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College Football Playoff Rankings Breakdown Week 1: What Does It All Mean?


The first College Football Playoff Rankings of 2016 have come out. What does it all mean?


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College Football Playoff Rankings, Week 1: What Does It All Mean?

The big controversy? The College Football Playoff committee really and truly might have gotten it right. There’s no massive whiff, no misfire, no glaring error. Sure, you might be able to quibble a wee bit here and there with a spot or two, but Virginia Tech is ahead of North Carolina, who’s ahead of Florida State. Boise State probably isn’t the 24th-best team, but it beat a red-hot Washington State, who’s 25th. Overall, it’s about as rock-solid as it gets. Of course …

Texas A&M at No. 4? Upon further review, yeah. The Aggies beat UCLA, won at Auburn, rolled by Arkansas and beat Tennessee, back when that meant something. If Alabama really is the No. 1 team in the country, then there’s no real punishment for the one loss coming in Tuscaloosa. However, no way, no how, no chance does an 11-1 Aggie team – if it gets there – get in because …

Texas A&M will absolutely get TCUed if Washington wins the Pac-12 championship with one loss or fewer. Remember – and this can’t be emphasized enough – everything changes up in the final rankings once we all know the conference champions.

The Aggies could be top 4, top 4, top 4, top 4, and then get knocked out if Washington wins the Pac-12 championship going 12-1 or unbeaten. While everyone might be talking about the ‘four best teams,” I’ll believe it when I see it when the College Football Playoff committee doesn’t take a one-loss or unbeaten Power Five conference champion over a team that doesn’t win its own division.

So relax, Husky fans. Win out, and you’re in. Go 12-1 and with the Pac-12 championship, and you’ll be in. (I think.)

It doesn’t really matter, but you could make a case that Clemson deserves to be No. 1. It’s nitpicking, but the Tigers gave Troy its only loss, beat CFP No. 9 Auburn at Auburn, beat CFP No. 7 Louisville, and just beat CFP No. 22 Florida State. Also, throw in solid wins over Georgia Tech and NC State, and that’s a far, far better resume than Alabama’s. Yeah, beating USC, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tennessee all away from Tuscaloosa, but none of those four are ranked. Beating CFP No. 4 Texas A&M is the only win over a ranked team.

The College Football Playoff rankings have nothing to do with the AP or Coaches polls. Remember, just because a team is ranked in one spot today, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to wildly change next week.

So who might benefit the most? LSU, with Alabama up this week. Beat CFP No. 1, and Week 2 of the College Football Playoff rankings really will be more interesting than anything that happens in some other voting thing next Tuesday night.