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4TH & SHORT HASTILY CONVENES A COMMITTEE

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CREDENTIALS? YOU WANT CREDENTIALS? HERE'S MY DANG CREDENTIALS [ROLLS OVER FOR BELLY RUB]

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Week 9! As always, I'm Holly, your intrepid pup reporter, here to brief you on what's really happening in college football today. I'm a couple days late this week, but we've all had trouble adjusting to the time change. Me? I've been standing in the yard, barking aimlessly at the darkness. It's a lot like college football Twitter.

On the bright side, my delayed entry into Week 9's discussion allows me to take umbrage with the College Football Playoff Committee's initial rankings, which were released last night.

I got a lot of problems with these rankings, people.

1. CLEMSON (8-0)

Seems like an obvious choice. They've got the strongest resume to date, having gotten Al Golden fired from Miami and boasting a signature win over playoff #5 Notre Dame.

But I'll be damned if I'm crowning a cat-mascoted team my #1. Nope.

Nah, you're gonna lose to Florida State. I'm not happy about it either, but paper always beats rock. (I'm implying Florida State pays players. Sue me, I'm a dog.)

2. LSU (7-0)

WHAT DID WE JUST TALK ABOUT? This a playoff committee or a Cat Fancy meetup?

Look, I see the appeal. You've got world-beater Leonard Fournette, a respectable defense, and Les Miles is trying something new this year by starting a quarterback.

If I'm holding feline affiliation against Clemson, though, I'm most definitely going to hold it against you, too. Also, Les... uh, that grass you just ate...  I have some bad news.

3. OHIO STATE (8-0)

Okay, well, at least we're off the litter of kittens. So I won't be speaking as a hater here, but a realist. Yes, you've got the 21 straight wins, and despite puttering along below your potential for most of the season, things finally seemed to come together in your last game.

AGAINST RUTGERS.

Hey, though, you finally settled your quarterback controversy!

AND IT DIDN'T EVEN LAST THROUGH THE BYE WEEK.

Look, I'm sorry. I want to like you. I'm from Ohio. Between these lingering issues and games against Michigan State, Michigan and (possibly) Iowa looming, though, you're as primed to be upset as I am when the ironing board comes out.

I hate that ironing board.

4. ALABAMA (7-1)

Yeah, they'll probably be there, because life is unfair and sometimes you get taken to the vet whether you like it or not. Doesn't mean I have to vote for them. I didn't steal Mike Tranghese's identity for this.

Nah, I only put my faith in one short, angry animal, and that's my pug associate Timothy.

I'm the Kiffin in this relationship.

5. NOTRE DAME (7-1)

No.

6. BAYLOR (7-0)

They like to throw a ball around and run wild. These are crucial attributes I look for in anyone, right up there with: "do they know what a good dog I am" and "do they have ham?"

That said, they've got a true freshman coming in at quarterback, and they've got all the big dogs in the Big XII still on their tails in November. It's going to be a mess, and I'm not sure they don't end up needing a bath afterwards.

7. MICHIGAN STATE (8-0)

The kind of luck they've had to date has been phenomenal, and it'd take a miracle for it to carry them all the way to the playoff. Once again, Mark Dantonio's put together a very competitive team, but they're still going to end up on the outside looking in.

8. TCU (8-0)

Here's me pretending I'm lining up against TCU's defense.

Boykin and Doctson might have the world's greatest game of fetch going on, but eventually some bigger dog's gonna run away with the ball.

9. IOWA (8-0)

I don't have anything bad to say here. I don't think Iowa's going to be in the playoff, but it's fun that we're talking about it after Halloween. Let's all just pause and enjoy the moment for what it is.

(I was actually just thinking about ham.)

10. FLORIDA (7-1)

I...  I mean, they're almost a lock to head into the Florida State game 10-1, with their next three games coming against Vanderbilt, South Carolina and FAU?

They could beat Florida State? That could happen, certainly? I'm reacting to this like when you put mom on speakerphone when she's on business trips?

To project them in the playoff, though, that means I've got to go on record as saying I expect Florida to beat (most likely) the winner of this week's LSU-Alabama game in Atlanta.

Did anyone else just hear thunder?

Alright, fine. I've been barking up a lot of trees here, finding fault in just about anybody the committee might run out there as a potential playoff team. I bet you're thinking "this is a lot of negativity for a lovable furball that sleeps 23 hours a day and seems awfully familiar with the concept of ham", aren't you?

I'm not about to leave you without solutions. I'm a proactive dog. Holly Can Fix It, and so on. Without further ado,

HOLLY'S PLAYOFF RANKING

1. MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-2)

Okay, I know what you're thinking. They were good last year - in fact, they topped the initial rankings last year! But this year you could debate whether their best win to date is Auburn or Kentucky. It's like debating which tennis ball in the dog park has the least crap on it. (I don't want that one. Throw the nasty one.)

Don't care. Strap a cowbell on me. Bulldogs rule.

2. WASHINGTON (4-4)

The thing about this column is, I'm completely unaccountable. Go Huskies.

3. JAMES MADISON (7-2 FCS)

Yessss, they're in FCS. Yesss, they've lost their last two games. Here's the thing: now you're mad at a dog on the Internet. Boom.

Royal dogs stick together, and we keep our noses high.

4. STANFORD (7-1)

I've got to give myself at least an outside shot to be right about one of these.

Also, maybe if I'm nice to the Tree, they'll knock one of those squirrels down for me.