By Mike Bachini, CBS Connecticut
Connecticut (CBS) – Last night the College Football Playoff Committee revealed their first Top 25 rankings for the College Football Playoff. I did my best to try and predict what the committee would do yesterday and you can read that here.
I feel as though the committee went the correct route with their first rankings. I’m not saying that because I predicted the Top 9 correctly. It’s because they wanted to make a statement that scheduling and overall body of work are important at this point in the season and that’s what I thought they would do. Below is the committee’s top 25 with my predicted ranking of that team in parenthesis. At points along the way, I will dive in to some analysis of the rankings and some conclusions that I believe can be drawn from the rankings.
1. Georgia (1)
2. Alabama (2)
3. Notre Dame (3)
4. Clemson (4)
5. Oklahoma (5)
6. Ohio State (6)
7. Penn State (7)
8. TCU (8)
9. Wisconsin (9)
10. Miami (12)
- Georgia got the nod over Alabama for the number 1 spot due to their strength of record and their overall resume. Most would argue that the eye test proves Alabama to be the better team because of how they’ve handled business on the field. Georgia has also handled their business and have done it against better opposition. Barring some upsets, this squabble will be decided on the field on December 2nd in Atlanta in the SEC championship game any way.
- Notre Dame was the highest ranked 1-loss team in large part because of the teams they’ve beat (324 Michigan State, #17 USC, #20 N.C. State) and how they’ve beaten them (by 76 points). A home loss by 1 point to the #1 overall team doesn’t hurt them.
- Clemson doesn’t have the 1 HUGE win that both Oklahoma and Ohio State have. But they get the next spot because of the overall quality of their wins. CFP Selection Committee Chair Kirby Hocutt said as much on ESPN pointing to their 6 wins over teams with winning records and their 2 wins over CFP top 20 teams (#14 Auburn, #13 Virginia Tech).
- Oklahoma nudges out Ohio State for the 5th spot due to their head-to-head win over them back in September. Some could argue that Ohio State is playing much better than Oklahoma now, but on 10/31 with only so much information to go off of, the head-to-head win matters more. Plus, if you agree that Oklahoma isn’t playing as well now as it did then, they have a better chance of suffering their 2nd loss given their upcoming schedule (@Oklahoma State, TCU, possible Big XII Title game) than Ohio State does.
- Both Wisconsin and Miami are penalized by their weak schedules to date. Both are still in position to make runs at the top 4 however.
11. Oklahoma State (10)
12. Washington (13)
13. Virginia Tech (11)
14. Auburn (14)
15. Iowa State (15)
- Not much to argue with here. I have a minor issue with Washington being ranked ahead of Virginia Tech. I guess winning a true road game at Rutgers gives them an edge over Virginia Tech’s neutral field win over West Virginia. All other signs point to Virginia Tech having the better resume.
- I had a feeling Auburn would be the highest ranked 2 -loss team due to the teams they had lost to (#4 Clemson and #19 LSU). On top of that, the committee thought very highly of Mississippi State (#16) and the Tigers beat them by 39. Sure, Iowa State has 2 much bigger wins (#8 TCU, @ #5 Oklahoma) but they also have 2 worse losses to unranked Texas and unranked Iowa.
16. Mississippi State (24)
17. USC (16)
18. UCF (18)
19. LSU (17)
20. N.C. State (20)
- My biggest miss was Mississippi State (no pun intended). Every single game of theirs has been a blowout for better or for worse. They’ve beaten LSU by 30, Kentucky by 38 and Texas A&M by 21. They’ve also lost to Auburn by 39 and Georgia by 28. So it was hard to figure out where to place the Bulldogs. Maybe 24 was too low, but I think 16 is too high.
- I thought I might have had UCF too high but it turned out to be just right.
21. Stanford (19)
22. Arizona (NR)
23. Memphis (NR)
24. Michigan State (22)
25. Washington State (23)
- I thought about giving Arizona the #25 spot in my predictions, but decided to go with South Carolina instead because of their 7-point win over #20 N.C. State. Arizona is playing some of the best football in the country right now, but I don’t really see how they are Top 25 worthy given their schedule so far. They did just beat #25 Washington State by 21, but the rest of their wins are against FCS Northern Arizona, 0-8 UTEP and a bunch of conference foes hovering around .500 (UCLA, CAL, Colorado). They also have 2 home losses to 5-3 Houston and 4-4 Utah. This one confuses me a little bit.
- Memphis slides in at #23. I wanted to put Memphis in given how solid they have looked recently, but I honestly didn’t think the committee would do it so I was cautious. They deserve the spot over Michigan, and ranking the Wolverines 21st was probably my biggest mistake. Credit to the committee for not taking the easy road and instead recognizing Memphis. They did lose their biggest test by 27 at UCF, but they have a few solid wins over UCLA, Houston and Navy that can’t be ignored.
My next predictions will come on Tuesday, November 7th.
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