CFP Five Thoughts: 2. The Current College Football Playoff Pecking Order

CFP Five Thoughts: 2. The Current College Football Playoff Pecking Order

Week 9

CFP Five Thoughts: 2. The Current College Football Playoff Pecking Order

CFP Five Thoughts: 2. The Current College Football Playoff Pecking Order


Going into the first 2017 College Football Playoff rankings, if all things are equal, what’s the pecking order of conferences and teams?



5 Thoughts: CFP Edition

1. CFP Criteria & What We’ve Learned
3. Is Wisconsin Any Good?
4. Can A Two-Loss Auburn Get In?
5. Experts Pick The First CFP Top 4
Jim McElwain Fired: 5 Possible Florida Replacements
– College Football Playoff Tuesday Night Projection
Week 9 Roundup

Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak

Let’s say all things are relatively equal.

At the moment, let’s assume there are five Power Five conference champions with a case to get in, there’s a Power Five runner-up or two with a fabulous argument, and there’s Notre Dame, who’s sitting there lurking with that one-loss coming to Georgia.

But for right now, what’s the pecking order? This is when the tired and obnoxious My Conference Is Better Than Your Conference debate actually matters.

Once the season is over, based on what’s happening and what’s ahead – and assuming two-loss champs are out without a whole lot of wackiness – here’s what the pecking order will likely be.

1. Unbeaten SEC champion

The Alabama/Georgia winner will be the unquestioned No. 1 at the end of the rainbow if both are 12-0 going into the SEC Championship.

2. Unbeaten Miami

If the Canes go coast-to-coast 12-0 – they’re missing a game because of the hurricane – that means they’ll have beaten Toledo (the likely MAC champ), Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and then Clemson or NC State in the ACC title game. They’ll also be one of three P5 unbeatens – at most.

3. Unbeaten Wisconsin

The schedule isn’t technically quite as miserable as you might think. The key word being technically.

At the moment, Wisconsin has the 88th ranked strength of schedule according to the NCAA. It’s awful, but Alabama’s is 83rd. Oklahoma’s is 97th and Washington’s is 99th. It doesn’t matter. The Badgers still have to play Michigan, and if they beat Ohio State or Penn State in the B1G title game and go 13-0, they’re in.

4. One-loss Oklahoma if the East wins the Big Ten Championship

Considering Oklahoma won in Columbus in a rout, and Penn State just lost there, the Sooners would get in over just about everyone else because of that one giant win – just like Ohio State did last year in reverse after winning in Norman.

4. One-loss Big Ten champion if it’s from the East

A 12-1 Ohio State or Penn State – assuming a win over Wisconsin – might not have the most amazing of overall resumes when it comes to the non-conference slate, but it would be the conference champ. The committee would give a one-loss champ from the Big Ten more of a pass.

5. One-loss SEC Championship loser if champ is 13-0

This is more of a sure thing if it’s Georgia. The win at Notre Dame will continue to be a big deal no matter what the Irish do the rest of the way, and the rest of the blowouts are impressive. Alabama’s resume isn’t quite as strong, but if it’s 1 vs. 2 and both are unbeaten, the loser is on the doorstep.

6. One-loss Notre Dame if Georgia goes 13-0

Swap spots with the No. 5 if it’s Alabama at 12-1. As the theoretical argument will go, if Georgia is the 13-0 CFP No. 1, the Notre Dame might technically be No. 2.

7. One-loss ACC champion

The Clemson loss to Syracuse will matter here, even with the amazing September resume. The ACC title game winner – assuming Clemson vs. Virginia Tech/Miami – would make a solid case considering the Tiger resume would be so solid.

8. One-loss non-Big 12 champion

With the one exception Oklahoma because of the win over the Buckeyes. . For every other situation, put the Big 12 champion – along with its fancy new championship game – behind the SEC, Big Ten, and ACC.

9. One-loss Big Ten champion Wisconsin

The rest of the schedule is mediocre, but if the Badgers lose to, say, Iowa or Michigan, but beat Ohio State or Penn State, it would catch a break over the …

10. One-loss Pac-12 champion Washington

Washington is the lone one-loss team left in the Pac-12, and its best non-conference win is Fresno State. It would need a whole lot of help to get back in.

11. 11-1 Penn State if 12-1 Ohio State wins the Big Ten Championship

If the one loss is to Ohio State by one in that game, the Nittany Lions would get a whole lot of respect from the committee. However, the overall resume is going to be just okay.

12. 11-2 SEC Champion Auburn

It would take a whole lot of weird things to happen, but if Auburn beats Georgia and Alabama, and then beats Georgia again in the SEC Championship, it would break the mold and be the first two-loss team to get in.

5 Thoughts: CFP Edition

1. CFP Criteria & What We’ve Learned
3. Is Wisconsin Any Good?
4. Can A Two-Loss Auburn Get In?
5. Experts Pick The First CFP Top 4
Jim McElwain Fired: 5 Possible Florida Replacements
– College Football Playoff Tuesday Night Projection
Week 9 Roundup

More College Football News
Home