CFP Rankings Consistent with my thoughts on how the committee pushes a narrative
On our latest college football recap show, we discussed our pre-college football playoff rankings. I spoke about the committee potentially keeping Indiana in the top 10 of their initial playoff rankings, but instead, they placed a 5-2 Georgia Bulldogs team in the top 10. I was of the belief that they would keep Indiana in the top 10 so that they could prop Ohio State up, so I was off a few spots as the Hoosiers are 12th. Ohio State's Covid shortened schedule is not impressive, and the Buckeyes only real challenge they have remaining is Covid-19 and the Big Ten Title game against Northwestern who could be 8-0 going into that game.
What is the Narrative
It is pure speculation by me, but it's clear that the committee has propped up the teams they have in the top 4. Remember, the committee is working to reward "the best four teams," but it is in their best interest to have four of the highest TV rated programs in the playoff. The committee is signaling their narrative by keeping a 5-2 Georgia at number 10 to solidify the SEC teams ranked at the top. Also, the committee is signaling that BYU does not have a chance. BYU is 14th, as well as the Pac 12 conference. The Oregon Ducks are 3-0 and 15th. Ahead of Oregon and BYU, 6-2 Oklahoma (11th), and 6-2 Iowa State (13th). The Cincinnati Bearcats are the only non-power five team that has a real chance. The committee has them at 7th, but if the Bearcats are not impressive closing out the season, the committee might be willing to move a two-loss SEC team in front of them. The committee is already signaling the value of two-loss teams in the top 10 or just outside the top 10.
Get ready for a wild 3 or 4 weeks as the rest of the season plays out. We have to consider that there will be a pseudo playoff game for the SEC, BIG Ten, and ACC in the conference championship games if the current teams who looked poised to make those games can hold serve.
I can see two scenarios playing out, Ohio State beats Northwestern and seals their fate for the playoff at 9-0. Clemson beats Notre Dame in a close game, finishing with one loss and Notre Dame remains in the playoff at the four position of the playoff rankings with one loss. Alabama dispatches the Florida Gators to stay number one. In the second scenario, we see any of the above-aforementioned teams lose in their conference title game, Clemson loses to Notre Dame, Ohio State, to Northwestern, Alabama to Florida. What will the committee do if one of these games goes against the odds? Or what if all three go against the odds? The committee will have to consider Cincinnati assuming they win out, Northwestern if they win the Big, Florida. Would they keep a one-loss Alabama in, or if the Texas A&M Aggies are lingering in the 6, will they get a shot?
We have several weeks to go, and a lot can happen. We have to remember every team is battling the number one opponent in the country, Covid-19. The teams with the best record and the ability to keep Covid from wrecking their season should gain the highest consideration.
The Actual College Football Playoff Top 15.
Rank Team Record
1 University of Alabama 7-0
2 University of Notre Dame 8-0
3 Clemson University 7-1
4 Ohio State University 4-0
5 Texas A&M University 5-1
6 University of Florida 6-1
7 University of Cincinnati 8-0
8 Northwestern University 5-0
9 University of Georgia 5-2
10 University of Miami 7-1
11 University of Oklahoma 6-2
12 Indiana University 4-1
13 Iowa State University 6-2
14 Brigham Young University 9-0
15 University of Oregon 3-0
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