Three days after the top teams in the College Football Playoff rankings failed to impress — excluding Georgia — we knew we were in for a shakeup.
With Michigan State losing to a previously unranked Purdue squad, a new top-four was on the horizon. The question remained, which team behind the Spartans had done enough in their wins or in their season’s schedule to jump into the playoff?
As it turns out, it was quite simple: every team simply slid up a spot.
Georgia remains No. 1 in the rankings after shellacking Missouri 43-6 behind another impressive defensive effort, allowing just 273 total yards. Alabama also stayed put at No. 2 following their 20-14 win over LSU, a game in which the Crimson Tide offense managed just six yards rushing and struggled to put away the Tigers at home.
It’s clear that the committee loves Nick Saban’s squad, even following a sloppy win by the Crimson Tide. Their strength of schedule is the toughest in the country, and the committee has always given Saban teams more leeway. Alabama still has No. 25 Arkansas and No. 17 Auburn on their regular season schedule.
Oregon moves up to No. 3 following a closer than expected win over Washington, followed by Ohio State. Oregon remains ranked above the Buckeyes due to beating them in Columbus, Ohio in week two, and puts them in a phenomenal position to wind up in the four-game playoff. Utah coming in at No. 24 is a big boost for Oregon’s SOS, with the Utes making the trip to Eugene in week 12.
Cincinnati moves up a spot to No. 5, but the scenario for them moving into the top-four before the end of the season isn’t that simple. There isn’t another American Athletic Conference team ranked in the playoff poll, meaning the Bearcats will not have another ranked team on their schedule the rest of the way. With teams such as Michigan, Michigan State, and Oklahoma ranked behind them, there’s a very good chance Cincinnati could be leapfrogged by season’s end.
The big surprise comes outside of the top-five, with 8-1 Michigan ranked No. 6 and 8-1 Michigan State ranked at No. 7.
It was just over a week ago when the Spartans defeated the Wolverines in East Lansing, and yet the head-to-head win was not enough to keep them as the top ranked team in the state of Michigan.
“A week ago, it was discussed that Michigan might be the more complete team,” CFP chair Gary Barta said, when asked why the Wolverines are ahead of the Spartans. “Offensively, defensively, (in) every statistic Michigan was ahead of Michigan State, but Michigan State was undefeated and they beat Michigan head-to-head.”
“What’s different a week later? Michigan State lost, Michigan won. There was a discussion back and forth … but at the end of the day, we as a committee felt Michigan was a better team to be ranked ahead of Michigan State this week. Stay tuned, we get to watch again next week.”
Oklahoma remains at No. 8 and undefeated after a bye week, with a trip to No. 13 Baylor this Saturday and No. 10 Oklahoma State to wrap up the regular season.
Notre Dame and Oklahoma State round out the top ten.
Take a look at the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings below,
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
- Texas A&M
- Wake Forest
- Ole Miss
- NC State
- San Diego State
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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