kansas State

10. Notre Dame

Nick:

9. Georgia

10. Ole Miss