College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Committee Should Rank The Top 25

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Committee Should Rank The Top 25

College Football Playoff Rankings

College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Committee Should Rank The Top 25

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The first College Football Playoff rankings of 2022 will come out Tuesday night, November 1st. How should the committee rank the top 25?


College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, November 2

The College Football Playoff committee will release its first round of rankings on Tuesday night.

It’ll spend the day debating the merits of each of the 25 spots, there will be a few arguments, and the spread of delightful meats, cheeses, and other snacks will be adequate.

I know, because I’ve been through the process in Grapevine, Texas. I know how this works, and I know how this should all go.

And I know that this group could use a little bit of help.

These rankings are meticulous. The committee will debate the merits of the teams that should be in the No. 25 slot, come to an agreement, and then go to 24, then 23, and so on. There’s a proprietary stat system to help the cause, strength of schedule matters, and after all the data and all the facts, this group will still mostly go by the old eye test.

Remember …

1. This is just an exercise. It’s practice, and not really. The College Football Playoff committee is doing this to get up to speed, generate national interest, and provide ESPN some sweet programming candy for those who need a break from the World Series. However, it’s like practicing for a Par 3 hole for some tournament without knowing the distance or configuration needed because …

2. If precedent holds, go unbeaten or 12-1, win your Power 5 championship, and you’re in. The only time that didn’t get you into the CFP was in 2018 when 12-1 Ohio State was left out for 12-0 Notre Dame. No way, no how, no chance an unbeaten Power Five team is left out, so Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, TCU, and Clemson win out and you’re in.

3. There aren’t any rules. The committee can pick anyone it wants to. And …

4. RELAX after these first rankings, and the second version, and the third. All that matters is that final top 25 that comes out after the conference championships.

For now, the goal here is to break down how the committee needs to put together this first batch of rankings. I’ll be fair and go by what they like, which means big wins matter more than losses, and there won’t be enough credit given to a good loss over a strong team.

So here’s how the College Football Playoff committee should put together the top 25 rankings.

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win? 

25. UCF Knights (6-2)

The Case For This Spot: The Knights took control of the race to get the New Year’s Six bowl slot as the top Group of Five champion with a great win over Cincinnati. Rolling by Georgia Tech helps, and the loss to Louisville isn’t that bad. The East Carolina loss will bring down the ranking.

Win That Matters: UCF 25, Cincinnati 21

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: East Carolina 34, UCF 13

Up Next: at Memphis

24. Liberty Flames (7-1)

The Case For This Spot: The only loss was in a 37-36 fight at Wake Forest. There isn’t a win over a Power Five program, and there aren’t many great victories over anyone who’ll do much on the bowl scene, but 7-1 at this point is 7-1.

Win That Matters: Liberty 41, BYU 14

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Liberty 21, Gardner-Webb 20

Up Next: at Arkansas

23. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-2)

The Case For This Spot: The great battle in the 51-45 win over Clemson will do the job for the committee’s eye test, but the turnover-fest loss to Louisville last week was a killer. Beating Florida State matters, and giving Liberty its only loss is a big deal.

Win That Matters: Wake Forest 31, Florida State 21

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Louisville 48, Wake Forest 21

Up Next: at NC State

22. NC State Wolfpack (6-2)

The Case For This Spot: The losses to Clemson and Syracuse were acceptable in the ACC big picture, and the wins over Florida State and Texas Tech will be just enough to put the Pack safely in the top 25. However, there are too many close call wins over mediocre teams.

Win That Matters: NC State 19, Florida State 17

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Syracuse 24, NC State 9

Up Next: Wake Forest

21. Syracuse Orange (6-2)

The Case For This Spot: The Orange might struggle to push for the top 20 with a slew of injuries – that matters to the committee – but a blowout win over Louisville and victories over NC State and Purdue were strong. The close fight against Clemson will be a boost.

Win That Matters: Syracuse 24, NC State 9

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 24

Up Next: at Pitt

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win? 

NEXT: College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 20

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