So teams ranked two, three and four lost last week and everyone lost their minds.
It was wild, crazy stuff, except it turned out not to be that big of a deal in the big picture.
All Tuesday’s third release of the College Football Playoff ranking did, it seems, was rearrange some deck chairs.
This is what happens when undefeated teams lose, late in the season, but there is no real way to punish them.
Last week’s No. 2, Clemson, lost at home to unranked Pittsburgh and dropped only two spots. No. 3 Michigan lost at unranked Iowa, a team that lost to 1-AA North Dakota State this year, and stayed at No.3. This is what Rankman meant when he wrote Michigan’s defeat will rank as one of the greatest in school history.
No. 4 Washington got outplayed at home, by USC, and dropped only two spots to No. 6.
This week’s top 10:
8: Penn State
The reason the committee couldn’t drop two, three and four very far is because teams six-through-10 all have two defeats. You’ve heard of glass ceilings you can’t break through? This is a glass basement.
This week’s big “winner” was allegedly Ohio State, which moved up three spots to No. 2. Yet, Ohio State does not even control its destiny in the Big Ten East. The Buckeyes could beat Michigan and lose the tie-breaker to Penn State, which beat Ohio State.
It sure makes for interesting final few weeks.
Washington is still very much alive in the playoff despite looking shaky in Saturday’s 26-13 loss to USC. The Trojans are the new darlings of the selection committee, moving up seven spots to No. 13. Too bad three losses will likely keep the fast-charging Trojans from making a playoff run. USC, for as good as it’s playing, still needs help to even win the Pac 12 South.
Washington needs to worry about getting squeezed out by two Big Ten teams. What if Ohio State beats Michigan but loses the division to Penn State, which goes on to win the Big Ten title games? Husky fans should be rooting, first, for their team to play better than it did against USC. Second, they shoot root for Michigan to run the table and win the Big Ten. That would likely knock Ohio State and Penn State out of the chase.