How would the College Football Playoff committee rank the teams after a wild and crazy week?
Where would all of the upsets fall into the mix, and what would the rankings be at the moment? They’re all coming out for real in two weeks, but for now, based on the resume, eye-test, and the expertise of the committee members, this is what the rankings would almost certainly be.
Remember a few parts of this. 1) EVERY spot is argued over. The committee members have to agree on each spot. 2) The only stats that matter are the ones on the iPads the committee members use. They do side-by-side comparisons when debating the merits of the teams. 3) The committee tends to like big wins more than bad losses.
25. Auburn (5-2)
All about the two close losses more than the wins, the Tigers are 0-2 against other Tigers – LSU and Clemson – in good battles, but the best win is over Mississippi State. That’s not enough for the moment, but the big games are coming up.
24. Texas A&M (5-2)
On paper – or the iPad – the loss to UCLA would be awful, but the Aggies gave Alabama a wee bit of a fight, beat South Carolina, and took down Arkansas and Florida. That would be enough to sneak into the top 25.
23. West Virginia (4-2)
The close call losses to Virginia Tech and TCU would be impressive by comparison to gaffes by other ranked teams, but Texas Tech is the only victory of note.
22. LSU (5-2)
What have you done for me lately? The committee would hate the Troy loss, and would despise the blowout loss to Mississippi State just as much, but the Tigers beat Syracuse, won at Florida, and came back to beat Auburn. There’d be a fight, but they’d get into the lower end of the top 25.
21. USF (6-0)
The problems is the schedule – there’s nothing to impress. The Bulls have yet to play a team that’ll end up going bowling, but the blowouts will receive a little bit of respect. A little bit.
20. UCF (5-0)
No one’s crushing teams like UCF is, but beating Memphis and winning at Maryland only goes so far. However, the resume is far better than anything USF has done – the two American Athletic stars meet on November 24th.
19. NC State (6-1)
The Wolfpack might receive a wee bit more credit than it should deserve for beating Louisville and winning at Florida State, but the stats will love the win over Marshall, and now, beating Syracuse looks great. The South Carolina loss would be blown off – at least a little bit – since it was the season-opener.
18. Stanford (5-2)
One of the tougher calls, the blowout loss to USC won’t look good, and the loss at San Diego State will hurt the cause, but the Cardinal beat the Arizona State team that beat Washington, won at Utah, and destroy Oregon. They would get the benefit of the doubt because of their momentum – they’re hot over the last month.
17. Virginia Tech (5-1)
The key here is the Boston College win over Louisville. In all of the formulas, BC now looks like a decent road win, the loss to Clemson was a bit of a fight, and the win over West Virginia is terrific. There’s some fluff on the slate, but the Hokies won in blowouts.
16. Washington (6-1)
Cal blowing out Washington State saves the day. The Huskies’ beat the team that just destroyed Wazzu, but that’s about it. The one good game against a decent team on the road was a 13-7 dud to Arizona State, and the rest of resume isn’t anything special.
15. Oklahoma State (5-1)
It all depends on how much the committee likes TCU, and it’ll like the Horned Frogs a whole lot. However, the only decent win is over Texas Tech on the road – that’s not enough. The big tests are coming to boost up the resume.
14. USC (6-1)
The committee will have a hard time figuring out what to do with the Trojans. They have the talent, and they have the upside, but they’re just so … so … shaky. However, the Wazzu loss was on the road and close, the win over Stanford is fantastic, and beating Cal, Texas and Utah might be just enough to put the Trojans in the top ten on the list of some members.
13. Washington State (6-1)
Getting obliterated by Cal on the road would be devastating, but the rest of the body of work would be solid. Beating USC would trump everything else, and flying under the radar is a win over a Boise State team that just whacked the San Diego State team that beat Stanford.
12. Michigan (5-1)
The good wins just won’t be there. Oh sure, there will be some credit given to beating Florida with ease, and taking out Purdue on the road will seem nice, but the offense has turned into a clunker – the committee takes everything into account. The Wolverines would get a little bit of a break because of the weather factor against MSU.
