I’m going to do something a little bit new for the rest of the season (moving and wedding planning commitments permitting). The College Football Rankings have come out for the first time this season and I want to give my thoughts and opinions on whether the committee got it right. I’ve dabbled a bit in this endeavor but just haven’t had the time to do it. Also, if anyone knows how to get me a copy of the CFP ranking software, you know where to find me.
First of all, here are the first CFP Rankings of the season:
1. Ohio State
4. Penn State
15. Notre Dame
16. Kansas State
19. Wake Forest
22. Boise State
23. Oklahoma State
Top 4 (and Clemson) Analysis:
The only issue I have with the top four is how they are arranged. I believe that LSU is the best team in the country based on how and who they have played. While Texas has fallen, Florida and Auburn are still ranked in the top 11. Ohio State’s best win is Wisconsin. I’m not saying Wisconsin isn’t good, because they are. But their next best win is Cincinnati. The Buckeyes have a backloaded schedule, and I think the committee has given them preference because of that. LSU doesn’t have a tough game after Alabama this weekend.
The other “controversy” of this week’s rankings surround Penn State and Clemson. I agree with Penn State being ranked above Clemson because of the abysmal state of the ACC. The Big 10 isn’t great, but it is miles and miles better than the ACC. Clemson’s only significant opponent this season is Texas A&M. UNC nearly took down the Tigers, but that was a bad game on Clemson’s part and doesn’t really reflect their level of play. Clemson may very well be one of the best teams in the country, but the lack of even decent opponents could be very detrimental, especially if PSU wins out and that is OSU’s only loss, we could end up with a two-conference playoff.
Notes on the Rest of the Top 25:
-I’m not sure Oregon or Utah could beat Florida or Oklahoma on a neutral field, and I think the should be the ranking criteria.
-Kansas State being ranked at 16 blows my mind, is their win over OU really worth that much? They also have big losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor. I’d put them closer to 20 or 21 next to Memphis.
-Wake Forest is… ok I guess? they have a bad loss to Louisville and some close wins over UNC, BC and FSU. I’d rather see Texas or UCF in the rankings over a team who’s most impressive win is over Boston College.
-On that same thread, Oklahoma State being ranked over Texas and UCF? Sure, the Longhorns are in a lull, but two of their wins are to teams CURRENTLY RANKED in the top 9.
A note from me:
If I were in charge, the committee would only release a final ranking after every game has been played. The CFP rankings are supposed to be based on “full body of work”. When you rank teams that have only played 10 games, you omit a quarter of the season and possibly lock yourself in. I understand the argument saying you have to keep the committee honest by starting the rankings this early, but us seeing the rankings won’t change them. If you want to give the committee the complete power to pick the final four teams, they should publish the rankings one time, because that should be the only time that it matters.
I fully believe the only reason the rankings start coming out in November is so ESPN can create a TV episode around it to sell advertising. I think a playoff is the right way to determine a champion, but ESPN literally owns the CFP. The argument between “best” and “most deserving” team will always be trumped by “most profitable matchup”. And don’t even get me started on the NCAA.