College Football Playoff picks after Week 9

Sunil Kumar
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Until one of them loses, expect Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State to be unanimous selections in all College Football Playoff predictions.

The Crimson Tide reminded everyone why they’re top-ranked in 11 of 14 of our writers’ picks this season with a 41-0 victory over Mississippi State. The Alabama defense completely shut down Mike Leach’s offense while quarterback Mac Jones threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns. DeVonta Smith caught all four of those touchdowns and finished the big win with 203 receiving yards.

Ohio State impressed again, this time on the road at Penn State. The game was never truly in doubt, as Justin Fields & Co. held a two-score lead for most of the contest, which the Buckeyes won 38-25.

It was a solid performance from Ohio State, but it was only good enough for the Buckeyes to crack the top two in one of our writers’ picks, despite Clemson’s needing an 18-point comeback against Boston College earlier in the day. Playing without Trevor Lawrence, who was out because of a positive COVID-19 test, the Tigers trailed for a good portion of the game against the Eagles, but freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, alongside veteran running back Travis Etienne, dominated the second half to win 34-28.

The Tigers’ opponent next week, Notre Dame, handled its business on the road in a 31-13 victory at Georgia Tech. For the second straight week, the Fighting Irish are the most popular pick for the fourth spot, but that could change next week, when Clemson travels to South Bend. The game between the two top-four teams should have the biggest playoff impact of any game left on the college football schedule.

Cincinnati, Georgia and Texas A&M each got one vote this week. Oklahoma State fell out of the picks following a 41-34 overtime loss to Texas.


Andrea Adelson: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Kyle Bonagura: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Bill Connelly: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Clemson, 4. Cincinnati
Heather Dinich: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
David M. Hale: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Clemson, 4. Texas A&M
Sam Khan Jr.: 1. Clemson, 2. Alabama, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Chris Low: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Clemson
Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Clemson, 2. Alabama, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Ivan Maisel: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Adam Rittenberg: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Alex Scarborough: 1. Clemson, 2. Alabama, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Mark Schlabach: 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Ohio State 4. Georgia
Tom VanHaaren: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame
Dave Wilson: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Notre Dame



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