Photo: Oregon students, Harrison Tingler, and Grant Otter, center, sold more than 185 of their “We Want Bama” t-shirts last year. credit: WeWantBamaDailyEmerald com.
College Football Playoff Rankings, Biggest Moves Biggest Consequences
The jury is in. The most powerful twelve men and women in college football released the first ever College Football Playoff Rankings. Comparing the new College Football Playoff Rankings to the AP, six of the 25 teams ranking was unchanged, seven teams gained or lost one position, and four moved plus or minus two places, so 68% of the new college football rankings is practically the same as the AP. Which teams had the biggest moves and biggest consequences?
Biggest Reward for Beating Bama
For years fans across the country have held up signs, “We Want Bama!” Why? Ask any bow-tied clad grove-dweller and they will tell you, the biggest rewards come from beating Bama. Three teams moved up three positions in the CFBPlayoff Ranking compared to the AP, Ole Miss, TCU and UCLA. The most significant being Ole Miss, because that gave Ole Miss one of the top four coveted places in the college football playoff rankings.
The CFB Playoff gang is showing a lot of Crimson love, crediting Ole Miss with lots of chips for the close victory over the Tide. Seems beating the Nick Saban led Bama team is a bigger deal than losing to LSU. We cannot credit the three-point move to a “good loss” to LSU, because the committee also moved LSU down three spots in the ranking. If Ole Miss wins all their remaining games, they will be in the playoff.
Looking for a Lifeboat off Indie Island
Contrast Ole Miss to Notre Dame who received the loudest message from the committee. Only one team moved four positions in the new college football rankings compared to the AP and that was a downward movement putting Notre Dame at number 10.
Why did the Fighting Irish get the worse news of any team on Tuesday when the CFBPlayoff Committee released their first college football playoff rankings? Notre Dame narrowly lost to number two Florida State, with a penalty calling back a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of the game. The fact that the Fighting Irish were not given any deposits in the love bank for that loss could mean that the committee is not that sold on FSU. Number 10 Notre Dame doesn’t play any team ranked ahead of them and they operate independently of any conference in football and thus no conference championship game to play, so moving up is not in their hands even if they win all the remaining games on their schedule.
Tall Tales Spinning in the Bayou
Three teams moved down three positions, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama. This movement was least significant for Alabama, because they are ranked sixth and play two of the top four, so the playoff for Alabama is still well in reach if they keep winning their games. The drop for Ohio State could have been bigger. Ohio State is a non-factor this year. The Buckeyes have not played a ranked team in over a year.
The committee dropped LSU three places to number 19, so LSU is no longer the highest two-loss team and are behind Oklahoma. The Tigers almost came back to beat number one Mississippi State, narrowly gave Ole Miss their only loss, 10 – 7, but took a trouncing to Auburn early in the season. All the Tiger’s fights were against very highly ranked opponents and they came out on top in one of those. Since their losses are considered ‘good losses,’ and their win a huge one, what does it mean that they were not ranked higher? Is the committee rewarding teams who win their games and placing less emphasis on the basketball term, ‘good loss?’ This is the biggest contradiction on the college football playoff rankings. Alabama kept a top six ranking with a ‘good loss’ to Ole Miss, but LSU dropped like a rock with two ‘good losses’ to Auburn and Mississippi State. The committee is clearly not interested in two-loss teams at least not those whose losses came before pumpkins showed up at the grocery store.
With Alabama on their schedule and the SEC having a conference championship, there are tales being spun in the Bayou at this minute championing LSU’s path to the first inaugural playoff. It could happen if the Alabama and Mississippi teams beat each other in odd combinations and no one team dominates. If you see a guy in purple and gold sipping an adult beverage and cooking up some jambalaya, stop and ask him how LSU can compete in the inaugural college football playoff. He’ll give you a big smile and a few options for sure!
Ducks with Cowbells
Number 5 Oregon doesn’t play anybody ranked higher than they, but since they are first runner up in the four contestant beauty pageant, behind three top teams who play each other, the odds of Oregon moving up are likely. Oregon only plays one ranked opponent remaining on their schedule and has a conference championship. They have a good opportunity of making it into the four-team playoff. The Ducks will be ringing cowbells Nov 15, because if the Tide beats the Bulldogs, they will roll over the Ducks into the playoff bracket. Even if they get washed over by the Tide, the Ducks can pop back up with their Pac-12 conference championship. They are heavily dependent on how the chips fall between the four teams in Mississippi and Alabama. The entrepreneurial Oregon students, Harrison Tingler and Grant Otter, can dig in the back of their closet and break out their “We Want Bama” t-shirts, because business may pick back up for them soon.
Crimson Pride Stung Not Damaged
Alabama took one of the larger drops, moving down three positions in the new ranking compared to the AP. With number 3 Auburn and number 1 Mississippi State on their schedule, The Crimson Tide is in prime position to move to number one or two if they win the rest of their games. Alabama sells the most tickets, their fans travel, and has the highest broadcast viewership of any team in the country, all the tie-breaking factors the committee doesn’t want to discuss. The Tide is not completely in control of its own destiny, but it’s not dependent on the moon and wind either. If Alabama wins all their remaining games the committee will eagerly put them in the playoff. Everybody who “Wants Bama,” may soon get their chance.
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