Five quick thoughts on the first College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday night:
1–The selection committee sent a message: What happens on the field matters. It leaned more on the body of work to date instead of the pure eye test. Because Georgia had the quality non-conference win over Notre Dame and Alabama’s big non-conference opponent–Florida State–has fallen off the face of the Earth, they put Georgia No. 1. I believe that if they played today Alabama would be favored.
2– Having his team at No. 2 was the perfect 66th birthday present for Alabama coach Nick Saban. Now Saban can ride his guys and say “See, the committee doesn’t think you’re No. 1.” I feel sorry for LSU, Saturday night’s opponent at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
3–I was happy to see that the committee respected Oklahoma’s convincing win over Ohio State and put the Sooners one spot ahead of Ohio State at No. 5. I disagreed with the committee’s decision last season to put Ohio State into the playoffs and leave Penn State, which had beaten the Buckeyes on the field, out. Again, what happens on the field matters–and it matters a lot.
4–The odds are against No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama both winning out and meeting in the SEC championship game in Atlanta on Dec. 2. But if it happens, and Georgia loses a close game, would the Bulldogs fall out of the top four–especially if Notre Dame was still there? And if Georgia drops to No. 4 in that scenario it would play Alabama in a rematch in the CFP semifinals in New Orleans. Would the committee vote for a rematch?
5–The committee was right to put Wisconsin at No. 9 and Miami at No. 10 despite the fact that both are undefeated. Again the committee is giving greater weight to the resume, which it should. Miami has a path to the playoffs if it wins out and then beats Clemson in the ACC championship game. But what about Wisconsin? If the Badgers beat Ohio State in the Big Ten championship to go 13-0, are they in? Do they get in over a 12-1 Oklahoma or a 12-1 Georgia? Could the Big Ten champ get left out for the second straight year? It would be a helluva argument.