Campus Insiders Rankings: Week 8

    The real College Football Playoff committee won’t come up with its first set of rankings until late October. Each member of the Campus Insiders Playoff

    October 21, 2014

    The real College Football Playoff committee won’t come up with its first set of rankings until late October. Each member of the Campus Insiders Playoff Committee have submitted his or her own set of rankings based on how good the teams are, and they’ll keep cranking them out throughout the year. 

    The one difference between this committee and the real one will be explanations – please scroll down for each committee member’s top four write-up. Along with the rankings compiled by all the members, each one explains what went into creating the top four. 

    The Campus Insiders Week 8 Top Four
    1. Mississippi State – 272 votes
    2. Ole Miss – 262
    3. Florida State – 254
    4. Alabama – 238

    Others Receiving Votes: Auburn (225), Oregon (201), Notre Dame (196), Michigan State (195), Georgia (188), TCU (179), Kansas State (166), Baylor (159), Ohio State (148), Arizona (118), Arizona State (114), Nebraska (95), Oklahoma (85), East Carolina (80), West Virginia (64), Marshall (63), Utah (62), USC (62), Clemson (45), LSU (36), UCLA (20), Duke (15), Minnesota (15), Texas A&M (5), Arkansas (4), Colorado State (4), Missouri (2), Washington (2), Stanford (2)

    1. Mississippi State, 2. Ole Miss, 3. Florida State, 4. Baylor

    The Committee: Doug Chapman, Rich Cirminiello, Geoff Coyle, Jeff Dantzler, Phil Dawson, Kristi Dosh, Pete Fiutak, Steve Greenberg, Russ Lande, Michael Lev, Paul Loeffler, Lachlan McLean, Russ Mitchell, Chris Plank, Dan Schwab, Crowley Sullivan 

    Rich Cirminiello 

    Cirminiello Bio
    – Associate Editor at Campus Insiders
    – Director of College Awards for the Maxwell Football Club 

    1. Mississippi State
    No one has a better first-half resume than the Bulldogs, who beat a very good Auburn team by 15 before getting a much-needed off week. 

    2. Ole Miss
    Defense still wins championships. Oxford is arguably home to the best D in the country. 

    3. Florida State
    ‘Noles turned plenty of skeptics into believers with Saturday night’s gut-check survival of Notre Dame. 

    4. Alabama
    ‘Bama’s only loss was on the road to No. 2 Ole Miss. Saturday’s 59-0 decimation of Texas A&M provided an indication of Tide’s potential to dominate. 

    Jeff Dantzler 

    Dantzler Bio
    – Longtime University of Georgia and Athens radio personality and writer
    – Athens SportsRadio 960 the Ref

    1. Mississippi State 
    With the most impressive hit list of any team, the Starkville Maroons, with their physical line of scrimmage and dynamic quarterback have the goods to stay right in the thick of things in the rough and tough SEC. 

    2. Ole Miss
    The Rebels just may have the best defense in the country. Hugh Freeze is an “offensive minded” coach, but this is a complete team. It is extremely impressive how the Rebels have been able to keep their focus. 

    3. Florida State 
    The win over Notre Dame is the signature victory the Seminoles have been searching for. The Jameis Winston saga has been a big scar for Florida State. But they have bought into the “Us vs. Them” and are in prime position for a playoff spot. 

    4. Alabama
    Nick Saban creates the motivation that he and the Crimson Tide needs. And man did they deliver?! That clobbering of Texas A&M was historic stuff. They are going to be tough to beat the rest of the way. 

    Kristi Dosh 

    Dosh Bio
    – Sports business reporter and analyst for Campus Insiders and Outkick the Coverage on
    – Author of business of college football book Saturday Millionaires and host of podcast by the same name 

    1. Mississippi State
    They didn’t play this week, and they’re still #1 in my book. Despite impressive victories for Ole Miss and FSU, I still think the Bulldogs are the best team in the country. 

    2. Ole Miss
    Continue to be impressed by the Ole Miss defense, which appears more and more like the top unit in the country. I’ve seen Ole Miss play in person two weeks in a row now, and they’re great in the secondary at creating turnovers.

    3. Florida State
    Debate the end of the game all you want, but they find ways to win. They may be the only good team who gets beat routinely on the line of scrimmage. Notre Dame ran the ball better and stopped the run better, yet the Seminoles still hung in there and won the game. Jameis Winston played his best half of the season in the second half of this week’s game. 

    4. Alabama
    The Crimson Tide showed again why they merit consideration for the playoff. It’s hard to say if their massacre of Texas A&M says more about Alabama or the Aggies, but given how Texas A&M has played the last few weeks, it’s probably the latter. Nonetheless, Alabama’s offense looked like it finally hit its stride this week, hanging 59 unanswered points on Texas A&M. 

    Pete Fiutak 

    Fiu Bio
    – Managing Editor of Campus Insiders, Publisher of
    – Voter and/or on advisory board for almost every major college football award 

    1. Mississippi State
    The top four teams in America … 

    2. Ole Miss
    … are all in the SEC West … 

    3. Alabama
    … in some way, shape, or form … 

    4. Auburn
    … and Georgia isn’t far off. At the moment, it’s the two Mississippi schools in the top two, Alabama might be the most talented team in the country, and Auburn is as loaded as ever. Sorry, America, but the playoff should just be the SEC West.

    Steve Greenberg 

    Greenberg Bio
    – Chicago Sun-Times national college football and basketball columnist 
    – Former college football and basketball editor for Sporting News 

    1. Mississippi State
    The Bulldogs come off a bye and remain in a blessed schedule lull, with should-cruise games against Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin on tap the next three weeks. Dan Mullen’s defense is tightening the screws and set to play its best ball of the season. 

