Reaction after the third round of College Football Playoff rankings. What to take away from the latest - and next-to-last top 25.
College Football Playoff Rankings Top 25 Reaction, Penultimate
- College Football Playoff Rankings Top 25: Penultimate
I dig this time of year. The holidays are here, everyone is in a cheerful mood, the word penultimate comes out of its hole to tell us there's six more weeks of college football.
"Penultimate" is to the College Football Playoff what "stave" is to the NHL playoffs
"You're trying to get me to project." - Boo Corrigan, College Football Playoff committee chair to Rece Davis
YES, Son. By all means … PROJECT.
Are you just yanking Ohio State around, or does it really have a chance to get in if USC loses? Is there any possible scenario to get Alabama in, or should the fan base start the grieving process now?
This is the ridiculous part about all of this. We're going off the whims of a panel of judges who aren't able to/don't watch the entirety of the college football season to make a judgment based on eye test.
- How do the 6 teams still alive for the CFP rank?
Transparency, transparency, TRANSPARENCY. Televise the selection process. Let all the teams know what you're thinking. Yeah, yeah, yeah, keep winning and get in, but it's not that simple.
Does Michigan have to play a slew of injured players? How much does TCU have to sweat? Can USC lose by 2 or 20 or not at all?
That's why we must have an expanded College Football Playoff with teams knowing that if it wins, it's in. No opinions needed.
Think of it this way. If USC beats Utah on Friday night, there's no real need to watch anything on Saturday other than the American Athletic Conference champion to see how gets the Group of Five spot in the New Year's Six - if that matters to you.
In an expanded College Football Playoff with all Power Five conference champs all but assured of getting in, Saturday would be one of the five best days on the sports calendar.
Shhhhhhhhhhh, we're not supposed to project. If Utah beats USC you probably don't have to watch anything on Saturday, either.
The College Football Playoff committee just told you what the deal is. Alabama is out. I know there's some thought that if Michigan gets destroyed by Purdue and/or LSU beats Georgia and TCU loses that the Tide might be in the thought process, but nah.
It's ridiculous, but Alabama had to become 2014 Ohio State, when it ripped through Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship. At that point the Buckeyes had to be in. Alabama needed to 62-3 Auburn just to look the part. Again, silly, but 49-27 - meh.
It doesn't deserve to be in, but I'm not sold that Alabama doesn't win that little two game tournament if it gets in.
- CFN Rankings 1-131
Okay, really, does Ohio State have a shot? I'm guessing here, but I don't think TCU matters. If it gets roasted by 40 against Kansas State, then maybe. Just losing the Big 12 Championship won't be enough.
Michigan is totally irrelevant. It could lose by 50 to Purdue in the Big Ten Championship and it's not getting knocked out for Ohio State. The same goes for Georgia.
I've heard all the arguments and rhetoric that it's not fair for USC to play an extra game while Ohio State gets to spend its Saturday Christmas shopping. That's totally true, but to think like the College Football Playoff committee …
USC's best win is over, what? Notre Dame? Ohio State beat the Irish, and took down CFP 8 Penn State. USC's best win was over … CFP 15 Oregon State?
Here's the problem with all of that. Six Pac-12 teams are in the top 17. Three Big Ten teams are in the top eight. Conference-wise, the Pac-12 has been stronger this year - there aren't any other ranked Big Ten teams.
By the way, theoretically, Penn State could be 6. It's 8, its only two losses were to Michigan and Ohio State, and it ripped through just about everyone else. The only Nittany Lion win by anyone by less than double-digits was the 35-31 opener over Purdue.
I'm finding it hard to believe that the Rose Bowl might not want Ohio State vs Utah. 1) God forbid we have a repeat of anything close to THAT - one of the most fun bowl games ever - again. More importantly, 2) it's the Rose Bowl. Like it's going to pass on the highest-ranked team outside of the College Football Playoff.
Fine, to answer the question, does Ohio State really have a shot to get into the College Football Playoff? Absolutely. The Pac-12 Championship has been the weirdest of the Power Five bunch in the CFP era. Oregon screwed up USC in 2020 and Utah in 2019. And yes, that qualifies as weird.
Would it be even remotely surprising if the Pac-12 went Pac-12 and Utah messed it all up with a win over USC?
College Football Playoff Chase: Ranking Path Of The 6 (really 5) Teams Still Alive
My best guess is this. Even if USC loses in a close battle it's out and Ohio State is in. Until the College Football Playoff takes a two-loss team for the first time - especially one that didn't win its Power Five conference championship - I'm not buying it.
And what about TCU? What if it gets rolled?
We're all guessing here. There aren't any hard rules the College Football Playoff committee has to follow, so we're all trying to get into the minds of the people in that room. I think TCU is in no matter what - 12 wins and a spot in the Big 12 Championship beats 11 wins and not playing in the Big Ten Championship. However …
If TCU loses by 20+ and looks and plays like it was dominated by Kansas State, there's at least more of a discussion about Ohio State in a "four best team" sort of way. Buckeye fans won't like this idea, but it would be a huge help if Michigan obliterated Purdue - that would make the loss in Columbus last weekend seem a wee bit more palatable.
If you're TCU, you're rooting or Utah to beat USC and make the Big 12 Championship irrelevant. It doesn't matter if Kansas State annihilates the Horned Frogs, Alabama still isn't getting in - I think. USC with two losses allows Ohio State a spot.
So with ALL of that said, Ohio State fans, root for Utah and Kansas State. Hard.
- Bowl Eligibility: Where does every team stand?
Wait, why did CFP 11 Utah pass CFP 12 Washington? Washington beat Washington State this last weekend, and Utah beat Colorado. The Arizona State loss for Washington was baked in last week when it was 13 and Utah 14. Why did the argument in the room change over the last seven days?
Was it because USC's win over Notre Dame made Utah look better? If so, then Florida's loss to Florida State should've made Utah's opening week loss look worse, and …
Whatever. I was preparing for this week to be far more interesting, and then Clemson, Tennessee, and LSU all gacked last Saturday. But they did, so …
I can't change the future, I can only see it … What's it going to be next Sunday when we do this for real?
1. Georgia, 2. Michigan, 3. TCU, 4. Ohio State
CFN 1-131 Rankings | Bowl Projections
Story originally appeared on College Football News