What would the College Football Playoff rankings be after Week 7 of the college football season.
This all kicks up in next week, and even then, it’s not even for real until the final answer after Championship Weekend.
The CFP committtee goes through each spot in the rankings step by step, spot by spot, arguing and making a case for each team.
Remember, in general, the committee likes big wins, and more than anything else, it likes big wins on the road. Records don’t always matter – mediocre schedules are exposed fast.
So if the rankings were being done right now, here’s the best guess on what they’d be.
25. Wisconsin Badgers 5-2
Just how far does the win at Iowa carry the Badgers? That was good – it was Iowa’s only loss – but the home loss to BYU is devastating, and the loss to Michigan was next-level ugly. There aren’t ANY other wins other than the Iowa game. The second-best win? Illinois? New Mexico? There’s nothing.
– Wisconsin 49, Illinois 20
24. Virginia Cavaliers 5-2
The committee goes over all of the factors. One of the losses came at Indiana in the rain, and it was early in the season. The other was at NC State. Beating Miami and on the road at Duke would show how hot it is at the moment – that matters.
– Virginia 28, Duke 14
23. Texas Tech Red Raiders 5-2
Everyone’s beating TCU lately, but that’s still a good win on the road. Blowing out Oklahoma State and handing Houston its only loss would look great, too. The early loss to Ole Miss and the fight with West Virginia wouldn’t be forgotten, but they wouldn’t be that big an issue.
– Texas Tech 48, Kansas 16
22. Penn State Nittany Lions 5-2
The home loss to Michigan State would be an issue, but losing to Ohio State by one in that dogfight would hardly be punished. The problem? Where are the big wins to chirp about? The Nittany Lions gave Appalachian State their only loss, and they thumped Pitt 51-6, but that’s about it.
– Penn State 33, Indiana 28
21. UCF Knights 6-0
There’s … nothing … there. The close-call win over Memphis looks lousy after Missouri destroyed the Tigers, and the one good win is against … uhhhh … there isn’t one good win. Pitt is awful. Florida Atlantic isn’t that great. There’s a shot that the win over Memphis is the only victory over a team that will go bowling.
20. West Virginia Mountaineers 5-1
The Mountaineers have had to sit and spin on the 30-14 loss to Iowa State, but the win over Texas Tech on the road looks better, and the blowout win over Tennessee to open up the season helps. There’s still a Prove It factor, though.
19. Washington Huskies 6-2
Losses matter, but losing in Atlanta in the final moments against Auburn, and losing in overtime at Oregon are both going to be forgivable. More importantly, the Huskies whacked Utah on the road and took care of Arizona State and Colorado.
– Washington 27, Colorado 13
18. Oregon Ducks 5-2
This would be one of the tougher calls and bigger arguments. There’s not a lot there other than the overtime win over Washington. The Ducks lost to Stanford and Washington State, which wouldn’t be a big deal, but there’s no non-conference win to like.
– Washington State 34, Oregon 20
17. Iowa Hawkeyes 6-1
This would be about who’s playing well right now, along with the body of work. There’s not a huge win on the slate – Iowa State is as close as it comes – but the team has been red hot since losing to Wisconsin, and that defeat to the Badgers was a tighter battle than the 28-17 final.
– Iowa 23, Maryland 0
16. Stanford Cardinal 5-2
It’s been a quirky-tough schedule so far, and the Cardinal haven’t been bad. The committee would love that Stanford gave San Diego State its only loss, it beat USC at USC, and it got by Oregon on the road in a miracle. There’s no shame in losing at Notre Dame, and the loss to Utah – right now – isn’t that bad.
– Stanford 20, Arizona State 13
15. Utah Utes 5-2
The Utes will be a part of a huge fight. There might be losses to Washington and Washington State, but they’ve been red hot over the last three weeks, blowing out Stanford, Arizona and USC. The loss at Wazzu was a battle – it’ll be given a bit of a break.
– Utah 41, USC 28
14. NC State Wolfpack 5-1
The committee wouldn’t dog the Pack for losing at Clemson, and it would like the win over a Virginia team that’s been hot ever since. Not playing West Virginia hurts the resumé, but there’s just enough there to put them in a decent mid-range spot.
– Clemson 41, NC State 7
13. Ohio State Buckeyes 7-1
Just how much will the committee love and respect the win in Dallas over TCU and the dogfight with Penn State in the White Out conditions? The blowout wins would get enough respect to keep the Buckeyes from free-falling, but the Purdue loss would obviously be alarming.
– Purdue 49, Ohio State 20
12. Washington State Cougars 6-1
The 14-point win over Oregon – especially after the Ducks got by Washington – would rocket the Cougars up in the room. The only loss was a close fight at USC, and the win over Utah would get a ton of respect.
– Washington State 34, Oregon 20
11. Texas A&M Aggies 5-2
At least one of the members would fight hard for the Aggies, considering the two losses are to Clemson and Alabama and they handed Kentucky its only loss. Winning at South Carolina helps the cause, and – technically – A&M has to be ranked higher than Florida, Georgia and LSU. But for now, the CFP would put it just outside of the top ten.