What will the 2020 College Football Playoff top 25 rankings be when they’re first released on Tuesday night?
The first round of College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday night. What will they be? In this crazy year when some teams have played almost a full season, and some others are just getting started, how will a top 25 be put together?
A few ground rules when it comes to the College Football Playoff process.
1. The rankings are meant to capture the moment. Every week’s rankings are unique. When they come out, they’ll be a snapshot. They’ll then be thrown out, and the whole process will start over next week.
2. The committee tends to like big wins, hates awful losses, and in general over the last six years, it hasn’t punished teams that suffer losses to the elite teams.
3. Every spot in the rankings is debated. The committee argues and discusses the No. 24 spot, and then the No. 24, and so on up until No. 1. This is a meticulous process. If you don’t like the ranking, at least know there was a whole lot of thought put into it.
Most of all …
4. There aren’t any rules except for one – no other ranking system matters. The AP and Coaches polls don’t exist here. These are the rankings of record, and they’re based on the whims of a panel of judges. They have their own stats and their own ideas, but they can do whatever they want to.
College Football Playoff Rankings Prediction Top 25 Projection
25. Auburn Tigers 5-2
The Case For This Spot: The Tigers have five wins in the SEC. Say what you will about the conference being overrated and overloved, going 5-2 in the conference is good no matter what. Best of all, the team is quietly getting better over the last three games.
Should Be Higher: One of the two losses is at Georgia, losing 27-6 when the Bulldog defense played one of its better games of the year. The 48-11 win over LSU was impressive – even if it’s not the same LSU – and stuffing Kentucky, Tennessee, and even Ole Miss and Arkansas is a more impressive body of work than what most of the teams on this list have done.
Should Be Lower: South Carolina 30, Auburn 22. Combine that with no wins over anyone currently with a winning record, and several other teams not on this list have a beef.
Up Next: Alabama
24. Wisconsin Badgers 2-1
The Case For This Spot: When this team is fully healthy, fully functional, and with everyone okay, it’s as effective and as deadly as any in college football for what it does. Illinois and Michigan might not be that great, but what the Badgers did were two of the more impressive back-to-back performances by any Power Five team.
Should Be Higher: The loss at Northwestern was weird and ugly, but lost in the 17-7 loss was a dominant performance by the defense. The offense was without most of its top receivers, and it was a road loss against an unbeaten team.
Should Be Lower: Northwestern 17, Wisconsin 7. Combine the horrible offensive game with just three games of sample size, and being just inside the top 25 is good enough.
Up Next: Minnesota
23. North Carolina Tar Heels 6-2
The Case For This Spot: The offense is a blast, the defense is … the offense is a blast. The Tar Heels haven’t and won’t play Miami, but a case could be made that they’re the third-best team in the ACC. With 56 points against Duke and 59 against Wake Forest, the offense is getting better and better.
Should Be Higher: The offense is the real deal. It’s balanced, it’s devastating, and it’s the type of team no one wants to face. We’ll know a whole lot more after the Notre Dame game this weekend.
Should Be Lower: Florida State 31, North Carolina 28. Virginia 41. No one else expected to be in the top 25 will have two losses this bad.
Up Next: Notre Dame
22. Tulsa Golden Hurricane 5-1
The Case For This Spot: The Golden Hurricane are on a five-game winning streak with a magical quality to its run, coming up with thrillers over SMU and Tulane over the last two weeks.
Should Be Higher: The resumé, is far, far, far, far better than BYU’s and Marshall’s, and – it could be argued – is better than Cincinnati’s. The lone loss was on the road to Oklahoma State in a 16-7 fight that went down to the wire.
Should Be Lower: It shouldn’t be. Tulsa deserves to be somewhere around the top 15 – especially with a 34-26 win over UCF.
Up Next: at Houston
21. Texas Longhorns 5-2
The Case For This Spot: On one side, Texas has just two losses to TCU and Oklahoma in games that could’ve gone either way. On the other side, it has wins over Texas Tech. Oklahoma State and West Virginia that also could’ve gone the other way.
Should Be Higher: The Longhorns are good enough to have come this close to beating Oklahoma, and they were able to get by Oklahoma State in Stillwater despite not playing all that well, but …
Should Be Lower: Again, they should’ve lost to Texas Tech and the defeat to TCU looks awful now.
Up Next: Iowa State
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