The next-to-last round of College Football Playoff Rankings of 2017 have come out. Did the committee get them right?
And don’t get all that comfy with Alabama at 5.
First of all, well done, committee. You got it right leaving Alabama out of the top four.
This could always change in the final rankings if the committee has a change of heart in some way, but if Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin were good enough to get into the top four this week, and if they all win their respective conference championships, then that’s it. That’s your College Football Playoff.
But remember, if someone else wins these championships, then that means they’ll have beaten someone amazing.
And Alabama hasn’t.
The best Crimson Tide win is No. 17 LSU. Yippee.
If Miami wins, it’ll have beaten the No. 1 team in the country – Clemson. If Georgia wins, it’ll be No. 2 Auburn. And so on.
So no matter what happens in the conference championships, including the Pac-12, all five Power Five champs will have a better win than Alabama can boast.
There won’t be a real argument for Bama over Ohio State or TCU – both will have a stronger win than the Crimson Tide’s best win, and – if they win their respective games – they’ll each have a conference championship.
“There is very little separation best teams 5 through 8.” – Kirby Hocutt
Which means that 6 (Georgia ), 7 (Miami) and 8 (Ohio State) should be okay – especially 6 & 7.
Again, if you’re Miami, or even TCU, win your conference championship, and you have an argument. Being 7 doesn’t matter for the Canes. Beat No. 1 Clemson, and in. Even at 11, TCU could rise up by beating No. 3 Oklahoma – which would also avenge one of the two losses. It would almost be like TCU lost a half a game vs. OU – if that makes any sense.
No, Wisconsin won’t get in if it loses to Ohio State. It has one win over a current top CFP top 25 team – Northwestern. The resume won’t be strong enough to overcome any sort of a loss.
TOTAL speculation, reading between the lines – if there were more 12-0 teams, Wisconsin probably isn’t 4 this week (but would be fine with a B1G champ). That it’s the lone P5 unbeaten seems to be the difference.
The No. 1 team in the country (Clemson) lost to a team (Syracuse) that finished 4-8 and won’t go bowling. Let that one sink in for a second.
Does No. 10 USC have any sort of a shot? Not really. The blowout loss to Notre Dame is an anchor, and the Pac-12 just isn’t all that great. Beating Stanford – even if it gets ugly – won’t be enough.
No. 25 Fresno State caught a bad break. The MW title game is played at the higher-ranked CFP team’s house, and that was Boise State last week. But last Saturday, Fresno State beat Boise State … and now it has to play on the road, even though it was higher in these rankings. Logistics dictated that the MW had to go with the rankings of last week.
No, there’s no reasonable way Fresno State or Boise State can get higher than the American Athletic champ. The 14 UCF vs. 20 Memphis winner is a mortal lock for the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six slot.
There’s hope for Washington to get into a New Year’s Six Bowl. If USC beats 12 Stanford, and Oklahoma beats 11 TCU – and it wouldn’t hurt if Wisconsin beat 8 Ohio State – then in all likelihood, 13 Washington moves up into the top 11 and … New Year’s Six Bowl.
What will be interesting is the seeding. The CFP doesn’t rank the top four based on potential matchups – if it just so happens to be Clemson vs. Auburn and Oklahoma vs. Ohio State (which it won’t be), then that’s the deal.
So, based on these next-to-last 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 Clemson vs. No. 4 Wisconsin
CFP ROSE: No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 3 Oklahoma
Based on what the committee would want as the best matchups and geography …
NY6: ORANGE: No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 7 Miami. This … would be …. awesome. The Orange Bowl has to take an ACC team, and it’ll take the highest-ranked Big Ten or SEC team not in the playoff.
NY6: PEACH: No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 8 Ohio State. The Peach would be a natural for Georgia, and the committee wouldn’t want to send Ohio State back to Glendale if it doesn’t have to.
NY6 FIESTA: No. 9 Penn State vs. No. 10 USC. Yeah, it’s Penn State vs. USC in a rematch of last season’s Rose Bowl. Not like anyone would complain.
NY6 COTTON: No. 11 TCU vs. No. 14 UCF. TCU would be relatively close to home, and UCF would provide a whole lot of pizzazz and interest – both teams would be being the effort.