The fourth round of College Football Playoff Rankings of 2017 have come out. Did the committee get them right?
Don’t try to read too much into this.
Again, Miami moved up from third to second, but whatever. No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Miami, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 7 Georgia control their own respective destines.
And again, Auburn probably controls its destiny, too, but it would take a historic call by the College Football Playoff committee if it lets it in over a one-loss Miami – if it comes down to those two.
Let’s say Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Clemson win out – those three are in. Then, Auburn wins out, and Miami loses a fight to Clemson in the ACC Championship.
Here’s the problem. Last year, Penn State won the Big Ten championship and had a great resume as it closed strong, but the committee put in Ohio State because of its resume.
So if you love the Miami resume enough to put it No. 2 – based mostly on the stomping of then-No. 3 Notre Dame – then, going off the precedent set last year, the one-loss Canes should be in over a two-loss champion.
If not, then the committee has to admit it screwed up last year.
YOU’RE FINE, Oklahoma. You’re not going to get pushed out for Auburn, or anyone if you win beat West Virginia and take down TCU again. No way.
YOU’RE FINE, Wisconsin. Don’t get into a twist over everything popping off about the schedule. 13-0 Big Ten champion gets in. It’s had to be said week after week after week, but it still continues to be a concern.
If 12-1 Oklahoma and/or 13-0 Wisconsin don’t get in, then the system is over and needs to be destroyed. That’s not going to happen.
Alabama isn’t the lock people think it is if it loses to Auburn. As Kirk Herbstreit correctly pointed out, the Alabama resume isn’t that great. If it loses to the Tigers, it’s going to need a whole lot of help.
USC isn’t getting any love or respect. It’s stuck at 11 despite winning a rivalry game over UCLA, while Penn State is staying at ten even with the losses to Michigan State and Ohio State. Who has Penn State beaten to deserve the No. 10 spot?
Wisconsin is getting dogged for its schedule, but it has six wins over teams that will go bowling, including Michigan and Northwestern. Penn State has four wins over bowl bound teams so far and absolutely nothing other than the Michigan performance to get excited about.
Watch out for No. 20 Memphis. It already lost to UCF, but if it wins out with an American Athletic Conference championship, it’ll be the Group of Five representative in the New Year’s Six bowls.
Also, watch out for No. 12 TCU. It’s a tough path, but if it wins out with a Big 12 Championship – avenging the loss at Oklahoma – it’ll have a case if the argument comes down to TCU vs. Ohio State. TCU beat the team that beat Ohio State in Columbus.
Who has a real beef? Washington State. Yes, the loss to Cal stinks, but the Cougars beat a USC team that’s ranked two spots higher. It doesn’t matter since neither one is getting into the College Football Playoff, and Wazzu can win the Pac-12 title by winning out, but there’s still a lack of respect for that win.
You want your No. 9 Ohio State path? It’s not easy. Beat Michigan and Wisconsin blowouts, hope Miami to win its last two games, Alabama to roll through the rest of the slate, and for TCU to beat Oklahoma and get no love for it.
HOWEVER, you ready for crazy? If Oklahoma loses the Big 12 Championship and goes 11-2, it would have a better argument than 11-2 Big Ten champ Ohio State. OU won the head-to-head matchup on the road.
So, based on these first rankings, what would the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six be? Of course, the rankings will be different at the end of the rainbow, but if this was it …
CFP SUGAR: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
CFP ROSE: No. 2 Miami vs. No. 3 Clemson
Based on what the committee would want as the best matchups and geography …
NY6: ORANGE: No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 25 Virginia Tech. The ACC HAS to send a team to the Orange Bowl. That stinks if the league puts two teams into the CFP.
NY6: PEACH: No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Auburn. There’s a solid chance this could actually be the Rose Bowl.
NY6 FIESTA: No. 9 Ohio State vs. No. 10 USC. The committee would have no problems sending Ohio State to the Fiesta for the second year in a row if it means a showdown with USC.
NY6 COTTON: No. 8 Notre Dame vs. No. 18 UCF. There’s a chance the committee would think about No. 12 TCU for a Texas draw, but Notre Dame is Notre Dame.