The College Football Playoff Rankings Would Be … After Week 8
If the regular season was over right now after Week 8, what would the College Football Playoff rankings be?
The College Football Playoff Rankings Projection
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It wasn’t a crazy week, but Notre Dame’s blowout win over USC and Penn State’s destruction of Michigan helped settle some things up top.
There aren’t that many options left for the New Year’s Six bowls, and the College Football Playoff candidates are dwindling fast.
Remember a few parts of this. 1) EVERY spot is argued over. The committee members have to agree on each spot. 2) The only stats that matter are the ones on the iPads they use. They do side-by-side comparisons when debating the merits of the teams. 3) The committee tends to like big wins more than bad losses.
25. Toledo (6-1)
The Rockets would sneak into the top 25 thanks to its record. There aren’t any fantastic wins, but the lone loss came at Miami. The real test comes right after the first rankings come out – they host Northern Illinois.
24. West Virginia (5-2)
The struggle to put away a winless Baylor would hurt the cause. The best win over Texas Tech is it by far – there isn’t a good second win. However, two 31-24 losses to Virginia Tech and TCU get the Mountaineers into the top 25.
23. Auburn (6-2)
Blowing up Ole Miss and getting the offense rolling helps. The Mississippi State rim-rocking win over Kentucky helps the numbers, since Auburn’s one decent victory came to the Bulldogs.
22. Texas A&M (5-2)
If the committee really argues it, the Aggies would get a little more credit for what it did against UCLA than for what they didn’t. Battling Alabama well would bring a whole bunch of respect.
21. USC (6-2)
This would be more about respecting what Notre Dame is doing than anything the Trojans have accomplished. Beating Texas, Cal and Utah are nice, but it’s the Stanford win that gets them into the top 25.
20. Michigan (5-2)
Getting destroyed by Penn State hurts, but the defensive statistics still look good overall. Beating Indiana matters more than you think, and handling Florida helps, but the Wolverines need a good win very, very soon.
19. LSU (6-2)
All of a sudden, the Tigers are red hot. The committee cares about healthy players – getting Derrius Guice back is a huge help. Now, with wins over Syracuse, Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss, the Troy loss is shoved aside.
18. USF (7-0)
Record, record, record. That’s it. The only reason the Bulls are hanging in the top 20 is because of the zero in the loss column. There’s no good win that matters – at least not yet.
17. UCF (6-0)
Beating Navy at Navy helps the perception in a big way. Handing Memphis a blowout loss and rolling at Maryland are far better wins than anything USF has accomplished.
16. NC State (6-1)
The win over Louisville looks even better after the Cardinals got by Florida State, and the win ver Syracuse continues to be terrific. The Wolfpack also handed Marshall its only loss.
15. Virginia Tech (6-1)
Blowing out North Carolina doesn’t matter, but the win at Boston College looks terrific at the moment and beating West Virginia is a big deal. The lone loss is to Clemson – no problems there.
14. Washington (6-1)
Arizona State is playing well, so the loss in Tempe isn’t as bad as it seemed last week. Handing Fresno State one of its two losses is great now, and blowing out Cal matters.
13. Oklahoma State (6-1)
It would be nice if the wins were a lot easier, but the Cowboys got the job down at Texas, the won at Texas Tech, and the lone loss is against TCU. Texas win aside, the offensive numbers would be blinding for the committee.
12. Washington State (7-1)
The shutout win over Colorado got things back on track, and the win over USC is still great for the resume. The Boise State win is getting stronger and stronger.
11. Michigan State (6-1)
There’s just nothing sexy about what the Spartans do, but the win at Michigan is still a plus and beating Indiana is okay. The lone win coming to Notre Dame is even more acceptable now.
Right Now College Football Playoff & New Year’s Six
College Football Playoff: Sugar Bowl
Alabama vs. Georgia
College Football Playoff: Rose Bowl
Penn State vs. TCU
New Year’s Six
Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin
Cotton Bowl: Clemson vs. Notre Dame
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Washington State
Peach: UCF vs. Ohio State
10. Ohio State (6-1)
The loss to Oklahoma is still heavy, and there really isn’t a great win to get fired up about – Indiana?! – but it’s the way the Buckeyes are playing. Every game other than the Sooner debacle has been a blowout, putting up 54 points or more in each of the last four games.
9. Oklahoma (6-1)
The Iowa State loss is ever more acceptable now – the Cyclones look like the real deal. Getting by Texas and Kansas State away from Norman matters, and of course, the 31-16 win at Ohio State is the trump card.
8. Notre Dame (6-1)
Start with this – if Notre Dame wins out and goes 11-1, it’ll be in, and it’ll be no worse than No. 3. Obliterating USC looked fantastic, beating Michigan State by 20 is amazing, and the one-point loss Georgia is as okay as defeats come.
7. Clemson (6-1)
How much does the Kelly Bryant injury matter? The committee might want to see him up, around and kicking again before giving the ranking more of a boost. Even so, beating Louisville, Virginia Tech and Auburn is still a better run than anything just about anyone in the top six have done.
6. Wisconsin (7-0)
The respect will be given because the Badgers are doing what they’re supposed to against mediocre competition. Florida Atlantic, at the moment, is looking like the strongest win, since that’s the one team on the slate so far who’ll probably be bowling. Yippee.
5. Miami (6-0)
It hasn’t always been pretty, but Miami beat the team – Syracuse – that beat Clemson. The wins over Georgia Tech and Florida State are good, but when it all gets broken down, giving Toledo its lone loss will look great.
4. Georgia (7-0)
Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Notre Dame. That’s the win. Beating Mississippi State 31-3 will help, of course, but taking down the Irish in South Bend ensures a top four spot, if not a lot higher.
3. TCU (7-0)
There hasn’t been any drama whatsoever. There was a seven-point win over West Virginia, but rolling at Oklahoma State and winning at Kansas State wasn’t an issue. There needs to be one great win – like at Oklahoma in a few weeks – but for now, the team is rock-solid.
2. Penn State (7-0)
The eye-test already had Penn State around No. 2, and ripping through Michigan and the No. 1 defense in the country – at least statistically – would guarantee a top two spot, if not the one. However, there isn’t a good second win – at Iowa isn’t that big a deal.
1. Alabama (8-0)
No, there isn’t a win like blowing away Michigan, or beating Notre Dame in South Bend, or even rolling by an Oklahoma State, but it’s the way the Crimson Tide continue to get the job done.
They handed Fresno State one of its two losses, won at Texas A&M, and crushed Florida State back when it was Florida State. The annihilation of Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tennessee makes for a fun show.