Another week has come and gone, and we now have updated college football playoff rankings. Each week brings new questions and curiosities on the decisions that the committee has made. For this week, the committee seemed content to leave things essentially as they were last week. It makes sense as no major team in the top four lost, but these rankings still give way for questions to be answered as we go into the home stretch of this college football season.
The committee decided to double down on their ranking of Michigan over Michigan State once again despite the two teams playing each other just a few weeks ago. It seems that they value Michigan’s loss to the Spartans more than Michigan States loss to an unranked Purdue at the time, especially since Purdue just got blown out by Ohio State this past weekend.
The good news for all the Big Ten teams is that they still control their own destiny because both Michigan teams still have matchups against Ohio State and then whoever gets out of that three-team mess, likely has a date with Wisconsin for the Big Ten title game.
Now a scenario remains where Ohio State loses to both of the Michigan teams so where would the committee put the Wolverines and Spartans? You’d think the edge would be given to the Spartans due to their win over Michigan and the fact that they would go to the Big Ten title game, but this committee has shown that anything can be possible.
Cincinnati still finds itself sitting at No. 5, despite multiple weeks of non-dominant wins. They have a test ahead of them against SMU this weekend and if they win that, may begin to prove some doubters wrong once again. For the Bearcats, they have to win out, and with Houston getting into the rankings, that helps Cincinnati since that matchup could be in play for the American title game.
Cincinnati needs to root hard for Ohio State to take out both of the Michigan hopefuls and hope that Oregon slips up. By next week, if Cincinnati wins and Oregon loses to Utah, we could have a historic outcome where a non-Power Five team could be ranked in the top four for the first time. Cincinnati is in a good spot as of now but needs to show some more flash to win over the committee who has repeatedly talked about their weak strength of schedule.
For the Big 12, Oklahoma losing is a blow to their playoff chances, but the hope is still alive in the form of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. A team once known for explosive offense and no defense has finally formed a team that plays hard-nosed defense and can score when they need to.
They sit at No. 9 at this point, the lowest ranking for a team to eventually make the college football playoff when all was said and done. The Cowboys take on Texas Tech this weekend and if they win then will host rival Oklahoma in Stillwater for a huge matchup. These two teams may play each other twice and if the Cowboys can win both times, would have a real case at being selected to make the playoff.
Two of the more interesting landing spots for me were Wake Forest at 10 and Pittsburgh at 18 because the committee knows that these two teams could meet in the ACC title game. For the Demon Deacons, they’ll need massive chaos to ensure to have a shot at the playoff and for Pitt to keep winning. Yet how fun would it be to see that explosive Wake Forest offense take on the awesome Georgia defense in the first round of the playoff. It is a very unlikely situation, but we can dream, can’t we?
There is a possibility that we have an all-SEC and Big Ten playoff if Oregon and Oklahoma State can’t win out and that would be awful for college football. While the four best teams may be from those two conferences, parity is key, and having different conferences represented is a good thing for the sport.
We have so many questions still about how the committee ranks these teams and what is going to happen, but the good news is that by the end of everything, we will have answers since many of the top teams will take on each other. It’ll be a fun finish to the end and with the way this season has gone, don’t be surprised if real craziness ensues.
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