One day after one of the biggest shakeups in the Top 10 in years, Fox Sports’ Stewart Mandel weighed in with how he thinks the rankings will play out come Tuesday night.
With Alabama as the obvious No. 1, Mandel had two Big Ten teams in the College Football Playoff and two more inside the Top 10.
First, at No. 2, was Ohio State. Despite the fact that the 9-1 Buckeyes may not win the Big Ten East, Mandel says they have a better chance of getting into the playoff.
They dominated Maryland 62-3 on Saturday, their second win by that score in two weeks. They’ve been playing exceedingly well recently, and will take on Michigan State next weekend.
At No. 4 is the now 9-1 Michigan Wolverines, who lost their undefeated season when they dropped a 14-13 heartbreaker at Iowa on a last-second field goal Saturday night. But Mandel said the Wolverines have also beaten three other teams in his list in Wisconsin, Penn State and Colorado, which gives them a nice resume.
The Wolverines will try to bounce back to their dominant level when they take on Indiana in a week.
Slotting in two spots later are the Badgers at No. 6. Mandel calls them “a solid, consistent team” after a 48-3 victory over Illinois. They’ve beaten Iowa, Nebraska and LSU as well to pad their resume.
Purdue is up next for the Badgers, who have their only two losses in very close games to the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
And sitting at 9-2 in the No. 8 spot are the Nittany Lions. With their comeback 45-31 victory over Indiana now behind them, they’ve have a win over the Buckeyes and a fighting chance of claiming the Big Ten East.
They’re riding a six-game winning streak since falling to the Wolverines in September and play Rutgers on the road next Saturday.
Here’s how his Top 10 shakes out:
No. 1: Alabama
No. 2: Ohio State
No. 3: Louisville
No. 4: Michigan
No. 5: Clemson
No. 6: Wisconsin
No. 7: Washington
No. 8: Penn State
No. 9: Colorado
No. 10: West Virginia