The College Football Playoff Rankings have officially come out and there are a few surprises.
We’ll start with the rankings that matter.
- Notre Dame
There are a lot of ways you could look at this top four. They represent the playoffs if the season were to end right now, so it’s kind of a big deal. My only issue with here is with Clemson. It’s hard to argue with the reigning champs being in the top 5, but the loss to Syracuse shouldn’t be ignored. If two one-loss teams were going to be in the top four, it should have been Penn State with their one-point loss to Ohio State in Columbus.
Now let’s round out the top ten.
- Ohio State
- Penn State
So obviously I have a problem with Penn State being in this section of the list at all. Even worse, how is Ohio State above them? I honestly have no idea what the method of the CFP committee is. Last year Penn State beats Ohio State and wins the BIG10 Championship and gets left out of the playoff. Obviously, this year, head-to-head wins seem to mean something with Oklahoma above OSU, whose above Penn State.
Fine, but what about Wisconsin. Sure, they haven’t played a ranked team, but they are blowing everyone out. Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor is having a Heisman worthy season. His 1,185 yards rushing are good for fourth in the country and his 7.4 yards-per-carry are good for 13th. And did I mention he’s a freshman?
I’m happy to see Miami in the top-10, even if just barely. They have played a lot of good football this year, but I was worried the committee wouldn’t be as excited about them as I am considering the only big win for the team is against FSU. We’ll find out if The U is for real in the next couple of weeks when they play Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. It will be hard to keep them out of the top four if they walk away from that stretch still perfect.
- Oklahoma State
- Virginia Tech
- Iowa State
- Mississippi State
- NC State
Once again, it’s hard to understand exactly where the CFP committee places value. Iowa State and Auburn have the same record, and as far as I can tell the SEC and the BIG10 are evenly matched as far as conference strength is concerned. Iowa State has statement wins against two top-10 teams (Oklahoma and TCU). Auburn beat No.16 Mississippi State. I guess if the No.1&2 teams are from the SEC, they get the benefit of the doubt.
I’m happy to see UCF is in the top-20. The AAC as two teams in the top-25 right now (No.23 Memphis) and it’s well deserved. UCF is scary good on offense, averaging about 50 points per game. Their statement win came in a close matchup against Navy in Annapolis two weeks ago.
- Michigan State
- Washington State
We round out the top-25 with a Pac-12 party. Stanford and Arizona are 21 and 22 respectively, with Memphis and Michigan State sandwiched between Washington State. Michigan State weaseled their way in over Michigan which is nothing short of hilarious, unless you’re from Ann Arbor.
So all in all, things are about the way people expected they would be, but that doesn’t make the rankings correct. Luckily it’s the first official rankings of the season and all this does is help create that college football drama we all love.