Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 18, 2014

More change is coming to this week?s College Football Playoff Poll with Alabama beating Mississippi State. And this may be the most intriguing unveiling yet.


To review: Last week, the Bulldogs were No. 1, followed by No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Florida State and No. 4 TCU.

This much looks certain: Oregon and Florida State will remain in the CFP Poll. Oregon was off last week. The Seminoles had to rally yet again to win a game-this time at rival Miami–but will stay in the Top Four with an unbeaten record

But who will join Oregon and FSU?

Alabama will be one of them. The Crimson Tide was No. 5 last week and will assuredly move into the poll after knocking off top-ranked Mississippi State. Bama has a nice resume, also beating No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 16 LSU. The Tide?s lone loss was at No. 11 Ole Miss.

So, who will be Team No. 4 this week?

I have seen various prognostications that have included Baylor and Ohio State. And some have kept Mississippi State in the Top Four. I think the Bulldogs should remain in the Top Four despite the 25-20 loss at Alabama.

Why should Mississippi State be penalized for losing at No. 5 Alabama? It was the Bulldogs? first loss of the season. And MSU also has wins at No. 8 LSU; vs. No. 6 Texas A&M; vs. No. 2 Auburn. Do any other teams have as many good wins?

Here is how I think the Top Four should look.

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Mississippi State

I like TCU to be No. 5, Baylor at No. 6 and Ohio State to be No. 7.

From an "eyeball" test standpoint, OSU looks like a playoff team. But a lack of wins over quality foes holds back the Buckeyes. If it was all about win totals and looking dominant, unbeaten Marshall would be in the conversation, too. But at some point, quality wins has to be a factor to consider when comparing teams. Sorry, Buckeyes.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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