College Football Playoff Rankings, After Week 5: What Would They Be?
If the regular season was over right now, how would the College Football Playoff committee vote?
2017 College Football Playoff Rankings After Week 5 Would Be …
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If the season ended at this very moment and the College Football Playoff committee had to make their call, who’d be in the tournament? Who’d be left out, and what would the CFP top 25 be?
Based only on what has happened so far and what the committee would have to work with – who has the big wins? – here’s what the rankings would look like.
Remember, beating great teams matters – it’s based on schedule and big wins so far. The committee members argue the merits, but it’s almost all based on resume – and a little bit about the eye test. If the vote was right now, the results would be …
25. South Florida (5-0)
This would only be based on record and raw statistics. Considering the problems Illinois is having, USF doesn’t have a decent win over anyone.
24. Utah (4-0)
The ranking will shoot up in a hurry with some big games coming up. At the moment, though, beating Arizona would barely register as anything impressive.
23. NC State (4-1)
Would the committee blow off the loss to South Carolina and love the win over Florida State? It would be an argument, but the one good win would be enough to slip into the top 25.
22. West Virginia (3-1)
There isn’t a good win yet, but pushing Virginia Tech in a loss would be enough to give the Mountaineers a top 25 spot.
21. Virginia Tech (4-1)
There would be a debate in the room about moving up the Hokies higher thanks to the West Virginia win and with credit given for the loss to Clemson, but the top 20 would be relatively cemented.
20. Oklahoma State (4-1)
The win over Texas Tech – the first loss for the Red Raiders – would resonate, especially on the road. Losing at home to TCU would keep the ranking down a bit, and there aren’t any other impressive wins.
19. San Diego State (5-0)
Beating Arizona State and Stanford would be enough to make the Aztecs the top Group of Five team, but that’s going to be it. There aren’t any big games ahead – SDSU has to win in blowouts to stay relevant.
18. Louisville (4-1)
Losing to Clemson – considering the respect the committee would give the Tigers – would be forgivable. Beating Purdue and North Carolina wouldn’t be that amazing, but the overall numbers aren’t bad.
17. Florida (3-1)
Beating Tennessee isn’t all that impressive now, but the Gators would look good on the iPads. Losing to Michigan wouldn’t be a big deal – margin of victory doesn’t matter in the numbers – with the wins over Kentucky and Vanderbilt getting some respect.
16. UCF (3-0)
It’s not just that UCF beat Maryland and Memphis, it’s that UCF handed both teams their first losses in ugly blowouts. Considering the Terps beat Texas and Minnesota, and the Tigers beat UCLA, the CFP numbers to argue over would look amazing.
15. Miami (3-0)
The Hurricanes have two wins – Toledo and Duke – in blowouts that would look a lot better on the iPads than it might appear to the rest of the world. Those are the only losses for the Rockets and Blue Devils.
14. USC (4-1)
The loss at Washington State would stink, but beating Texas and Stanford would be enough give the Trojans enough respect by the CFP committee to not fall off the map.
13. Notre Dame (4-1)
The CFP committee, when they break it all down, will see what the other pollsters don’t. That 20-19 loss to Georgia was impressive, even at home. Beating Michigan State by 20 is strong, and the wins over Temple, BC and Miami University were blowouts.
12. Ohio State (4-1)
The Buckeyes would get dogged for losing at home, but the committee will love Oklahoma. The thought would be that the ship has turned around after obliterations of Army, UNLV and Rutgers since the loss.
11. Wisconsin (4-0)
There still isn’t a great win – Northwestern just isn’t that good. The schedule will be a problem in the rankings, but all that matters will be the record. Win the Big Ten title at 12-1, and get in.
10. Auburn (4-1)
The close-call loss at Clemson would get as much respect as any of the wins. Destroying Missouri and Mississippi State isn’t anything to get excited about, but the Tigers are winning in blowouts. A case could be made that the 14-6 defeat in Death Valley is the most impressive loss so far.
9. Washington (5-0)
There would be a big argument for Washington to be No. 8, but for now it wouldn’t matter. The only win that matters is Colorado on the road, but at least the Huskies are destroying all the bad teams.
8. Penn State (5-0)
With Iowa losing at Michigan State, all of a sudden, the Nittany Lions don’t have a great win under their belts like the teams in the top seven do. They’d get enough eye-test respect to get this high.
7. Washington State (5-0)
Beating USC would be the thing the committee members fall in love with. The rest of the schedule isn’t great so far, but beating Boise State would resonate. The USC win, though, might make some argue for a top five spot.
6. Michigan (4-0)
It might not seem like it, but Michigan has been dominant according to the numbers. Considering Florida beat Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and still has just one loss, the CFP formulas would did Michigan’s blowout win over the Gators in the opening weekend.
5. TCU (4-0)
And a very, very strong case could be made for a top four spot with wins at Arkansas and at Oklahoma State. Don’t dismiss the win over SMU – that was the Mustangs’ only loss so far.
4. Oklahoma (4-0)
Beating Ohio State at Ohio State is still the best win by anyone yet this year. The rest of the schedule isn’t any big deal, but the committee would like what the Sooners did in Columbus more than what Penn State did at Iowa and what TCU has accomplished.
3. Alabama (5-0)
Beating Florida State doesn’t really matter so much at the moment. In terms of eye-test, the Crimson Tide should be on top, but it’s about the numbers and the schedules so far, which means …
2. Georgia (5-0)
Sound crazy? The CFP committee would love the Notre Dame win more than the rest of the pollsters do, and thumping Mississippi State and Tennessee by a combined score of 72-3 is stronger than what the Crimson Tide have done in SEC play.
1. Clemson (5-0)
At the moment, Clemson would get more respect than Alabama and Georgia after beating three at-the-time top 15 teams in September. Based on resume, getting by Auburn, at Louisville and at Virginia Tech would make the Tigers the No. 1.
College Football Playoff After Week 5 Would Be …
1. Clemson vs. 4. Oklahoma
2. Alabama vs. No. 3 Georgia