How the Week 12 College Football Playoff poll should have looked
The College Football Playoff committee released its third set of rankings this week, and there are a lot of questions. I’d say we need the CFP committee to maintain consistency, but that would take away their opportunity to make up for some mistakes they’ve made so far.
And to their credit, there are only 34 FBS teams with two or fewer losses. But they still could’ve done better.
Take a look at where we think the teams should have fallen on the latest list.
HOW THE CFP POLL SHOULD’VE LOOKED
1. Alabama (9-1) – Alabama has had two statement victories in a row, and it only gets a two-spot boost overall? The Tide has continued to improve each week while teams like Clemson and Ohio State stay static.
2. Notre Dame (9-1) – Yes, I do think the top two spots should be inhabited by one-loss teams. The Fighting Irish have had a surprisingly strong season, and they continue to improve each week, regardless of whom they’re playing.
3. Clemson (10-0) – Clemson’s win over the Fighting Irish earlier in the season can be attributed directly to Notre Dame’s four turnovers. The Tigers were outplayed for most of that game. While they are undefeated, the wins feel flat compared to some of the other top teams.
4. Ohio State (10-0) – Also an undefeated team with unexciting wins. Yes, the Buckeyes are the defending champions, but college football isn’t the UFC where all the champ has to do to keep the title is not lose. Ohio State will face its first real tests in the next two weeks against No. 9 Michigan State and No. 12 Michigan. We should see the Buckeyes officially drop after that.
5. Oklahoma State (10-0) – A huge 20-point win over a highly ranked TCU team should have the Cowboys jumping Iowa. Oklahoma State’s biggest tests are still ahead: No. 10 Baylor and No. 7 Oklahoma.
6. Iowa (10-0) – A 40-35 victory over Minnesota shouldn’t keep Iowa at No. 5 if a 9-7 victory over Vanderbilt didn’t keep Florida at No. 10 last week. Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes don’t have much of a challenge ahead of them, so we won’t get to see what they really have.
7. Oklahoma (9-1)
8. Florida (9-1) – The CFP committee got this one right. The last two wins weren’t easy ones for the Gators, but they did get the job done, and they will be tested again in two weeks against No. 14 Florida State.
9. Michigan State (9-1)
10. Baylor (8-1)
11. Stanford (8-2)
12. Navy (8-1) – The Midshipmen are underrated at No. 16. They have quietly risen through the ranks, but because it’s been quiet, the CFP Committee hasn’t seemed to take as much notice.
13. TCU (9-1) – TCU’s one loss is to a very talented Oklahoma State. It wasn’t as forgiving a loss Navy’s to Notre Dame, but the Cowboys are still very good and that should boost the Horned Frogs.
14. North Carolina (9-1) – North Carolina is another underrated team. The Tar Heels are better than No. 17.
15. LSU (7-2) – I don’t really understand the CFP committee’s decision here. LSU dropped seven spots after its loss to Alabama and only six spots after its loss to Arkansas. If the loss to the unranked team looks better for the Tigers than the loss to the Top 4 team, it would seem to indicate the Razorbacks should now be ranked. Except they’re not.
16. Florida State (8-2) – Simply put, if LSU and Florida State went head-to-head, LSU would walk away with the win.
17. Michigan (8-2)
18. Utah (8-2)
19. Houston (10-0)
20. Memphis (8-2) – Excuse me for yelling, but THE WILDCATS SHOULDN’T BE HERE! I’m looking forward to this Saturday when No. 25 Wisconsin will either prove me wrong or knock Northwestern out of the poll. In the meantime, the Tigers should be here. They’ve lost two in a row, but both losses were to good teams.
21. Mississippi State (7-3) – If you believe in the existence of quality losses, then Mississippi State is your poster child. Granted, the Texas A&M loss is looking a little questionable, but losses to Alabama and LSU in 2015 are generally expected. The Bulldogs are better than some of the other three-loss teams in this poll, including the Rebels, and they’ll get the chance to prove themselves this week against Arkansas and next week against No. 22 Ole Miss.
22. Ole Miss (7-3) – I’d be surprised the Rebels made the cut while Arkansas didn’t, except the Razorbacks do have four losses. Plus there are only six other Power 5 conference two-loss and three-loss teams that are currently unranked, so Ole Miss does stand out when compared to those.
23. Wisconsin (8-2) – At this time, the Badgers have proven just a little more than Oregon, and they deserve a bump.
24. Oregon (7-3) – Like Northwestern, USC shouldn’t be in this poll either.
25. Western Kentucky (8-2) – Wild card, maybe. But of the remaining two- and three-loss teams, the Hilltoppers are most deserving. They currently lead Conference USA, but they still have a big showdown with Marshall (8-2) in Week 13.