11. Michigan State (5-1)
The committee really does argue it out team by team, spot by spot, and this would be a glaring example of Team A-beat-Team B. Michigan State has hardly been impressive, and beating Iowa and Michigan is okay, but it took down the Wolverines in the Big House. That’s enough to hover around the top ten.
Right Now College Football Playoff & New Year’s Six
College Football Playoff: Sugar Bowl
Alabama vs. Penn State
College Football Playoff: Rose Bowl
TCU vs. Georgia
New Year’s Six
Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin
Cotton Bowl: Clemson vs. Notre Dame
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Washington State
Peach: UCF vs. Ohio State
10. Ohio State (6-1)
There will be a whole lot of big calls to make and a whole lot of argument, and Ohio State will be the largest.
The loss at home to Oklahoma will be a killer – especially with Iowa State’s win over the Sooners – but no one is playing better at the moment. Granted, blowing out Army, UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska isn’t anything to throw parades for, but it’s the way the team is playing. There’s no strong win yet, but the Penn State game comes just before the first set of rankings.
9. Oklahoma (4-1)
The 31-16 win at Ohio State might be the most impressive performance by anyone so far, but that’s about it. If you don’t love the win over Texas under trying circumstances, then there isn’t a lot to get fired up over. However, the committee would absolutely put OU over OSU – this week.
8. Notre Dame (5-1)
The 20-point win over Michigan State on the road, and the razor-close 20-19 loss to a brilliant Georgia team would give the Irish a whole lot of love and respect. Notre Dame has crushed everyone but the Bulldogs, including Boston College on the road. The committee will like what Notre Dame is offering more than the polls that don’t matter.
7. Clemson (6-1)
Remember, the committee can do what it wants to. It wouldn’t like the Kelly Bryant injury, and it would hate the loss at Syracuse, but wins over Louisville and Virginia Tech on the road, and Auburn, Boston College and Wake Forest at home, will make the loss to the Orange feel like an aberration.
6. Wisconsin (6-0)
This would only be based on the big zero on the board in the loss column, because there’s NOTHING else to like about the schedule. Purdue, Northwestern, and at Nebraska isn’t good enough to warrant anything higher than this, but it won’t matter. If Wisconsin wins the Big Ten title win one loss, or if it goes unbeaten, it’ll get in.
5. Miami (5-0)
The results would look better on the computer screen than it would on the TV. It might have been a fight to get by Florida State on the road and Georgia Tech at home, but the Hurricanes did it. Handing Toledo a loss would look great, and taking out Duke at Duke isn’t bad.
4. Penn State (6-0)
Bt the time the rankings come out on Halloween, Penn State will have played Michigan and Ohio State. As of now, the Nittany Lions haven’t done anything and are hardly worthy of the No. 2 ranking in the other polls. Beat the Wolverines and Buckeyes, and the committee might make Penn State on top.
3. Georgia (7-0)
A case could be made for No. 1 considering the Bulldogs handed Notre Dame its only loss – and it was on the road. Beating Appalachian State would technically look good, and beating Tennessee 41-0 would look great, But for now, the top two teams are a bit more impressive.
2. TCU (6-0)
Smooth and with no drama, TCU is rolling through the season with good win after good win. From rumbling over Arkansas by 21 on the road, to handing Oklahoma State its only loss – and on the road – to easily beating Kansas State at Kansas State, and taking down SMU and West Virginia, a great case could be made for No. 1.
1. Alabama (7-0)
Yeah, Alabama doesn’t have the wins TCU can boast, and it doesn’t have the great victory like Georgia has at Notre Dame, but beating Florida State in the opener matters – its the one who knocked out Deondre Francois – and getting by Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Arkansas without a problem more than passes the eye test.
If Vandy and Arkansas can pick it up a bit, there’s a shot that six of the seven wins – Ole Miss isn’t eligible – have come against teams that’ll go bowling.