The second College Football Playoff rankings of 2016 came out Tuesday night. What does it all mean?
College Football Playoff Rankings, Week 2: What Does It All Mean?
– Ohio State is just outside at No. 5, but it doesn’t matter. The playoff situation is basically set if everything holds form. Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Washington are all in if they win out, and there won’t be any debate. If No. 5 Ohio State wins the Big Ten title, it’s in. If No. 7 Wisconsin wins the Big Ten championship, even with two losses, it’s in. If No. 9 Auburn wins the SEC championship, it’s in. It’s all shaping up, however …
– Louisville might be stuck. The Cardinals might be No. 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, but where’s the path to the playoff? Here’s UofL’s problem, beyond not being the Atlantic champ, much less the ACC champion – it needs way too much to happen.
The SEC will get a team in, even if Tennessee or Florida pulls off a shocker in the SEC championship. The Big Ten will certainly get in one team, and the Pac-12 champion will almost certainly find its way in. Throw in the potential of a one-loss Michigan, and it’s a tough road as is. And then there’s the ACC – Clemson is in if it wins out, or goes 12-1 with an ACC championship. Again, there are too many things in the way, gummed up also because …
– Some of the two-loss teams are in great shape. Texas A&M is done, but, again, if No. 9 Auburn wins out, including the SEC championship, it’s in. Again, if No. 7 Wisconsin wins out, it’s in. If No. 10 Penn State gets the mega-breaks it needs to get to the Big Ten championship and wins, it’s in. And then it gets a little crazier.
Does a two-loss No. 12 Colorado get in if it wins out with a Pac-12 championship? Yeah. The same goes for a No. 15 Utah if it gets there. How about a No. 14 Virginia Tech that wins out with an ACC championship win over Clemson? Absolutely. A No. 23 Washington State might even get in if it beats an unbeaten Washington on the way to a title.
And to get even crazier, if an unranked Minnesota keeps winning, beats Minnesota, and takes the Big Ten championship over Ohio State or Michigan, it’s at least going to get talked about. However …
– The Big 12 still doesn’t have a path unless West Virginia wins out. No. 16 West Virginia has the best possible shot, but it would need chaos to kick in. Even if No. 11 Oklahoma continues to blow up, it’s still going to be difficult, mainly because the four other Power 5 conference champions – and even Michigan, if it loses, or Louisville could get in. No. 13 Oklahoma State has an even more interesting story. If it wins out, and looks good doing it, will the way the Central Michigan loss happened matter?
– It doesn’t really matter, but why is Texas A&M No. 8 and Auburn No. 9? Of course, the Aggies beat the Tigers, but that was a long while ago, and the two teams are far different now. The College Football Playoff committee has stated over and over again that they look at the teams as they are at the moment, to go along with the resume, and injuries matter.
Trevor Knight being knocked out for the year? Sort of a big one.
The Aggies are struggling, losing two of the last three games and looking lousy against Mississippi State, while Auburn is on a roll.
So yeah, technically, the ranking makes sense, but by the way the College Football Playoff committee works, that should probably be flipped.