The first College Football Playoff ranking, released Tuesday, did wonders for fairness and common sense.
The ranking may have, however, set college football arguing back a decade or so. Don’t worry, though, because there’s always next week’s ranking to pick apart. There was really nothing to assail with Tuesday’s first release.
The committee completely dismissed the polls that used to decide championships and made decisions based on cold, hard, merit.
What a concept: Georgia, not Alabama, is the first No.1 this year. So what?
Georgia has a better non-conference win, over Notre Dame, and the two teams will eventually get to settle this in the SEC championship game.
Notre Dame is No. 3, based on a one-point loss to Georgia and back-to-back walloping wins over two teams (USC and North Carolina State) that are STILL ranked in the CFP top 25.
Clemson, the defending national champions, is No. 4 despite a bad loss at Syracuse. The committee recognized that Clemson played the second half of that game without injured quarterback Kelly Bryant. Bryant, however, returned last week after a bye and looked solid in Clemson’s win over Georgia Tech.
Bravo, committee, bravo. The committee also put Oklahoma at No. 5 ahead of No. 6 Ohio State based on the Sooners’ win at Columbus this year.
“At this point in the season that head-to-head matchup is important to the selection committee,” chairman Kirby Hocutt told ESPN, adding “and will continue to be important for the selection committee.”
The AP and USA Today coaches poll, which for years were used to help select the national title participants, have vastly different viewpoints. The AP and USA Today polls both have Ohio State ranked ahead of Oklahoma.
“As you know,” Hocutt said, “We don’t look at the other polls.” Wisconsin, which is undefeated but untested, is No. 4 in both the AP and USA Today indexes. Yet, the committee isn’t buying the Badgers’ non-conference schedule of Utah State, BYU and Florida Atlantic. Wisconsin also misses Penn State and Ohio State in this year’s Big Ten regular-season rotation.
The rest of the first CFP ranking has Penn State at No. 7, followed by Texas Christian, Wisconsin and Miami. Washington, at No. 12, is the highest ranked Pac 12 team, although the conference has five schools ranked between No. 12 and No. 25.