    2. Ole Miss
    But defense in the Magnolia State starts in Oxford, where the Rebels were spectacular again in their last outing, a 34-3 stifling of Tennessee. All units on this killer D are absolutely shining. 

    3. Alabama
    Ask Texas A&M — staggered after consecutive beatdowns by Mississippi State, Ole Miss and the Crimson Tide — which opponent was most impressive. Really now, 59-0? Wow. 

    4. Florida State
    The Seminoles still haven’t given a stellar performance, but they were able to dig deep repeatedly on the offensive side of the ball against Notre Dame. As long as Jameis Winston is playing, FSU is capable of beating anybody. 

    Michael Lev 

    Lev Bio
    – USC football/basketball beat reporter, Orange County Register
    – 2-time FWAA writing award winner, AP Top 25 voter, Heisman Trophy voter 

    1. Mississippi State
    OK, so maybe that Texas A&M victory doesn’t look so great anymore. But the LSU win is starting to look better. And the Auburn win still holds up as well as any. No. 1 until further notice. 

    2. Ole Miss
    You say Ole Miss. I say New Miss, featuring the new-and-improved Bo Wallace. Better in every category compared to last season.

    3. Florida State
    Survive and advance. That’s pretty much where the Seminoles are at right now. But as long as they keep winning, they’ll make the Playoff. 

    4. Georgia
    Why isn’t Georgia getting any love? The Bulldogs just won back-to-back road games in the mighty SEC without Todd Gurley by a combined score of 79-32. They’re legit. 

    Paul Loeffler 

    Loeffler Bio
    – Voice of the Fresno State Bulldogs (football, basketball, baseball) — Author of Underdogs to Wonderdogs
    – Hosts syndicated radio show Hometown Heroes 

    1. Florida State
    So much more than Winston. Championship defense in Tallahassee. How many off the field developments will we see before the ‘Noles visit Petrino-ville on 10/30? 

    2. Mississippi
    Best defense in the country? Maybe, but a visit to Baton Rouge could knock the Rebels from the ranks of the unbeatens. Ole Miss might have the toughest October schedule in the nation.

    3. Mississippi State
    A rested Dak Prescott should have little trouble in Lexington, but with trips to Tuscaloosa and Oxford in November, the Bulldogs have a long way to go. 

    4. Alabama
    After being held under 20 two weeks in a row, Saban’s stars torched A&M for 59. Anybody volunteer to face the Tide in the inaugural playoff? 

    Lachlan McLean 

    McLean Bio
    – Host of Sports Talk 84 — one of the most popular sports talk radio shows in Louisville
    – 15 years of daily coverage of University of Louisville and University of Kentucky athletics 

    1. Mississippi State
    Florida State could’ve grabbed this spot but didn’t impress me enough. Now MSU will be big favorite for their next three games… could a team actually hold the top spot for a while? 

    2. Florida State
    It wasn’t particularly pretty against ND but it’s still a third quality win (along with OK State and Clemson). Ole Miss has only two.

    3. Mississippi
    The win over Bama now looks even better but the win over Texas A&M loses some luster. In the end I dropped them one spot as a penalty for their weak non-conference schedule. 

    4. Auburn
    You could flip a coin among three SEC teams for the final spot in the playoff, Alabama and Georgia also have a case. But I’ll give it to Auburn based on the road win at Kansas State. 

    Chris Plank 

    Plank Bio
    – Host of the Big Show from 2-6pm weekdays on 1430 in Tulsa 
    – Fox Sports Radio Host of “The Plank Show” Sunday nights from 6-9pm cst
    1. Mississippi State 
    Not much to add after a bye week. Huge date looming vs. Bama on November 15th 

    2. Ole Miss
    Good challenge from Tennessee. Bo Wallace overcame early inconsistencies and the Rebs rolled. Sure the A&M win looks less impressive but Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss still look the part of a championship contender. 

    3. Florida State 
    It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t overly spectacular, but Florida State picked up its first “signature” win of the season. Likely now the Seminoles run the table leading to an interesting debate if a 1-loss Alabama, Ole Miss, or Miss State is knocking on the door. 

    4. Alabama 
    Wow… call me a sucker for a big score. But the Tide finally looked the part of a Championship conteder again. The bump will be across the board and deserved. Alabama still has questions on defense and its offense did benefit from a lackluster Aggie defense. Still, Bama s back in the top 4 in my world. 

    Dan Schwab 

    Schwab Bio
    – Executive Producer, Campus Insiders
    – Executive Producer, Answers Media Productions 

    1. Florida State
    2. Mississippi State
    3. Ole Miss
    4. Alabama

    Crowley Sullivan 

    Sullivan Bio
    – Executive Vice President/General Manager,
    – Peabody & Emmy Award winner for ESPN SportsCentury, “The Fifty Greatest Athletes of the Century” 

    1. Mississippi State
    Still riding high from one of the most remarkable stretches any team has ever had in the history of the sport. Can they continue to impress or will reality eventually rear its ugly head? 

    2. Mississippi
    See Mississippi State.

    3. Florida State
    I no longer have them in the top spot, but they deserve serious credit for winning and winning and winning. The way they managed to defeat a damn good Notre Dame team keeps them firmly entrenched in the Top 4. 

    4. Georgia 
    The Dawgs seem to be getting the least amount of love from all of the SEC powers. Their Nov 15th matchup with Auburn looms and serves as their chance to assert themselves. 


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