Midseason College Football Playoff Rankings
If the regular season was over right now at the midseason, what would the College Football Playoff rankings be?
The Midseason College Football Playoff Rankings Would Be …
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At the midway point in the season, if the season ended right now, what would the College Football Playoff be and what would the New Year’s Six Bowls look like?
Based only on what has happened so far and what the committee would have to work with, who has the big wins?
Remember, beating great teams matters – it’s based on schedule, record, and a wee bit of the eye-test. The committee members argue the merits, and that’s the key. There’s a debate about each and every spot and each and every team – you have to make your case.
With all of that in mind …
25. Texas Tech (4-1)
There isn’t an amazing win, but giving Houston its only loss isn’t bad and taking down Arizona State is better than what a slew of higher-ranked teams have done. The lone loss was a 41-34 fight against Oklahoma State.
24. Navy (5-0)
The undefeated record would get the Midshipmen into the top 25, but the best win is over Tulane. Getting by Florida Atlantic would look okay on the iPads, but the schedule is a bit light.
23. USF (5-0)
The schedule is a nightmare. Illinois doesn’t count as a good win, and beating Temple, San Jose State and East Carolina doesn’t matter. The Bulls would be ranked because they’re destroying the bad teams, but they need to prove themselves.
22. Stanford (4-2)
Considering the losses were to an unbeaten San Diego State on the road and to USC in LA, the Cardinal would be the only two-loss team in the rankings. Handing Utah its only loss and beating UCLA and Arizona State is great.
21. San Diego State (6-0)
Beating Stanford and Arizona State is about as good as it’ll get, but beating Northern Illinois isn’t bad. The rest of the schedule might turn out to be garbage, but so far, the Aztecs have done everything right.
20. NC State (5-1)
The loss to South Carolina to open things up would bring the ranking down. Beating Florida State – technically – doesn’t really matter, but beating Marshall and Louisville would be easy things to argue for.
19. UCF (4-0)
What San Diego State has done is impressive, but blowing out Maryland on the road and blasting Memphis 40-13 is fantastic. The Knights have destroyed everyone so far, outscoring teams in the first four games 190-63.
18. Oklahoma State (4-1)
The Cowboys would get here on the eye test. Giving Texas Tech its only loss is the biggest positive, and the only defeat is to an unbeaten TCU, but Tulsa, South Alabama and Pitt? Whatever.
17. Michigan (5-1)
The argument could be made for a higher spot under the argument that the lone loss was in a second half driving rain storm – but it was at home. Beating Florida is always going to look good, and winning at Purdue is solid now.
16. Oklahoma (5-1)
How much would the committee hate the home loss to Iowa State? Throw in the too-much-of-a-dogfight win over Baylor, and there would be a debate. However, the double-digit win at Ohio State is the best victory by anyone so far.
15. Michigan State (4-1)
The CFP committee wouldn’t make the same mistake the AP and Coaches polls would – it would actually take into account that Michigan State beat Michigan. The loss to Notre Dame is acceptable, and beating Western Michigan and Iowa is okay.
14. Virginia Tech (5-1)
The Hokies’ only loss came to Clemson – totally forgivable. Beating West Virginia is the lone win of note. There’s nothing else to go off of, but the committee would like the look of the team and wouldn’t punish much for the Tiger loss.
13. Notre Dame (5-1)
The Irish blew out the team that beat Michigan, and they did it at Michigan State. They also won the other four games in blowouts, with the one loss to Georgia in a 20-19 dogfight is as acceptable as they come.
12. USC (5-1)
The early wins are rock-solid, beating Western Michigan, Stanford and Texas, and the loss at Washington State wasn’t all that bad. On talent and on upside, the Trojans would get a little more credit than they’d probably deserve.
11. Ohio State (4-1)
The Buckeye 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.
10. Auburn (5-1)
Losing at Clemson 14-6 is totally and completely acceptable. There isn’t a good win, though. Missouri? Mississippi State? Ole Miss? Those stink, but at least the Tigers are winning in ugly blowouts.
9. Miami (4-0)
This would probably be one of the bigger debates. There isn’t a big body of work thanks to the Hurricane problems, and the loss of star RB Mark Walton for the season would be factored in. This would be the lowest-ranked of the big-name unbeaten teams.
8. Wisconsin (6-0)
There just isn’t a good win. The Badgers are beating everyone by double-digits – okay, the Northwestern win was 33-24, but they were in total control until late – but Florida Atlantic, BYU, Northwestern and Nebraska don’t move the needle.
7. Washington (6-0)
The Huskies have a Wisconsin problem – where’s the win? Cal? At Colorado? They’re destroying everyone, with a defense that has yet to allow more than 16 points in a game, but the resume stinks so far.
6. Penn State (6-0)
The committee would like the look, and they’d love Saquon Barkley, but the close-call win over an okay Iowa team is the only thing to go on. The iPad test – thee committee members use designated iPads with all the CFP-generated info and stats – wouldn’t love the Nittany Lions. The resume isn’t there compared too the top five.
5. Washington State (6-0)
The win over USC would trump just about anyone else’s argument for anyone else in the top five, but rest of the resume wouldn’t quite be enough to crack the top four. It’s not fair, but the Cougars would be dogged a wee bit for beating Oregon without Justin Herbert.
4. TCU (5-0)
The win over Arkansas doesn’t look nearly as good now as it did a few weeks ago, but it was still a 28-7 road win over an SEC team. Beating SMU is solid, beating Oklahoma State in Stillwater is great, and the win over West Virginia is terrific considering the national attention.
3. Alabama (6-0)
Of course the committee would love the eye test, but there’s nothing to go on other than an eight-point win over Texas A&M on the road. Yeah, Bama beat Florida State when it had Deondre Francois, but the rest of the wins just aren’t that strong compared to what the top two have done.
2. Georgia (6-0)
Beating Notre Dame in South Bend would get a whole lot of love from from the numbers and the committee. Taking down Appalachian State is better than it might appear, and destroying Tennessee at Tennessee and rolling by Mississippi State and Vanderbilt is good, too.
1. Clemson (6-0)
The committee has always loved Clemson early on in the ranking process, and beating three top 15 teams – Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech – in a month would be enough to get the No. 1 spot. Taking down Wake Forest looks great, too.
College Football Playoff & New Year’s Six Bowls At The Midseason Would Be …
1. Clemson vs. 4. TCU
2. Georgia vs. No. 3 Alabama
Wisconsin vs. Washington State
Penn State vs. Auburn
Washington vs. Ohio State
Miami vs. UCF