Yesterday was another wild day in the world of college football. In what seems like a weekly occurrence the inception of the new playoff system is generating a lot of buzz and key losses resulting in rankings shakeups. Still there will always be those one or two teams who will complain when not added to the playoff dance. No system will ever be perfect in college football. Here is a look at yesterday’s winners and losers.
The SEC Conference showed why they are the best conference clearly again last week. My top ten has 4 SEC teams and all have a realistic chance of getting to the playoffs just not all 4. They can maybe get 2. I wrote an article on this site about a month ago stating how the SEC gets shut out of the Playoffs. So far it is all going according to plan. Thanksgiving Saturday is going to be so huge. If Ole Miss wins the Egg Bowl and Auburn wins the Iron Bowl all SEC teams (East or West) will have at least 2 losses. So what happens then? Ole Miss faces Missouri in the SEC Championship game. Missouri has not clinched anything yet but are in the drivers seat. Problem is Missouri is not ranked and they will be when the standings come out but certainly not near the top ten. SEC needs Georgia in that championship game. Will the committee select Alabama or Miss State to the playoffs coming off a loss and not being the SEC champs. Or what is Alabama wins the Iron bowl but losses to Missouri for their second loss. What the other teams do will still play into it. But let’s say FSU, Oregon and TCU win out. Throw in Ohio State and you got one undefeated team which also happens to be the defending champions and 2 teams who won their conference tournaments. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. The SEC clearly has the best teams in the NCAA. Will that be enough.
The Ole Miss Rebels are a huge winner and they didn’t even play. Ranked # 10 in the last playoff rankings they are moving up to at least # 8 with the Auburn and Arizona State losses. Their path to the top 4 is simple. Win out including the Egg Bowl vs Miss State. Hope Auburn beats Bama. Then win the SEC Championship game. Dare the committee to not select a 2 loss SEC Champion team for the top 4.
Baylor and Ohio State are big winners. First Ohio State who won a close sloppy game in the snow and cold in Minnesota against a good football team. This is a performance that normally would cost them a spot or two in the rankings. But when 2 teams (Arizona State & Auburn) lose and will drop out of the top ten that will keep OSU at least where they are. Now they can get some style points by hopefully beating Wisconsin(If they get there) in the Big 10 championship game. Baylor didn’t play but wins also. But even more so because of TCU’s poor performance against Kansas yesterday. Would the committee flip these teams now since Baylor beat TCU? Baylor also has another advantage. With 3 games left including Kansas State if they win out the committee has to have them move ahead of TCU. Would love to have been able to see Baylor vs TCU one more time in the Big 12 conference championship but the Big 12 does not have one.
Florida State. What can you say here. They keep winning and keep toeing the line. Everybody outside of Tallahassee wants this team to go away. But let’s face it. The ACC is not good. And they could have lost several games. They are the defending champions and they feel disrespected. That keeps a chip on their shoulder. if the committee is going to be fair then this team is not the best in the country. They might not even be in the top 4 but will be as long as they keep winning. But would one loss knock them out of the top 4? With BC and Florid left time is running out.
Mississippi State. I wasn’t completely sold on this team. But they showed me more in a loss than any of their wins. Still when they look over the film they will see that they should have won this game. Alabama had something to do with it too. But I don’t see them dropping past the fifth spot in the rankings. Would the committee still have TCU ranked ahead of Miss St even thou the latter lost?
Arizona State. I posted yesterday that their game in Corvallis against the Beavers was something to watch. It’s much harder to play with the expectations of having to win than being the underdog team with something to prove. Much harder. I also posted that I was not impressed with their win over Notre Dame since ND gave them 28 points and cost themselves 10 points. Now Notre Dame’s season is slipping away. Well the Sun Devils just eliminated themselves from the playoffs. With a convincing win they could have possibly jumped TCU and gotten in the top 4 certainly the top 5.
TCU. Style Points. Style Points. Style Points. TCU can’t afford to play that bad against a bad Kansas team. No way. Not this time of year. When you don’t have quality opponents left on your schedule and your conference does not have a championship game you can’t survive long with performances like that. They did get a break that 2 teams in the top ten lost so it might be hard to drop them. But if the committee has showed anything it is that they are not afraid to dramatically change the rankings from week to week. This makes it more important to win decisively.
Georgia. I have them ranked in my top 10 and they are slowly inching their way back into the playoff picture. But will time run out? Missouri is ahead of them in the standings even though the Bulldogs embarrassed them. Missouri has 2 winnable games left and no one in the SEC West wants them in the championship game. Beating Georgia in that game is more prestigious or perhaps losing to them(Miss ST, Alabama) still gives them style points. But in a double dose of bad news. Todd Gurley was injured in his first game back from a ridiculous suspension for making money off his OWN signature. This is where the NCAA is hypocritical. They make millions off these kids and they never see a dime. That is wrong.