College Football Playoff Rankings Projection: Tuesday Night Projection
We’re here. Tuesday night the first College Football Playoff rankings will be released. What will they be?
The College Football Playoff Rankings Projection
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And now we’re finally here.
We’re down to just four Power Five conference unbeaten and one from the Group of Five. So what will the College Football Playoff committee think and what will they come up with on Tuesday night?
Remember a few things.
1. They argue over every team for every spot. Each position in the rankings is debated over.
2. These have NOTHING to do with the AP or Coaches polls. Those don’t exist in CFP world.
3. In terms of importance at the moment, in this order: schedules and good wins. record, eye-test, who’s hot and playing well.
25. Toledo (7-1)
It’ll be an argument between South Florida and Toledo, and the Rockets will win. The lone loss came to Miami – no shame there – but there isn’t a good win yet. The strength of schedule will be a disaster – Akron is the best win so far.
24. Michigan (6-2)
The problem is the big win – there isn’t one. There’s a strong chance Michigan has yet to beat a team that’ll go bowling. The blowout loss to Penn State and the defeat to Michigan State isn’t all that bad – unless you’re Michigan.
23. Michigan State (6-2)
Beating Michigan in Ann Arbor and beating Iowa will look solid on the iPads. The loss to Notre Dame will be acceptable, and losing in triple-overtime at Northwestern won’t be too much of a drag.
22. Washington State (7-2)
There will be a few arguments over where to put the Cougars. Great against Colorado and Oregon, and with wins over Boise State and USC, some will fight for a top 15 spot. But with two blowout losses in the last three games, they’ll start out low.
21. Stanford (6-2)
The wins over Arizona State, Utah and Oregon will be good enough. The Oregon State clunker will be blown off a wee bit since Bryce Love wasn’t playing, but he’d better be back, and the team had better be great against Washington State next week.
20. LSU (6-2)
It’ll be one of the bigger battles to figure out where to fit the Tigers. On the pro side, Derrius Guice is back and looking great – rolling against Ole Miss last week – but the loss to Troy and the blowout to Mississippi State still matter. Winning at Florida and beating Auburn will look fine.
19. Mississippi State (6-2)
Getting whacked by Auburn is a problem, but it was on the road, as was the acceptable loss to Georgia. Beating LSU by 30, blowing out Kentucky, rolling by Texas A&M, and on a tear at the moment will get the Bulldogs close to the top 15.
18. Arizona (6-2)
Hot team, right time. The Wildcats are unstoppable since Khalil Tate took over – the committee cares about who’s healthy and who’s playing well – but losing to Utah and Houston will drag down the ranking. Blowing away Washington State is the boost.
17. Washington (7-1)
Yawn. The Huskies have a win over … Fresno State? Colorado? Those might be the only two bowl teams they’ve beaten so far, and the loss at Arizona State was too ugly.
16. Iowa State (6-2)
Who wants to deal with the Cyclones right now? They handed Oklahoma its only loss on the road and gave TCU its only defeat of the season- Who has two better wins? One loss was to Iowa in overtime, and another was to Texas when the O didn’t work.
15. Auburn (6-2)
A wee bit of a tough call for the committee, the losses to LSU and Clemson on the road will be seen as totally acceptable. It’ll be the 49-10 win over Mississippi State that’ll carry the ranking. That’s it, though. The second-best win is over Arkansas.
14. USC (7-2)
Yeah, getting whacked around by Notre Dame is a problem, and the loss to Washington State matters, but the Trojans still beat Stanford, Texas and Utah. The win at Arizona State with the explosion returning will be fresh – if the committee stayed up to watch it.
13. UCF (7-0)
The respect will be there as one of just five unbeaten teams remaining. No one has come within single-digits of beating the Knights, who handed Navy and Memphis their only losses. The win at Maryland is strong, and now, blowing away FIU 61-17 matters.
12. Oklahoma State (7-1)
The only loss was in a great battle with TCU, but the Cowboys beat Texas at Texas, West Virginia at West Virginia, and Texas Tech at Texas Tech. The ranking could jump through the roof if they beat Oklahoma next week.
11. TCU (7-1)
The loss to Iowa State was maddening – and now it depends on whether or not the committee watched the game. TCU had its chances, and it blew it time and again. However, beating Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Kansas State on the road, and handling West Virginia and SMU will look great on the iPads.
Right Now College Football Playoff & New Year’s Six
College Football Playoff: Sugar Bowl
Georgia vs. Ohio State
College Football Playoff: Rose Bowl
Alabama vs. Notre Dame
New Year’s Six
Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin
Cotton Bowl: Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta: Virginia Tech vs. USC
Peach: UCF vs. Penn State
10. Virginia Tech (7-1)
Forgotten about just a wee bit, the only Hokie loss came to Clemson in a decent battle. Beating West Virginia, rolling by Boston College on the road, and having no drama whatsoever in most of the games will slip Virginia Tech into the high rent district.
9. Oklahoma (7-1)
As good as Iowa State is playing, it’s still a home loss that will offset the Ohio State win – at least a little bit. The rest of the schedule has some layups – the computers won’t like the wins over UTEP and Baylor, but beating Texas, Kansas State and Texas Tech will put the Sooners easily in the top ten.
8. Penn State (7-1)
The resume isn’t as good as some in the room might argue for, but losing by one in an epic firefight in Columbus will be seen as totally acceptable. The blowout win over Michigan will make the biggest difference.
7. Wisconsin (8-0)
2015 Iowa – there’s the comp. The Hawkeyes didn’t have many great wins early that year, and it showed with a No. 8 spot in the initial rankings. It’s possible that Florida Atlantic and Northwestern are the only two wins over bowl-bound teams.
6. Clemson (7-1)
Schedule, schedule, schedule. The committee will love the wins over Louisville, Boston College, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest with ease, along with great defensive performance against Auburn. Beating Georgia Tech won’t be bad in the debate, either.
5. Miami (7-0)
The Canes handed Toledo its only loss, and they beat the Syracuse team that beat Clemson. The team might not look like anything special, but the record will matter – at least this week.
4. Ohio State (7-1)
Being hot at the right time matters. The Oklahoma loss will be a factor, but with the way the Buckeyes looked over the four games after the defeat, and with the win over a Penn State team that might’ve been No. 1 had it held on, they’ll find their way in the first top four.
3. Notre Dame (7-1)
It’s the biggest question mark coming out of the first rankings – where will the Irish fall? Here’s going to be the committee’s argument: one-point loss over Georgia, blowout over NC State, blowout over USC, blowout over a now-red hot Boston College, blowout over Michigan State.
2. Alabama (8-0)
Where’s the really, really big win? Fresno State? Texas A&M? Those two and Colorado State are the only teams Bama has beaten that are almost assured of going bowling. But the eye test won’t drop the Tide down any further.
1. Georgia (8-0)
The committee is going to fall in love with the win at Notre Dame. The Bulldogs have been every bit as dominant as Alabama, and it has a far, far better win than the Crimson Tide can boast. Blowing away Mississippi State 31-3 will look amazing in the arguments right now.