What will the College Football Playoff rankings be in the third unveiling on Tuesday night?
Remember, last week’s rankings don’t exist anymore. The committee throws them out and starts from scratch going pick by pick, slot by slot. The first round was a mish-mosh of ideas and theories, but basically, they go by who the best team is at each spot all the way to No. 1.
So what will they be? Here’s the best guess for what the third round of College Football Playoff rankings will be on Tuesday night.
Before getting going, there’s going to be a theme this week. Let’s call it the LSU Precedent.
LSU was ranked third in the first round of College Football Playoff rankings, got shut out by Alabama, and only dropped to seven. Really, it should’ve been ranked ahead of Georgia – the Tigers blasted the Dawgs by 20 – but fine – it wasn’t that big a drop.
So this week, the trick will be to figure out where the teams that lost to the big boys fall.
25. Cincinnati Bearcats 9-1 (NR)
There’s not a whole lot to like in terms of big wins, but being on a decent run – and with the only loss coming to Temple on the road in overtime – will sneak the Bearcats in over teams with better bodies of work.
24. Boston College Eagles 7-3 (17)
And thus begins the theme for the bottom of the rankings – the lack of punishment for losing to amazing teams. BC lost to Clemson – there’s no reason to knock it too much. However, the committee cares about things like the injuries to QB Anthony Brown and RB AJ Dillon.
– Clemson 27, Boston College 7
23. Utah State Aggies 9-1 (NR)
The committee hasn’t liked or respected Utah State even though it’s been even more dominant than Fresno State, who was put in at 23rd last week. The problem? The Aggies have beaten NOBODY. The best win is over BYU. The second best win if over Air Force. The loss to Michigan State on the road to start the season was close, but again, there’s nothing on the slate to like.
22. Michigan State Spartans 6-4 (18)
How much should the Spartans be knocked for losing to Ohio State? The offense has hardly been anything impressive over the course of the season, but if the committee liked Sparty enough to put it 18th last week, it won’t crush it for battling with the Buckeyes.
– Ohio State 26, Michigan State 6
21. Northwestern Wildcats 6-4 (NR)
This will fall into the “just because” category. The Wildcats failed to win a non-conference game, and the losses to Duke and Akron are part of the equation, the other two losses are to Notre Dame and Michigan. The Cats were fine against the Irish, and they won at Michigan State and Iowa. But really, it’s just because they won the Big Ten West.
– Northwestern 14, Iowa 10