What We Learned About the First College Football Playoff Rankings

Halloween has past and it’s now time to focus on the College Football Playoff. To start this annual conundrum, let’s summarize how we’ve gotten here so far. First off, there are five remaining unbeaten teams heading into Week 10: Alabama, Georgia, Wisconsin, Miami, and UCF. Of those five, only two are in the Top 4 of the bracket (find it down below)

1. Georgia vs. 4. Clemson

2. Alabama vs 3. Notre Dame

This means that three unbeatens are on the outside looking in for a playoff spot, and I’m not exactly sure why. Wisconsin, the Big Ten leader, would classify as being snubbed if they finish the year undefeated and don’t get in (their -2.7 SOS is hurting their resume currently).

The second head-scratcher is Clemson over Miami. Back in early October, Clemson lost to 4-4 Syracuse – albeit without starting QB Kelly Bryant in the second half. While the Tigers have played a harder schedule than Miami (they’re 6th in SOS to Miami who is 53rd), it’s hard for someone else in the conference that is undefeated to be penalized against a one-loss team. As it stands, we can’t punish Miami for having one of their games canceled because of Hurricane Irma.

To add to Miami’s case, they play Notre Dame on November 11th which will boost their SOS and resume with a win. If Miami goes undefeated and doesn’t get in that would be a tough pill to swallow.

The third undefeated team is UCF. I can totally understand why UCF isn’t in the Top 4 but what is it going to take for one of these non-power five conference teams to get in the playoff? The way the committee goes about their business, I’m not even sure if the great Boise State teams of the late 2000’s would get in. The CFP is becoming a money grab and the committee is deciding to slot the teams where they think they fit for the best TV ratings or for better talking points on College Gameday and other media outlets.

Otherwise, I would be shocked if the committee really thinks that Georgia is better than Alabama. The Crimson Tide was everyone’s #1 seed heading into Tuesday, but surprisingly not to the committees.

The committee is also trying to send the message that it is important to play someone in the non-conference. This comes as ironic since Washington made it last year with one home loss to USC and a 91st ranked non-conference schedule. After the first rankings installment, it is just to say the CFP ranking system needs more consistency when evaluating who to put in. Because an undefeated team in the Big Ten and ACC not getting in at the end of the season would be the ingredients for this CFP system to become a mess.

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