What will the College Football Playoff rankings be when they’re first released on Tuesday, November 24th?
In this craziest of INSANE years, how do you possibly put together a proper College Football Playoff Top 25? The committee is going to try doing it next week, to be released on Tuesday, November 24th.
Here’s the drill. We’re going to try protecting what the initial College Football Playoff Top 25 will be after next Saturday’s games. That means some calls have to be made on who’ll win, to go along with trying to read the minds of the committee.
A few ground rules when it comes to the College Football Playoff process.
1. The rankings are meant to capture the moment. They’re not set in stone, meaning the whole thing gets thrown out and everything starts all over again the following week. So if a team is ranked, say, 15th, it’s not a sure thing that it moves up with a win or down with a loss.
2. To generalize after six years of College Football Playoff rankings, the committee tends to like big wins, hates awful losses, and it doesn’t really penalize defeats to big teams. When they’re arguing in that room – again, in general – the big win gets the most attention.
3. Every spot in the rankings is argued over. There’s a debate over the No. 25 team, there’s an agreement, and then there’s a debate over the No. 24 spot, there’s an agreement, and so on. You might not agree with the rankings, but be secure in the knowledge that at least there was a discussion and thought process into every aspect.
And finally …
4. There are no hard rules. The committee can pick any teams it wants to. It goes by its own set of proprietary stats, strength of schedule is huge, and there’s a premium on head-to-head wins. After all of that, throw in the eye test to go along with the resumé.
And remember, the AP and Coaches polls don’t exist. The College Football Playoff rankings are their own separate world, and they’re the ones that matter.
So what will they be? Here’s the best guess for the first run of College Football Playoff rankings – again, for Tuesday the 24th, not this week …
College Football Playoff Rankings Prediction Top 25 Projection
25. North Carolina Tar Heels 6-2
The Tar Heels are going to be get crushed for the loss to Florida State – arguably the worst defeat by anyone in the top 25. There’s a decent win over Virginia Tech, but there isn’t one win to get fired up about. The Notre Dame game comes in two weeks.
Up Next: Notre Dame (Nov. 27)
24. Texas Longhorns 5-2
The overall resumé isn’t all that great, and a loss to TCU will sting, but the win at Oklahoma State and the close loss to Oklahoma will be just enough to sneak into the top 25.
Up Next: at Kansas
23. USC Trojans 2-0
MASSIVE assumption – there won’t be enough games to go off of to give USC a whole lot of credit. However, again, these rankings start over next week, so the more wins, the bigger the body of work to get credit for.
The committee won’t like the eye test of the first two wins over Arizona and Arizona State, and the overall metrics won’t work because Utah won’t have played anyone when it hosts USC next week. However, if the Trojans win, that will be the excuse needed to get close to the top 20.
Up Next: at Utah
22. Liberty Flames 8-0
This is a complete and total guess – even more than any of the other teams on this list. If Liberty loses to NC State this week, it’ll start around 22ish. If it wins, it won’t be crazy to assume it’ll be in the top ten with road wins over Virginia Tech, NC State, and – scoff, but it’s an ACC team – Syracuse. That would be three road wins over Power Five teams, while BYU and Cincinnati won’t have any.
So again, this ranking is the most fluid of the bunch – don’t get into a twist one way or another here.
Up Next: at NC State
21. Iowa State Cyclones 5-2
The College Football Playoff committee will catch the one glaring error in the other polls – Louisiana 31, Iowa State 14. The win over Oklahoma is big, but that’s offset by the loss to Oklahoma State. there won’t be any impressive wins past the one over the Sooners.
Up Next: Kansas State
NEXT: Top 20 First College Football Playoff Rankings Prediction