We had to wait for it.
The third College Football Playoff poll, that is.
We had to wait an extra two and a half hours to get the most important piece of weekly college football news. Bless you for waiting extra time. You were forced to sit through November college basketball.
(I actually really like college basketball, but that just felt like a good time to take a shot at the sport.)
But enough waiting. Let’s talk Playoff poll.
1. For some reason, there’s a new No. 1…just kidding
There were a few hot takes out there that Miami (FL) would move all the way up to No. 1 after trouncing Notre Dame. That was a bit premature. Or naive. Or dumb. Pick your adjective. Anyway, there was never any question about this. Alabama was going to be No. 1 in the third Playoff poll if it squeaked out a win at Mississippi State.
Anyone would suggested otherwise was, well, you get it.
The Tide is back at No. 1 after its second consecutive win against a current top-25 team. That’s big at this point, considering Alabama wouldn’t mind having a potential late-season mulligan if it were to falter to Auburn.
The question now becomes how much wiggle room does Alabama have at No. 1? Can the Tide simply run the table and earn the top spot? It certainly looks like it, considering that would mean Nick Saban’s squad would have 4 victories against top-25 teams, including 2 against potential top-10 squads. All is rolling according to plan for Alabama.
2. The Ohio State Playoff talk needs to stop
Goodness gracious, am I sick of this. Have we learned nothing? All the Twitter selection committee members continue to insist what’s good and what’s not good for 2-loss Ohio State. Save your 280 characters. It’s not worth it.
In case you forgot, the Buckeyes suffered their second loss of the season 11 days ago. Let me rephrase that. For the second time this year, the Buckeyes got absolutely trucked. Their Playoff hopes died in Iowa City.
When we say a team’s Playoff hopes are dead, it doesn’t mean that they can be revived by dominating Michigan State the following week. It means that the selection committee has too much evidence as to why they shouldn’t make the Playoff. Losing by 3 scores for the second time in a season is that evidence.
Have we all just forgotten that Oklahoma game? Non-conference. Play. Matters. A lot. By the way, the 2014 Ohio State squad was the only Playoff team that ever LOST its marquee non-conference game. The Buckeyes were still hotly debated despite the fact that they dominated the rest of their schedule that year.
Besides, the selection committee already ranked the 1-loss Sooners ahead of the 1-loss Buckeyes in the first poll. Even if the Sooners suffer another loss, they’d STILL be more deserving than Ohio State. Each of the ACC contenders (Miami and Clemson) still have another loss to give, as does Alabama.
Stop acting like there’s a clear path.
3. Those Auburn and Wisconsin spots were predictable, but interesting
At this point of the Playoff rankings, it’s always interesting to see which teams look like they still control their own destiny. For some reason, many believed Wisconsin didn’t control its own destiny to the field. In my opinion, that was never in doubt, even with a Notre Dame win at Miami (FL).
Now, though, it’s not a debate. At No. 5 before showdowns potentially against Michigan and Ohio State, the Badgers would indeed make the field at 13-0. Shocking, right?
As for Auburn, that No. 6 spot will at least give people the belief that they control their own destiny to the field. Controlling your own destiny is saying “we can win it all if we win out.” Many are using that incorrectly as it relates to Auburn.
Why would we assume that a 2-loss team would automatically make the field if it won out? It hasn’t been done yet, and it’s not like the field is wide open. There are 3 undefeated teams in the top 5 with two weeks of regular season football left. Add in 1-loss Oklahoma, which has far more quality wins than 2-loss Auburn, and I’m not sure how one can say the Tigers “control their own destiny.”
Do they have perhaps the best chance of any 2-loss team we’ve seen so far? Sure, but let’s not forget that we all thought that about Penn State last year. The Lions, as it turned out, didn’t control their own destiny.
Until we actually see the selection committee allow a 2-loss team into the field, it doesn’t make sense to suggest otherwise.