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Who Needs A Blogpoll Week 10: Best two-loss team? Who should be No. 4 and 5 in the playoff rankings?

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Things seem to be happier in Happy Valley these days. Clemson also looks like it is starting to peak as Deshaun Watson is having an even better season than last year.

No one wants to play this team at home.
No one wants to play this team at home.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

1

Alabama Crimson Tide

1

2

Clemson Tigers

2

3

Michigan Wolverines

4

4

Washington Huskies

3

5

Ohio State Buckeyes

7

6

Louisville Cardinals 

6

7

Penn State Nittany Lions

14

8

Auburn Tigers

10

9

Wisconsin Baders

8

10

Texas A&M Aggies

5

11

UNC Tar Heels

13

12

LSU Tigers

17

13

Washington State Cougars

12

14

Oklahoma State Cowboys

19

15

Oklahoma Sooners
17

16

Western Michigan Broncos

14

17

Boise State Broncos

15

18

West Virginia Mountaineers

20

19

Virginia Tech Hokies

24

20

Arkansas Razorbacks

--

21

Houston Cougars

23

22

Tennessee Volunteers

24

23

Florida Gators

11

24

USC Trojans

--

25

Navy Midshipmen

22

Dropped Out:

Florida State Seminoles (still hasn't beaten a decent team,) Nebraska (they are what we feared they are,)

Also Considered:

Troy Trojans, San Diego State Aztecs, Wyoming Cowboys, FSU, Colorado Buffaloes

Thoughts:

Penn State is improving more each week than just about any other Power Five two-loss program. The win over Pitt is somewhat discounted, as the Panthers are in a swoon, but the Lions are dominating the Big 10 in a way that compares only to Ohio State and Michigan (and, they went .500 against those top 10 foes.)

Hot on their heels are the Auburn Tigers: I think we all know Arkansas is mercurial and has no defense, and Ole Miss has no defense worthy of an SEC program. Against the three teams with decent-to-excellent defenses  -- TAMU (statistically anyway a few weeks ago,) LSU (pre-Orgeron,) Clemson, and Vanderbilt, the Tigers are playing .500 ball. Worse, Vandy averaged nearly 5 yards a carry yesterday. This team is very good, and you wouldn't want to play them with a suspect run defense, but it's not the existential threat LSU was, esp. given their softness up the middle and limitations throwing the ball.

Speaking of, LSU got a bump because that team is playing like the program returning 17 starters. The defense was stellar last night, and easily the best the Tigers have looked on that side of the ball since 2011.

Why no larger drop for A&M? Resume and injuries: Trevor Knight and Myles Garrett are injured and it really showed in yesterday's loss. And the Aggies still have some very nice wins on their resume. We'll know what this team really is when they punch at exactly their weight class against LSU on Thanksgiving.

Don't read too much into the blowouts yesterday: Louisville still has a weak resume; Ohio State still is the most complete team of the schools apt to miss the playoffs (I think Michigan bottles them up and exploits OSU's run defense;) Michigan is a limited teams, but what they can do, they do very very well; Washington is playing great football -- but seven of their nine wins are against teams with losing records and only one of those wins (and it required a game-winning punt return touchdown) came against a team that is or was ranked at the time.

UNC, Washington State, Arkansas, Navy, and Oklahoma State are quietly piecing together some good bodies of work on the season. That actually would be a fun round-robin of defense-optional bowl games if we can make it happen.

Do you think anyone wants to play the USC Trojans right now? The Men of Troy narrowly lost to Utah early in the season, but after finding an identity, and letting Sam Darnold grow into the roll, USC has rebounded to 5-3 and are pasting people in the Pac 12 (and, they beat south-leader Colorado head to head.)

Utah seems decent enough -- like Alabama they have won defensive slugfests and a few shootouts. Bottom of the Blogpoll, but not really a player.

This bowl season some teams are going to draw (and lose to) some very good Group of 5 programs and it won't be an upset: Troy, San Diego State, Wyoming, Boise State, Western Michigan, Toledo, Middle Tennessee, a rebounding Western Kentucky -- there is some good football being played outside of the football factories.

Nebraska: No, just...no. Get out of here.

Finally, TCU is rebounding and playing much better down the stretch. They won't win the Big 12, but they are going to ruin some teams weekends and seasons (buh-bye Baylor.)

Playoff Predictions:

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Michigan

4. Washington