First College Football Playoff Rankings Outlook

Photo Credit: Campus Insiders (featured image), ESPN (team logos)

The first College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings were released tonight, and the rankings of many teams have caused a lot of discussion among fans. Let’s have a look at the top 25 teams (using CFP rankings) with an analysis of each.

  1. BAMA Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)
    • Alabama is clearly the best team in college football. I have no problems with the Crimson Tide here.
  2. CLEM Clemson Tigers (8-0)
    • Clemson finds ways to beat tough teams, but their wins are far from convincing. Being ranked at #2 may be a stretch.
  3. MICH Michigan Wolverines (8-0)
    • Michigan belongs at either #2 or #3. I personally would put them at #2, but #2 will play #3 in the CFP anyway.
  4. TEXAM Texas A&M Aggies (7-1)
    • Texas A&M’s ranking is an absolute disgrace. They took the spot over Washington because they’ve had a tougher schedule than the Huskies, yet only two of the teams they have faced are currently ranked, and one of them was a blowout loss. This is an example of SEC bias at its finest.
  5. WASH Washington Huskies (8-0)
    • Washington has played convincing football against good teams all season long with one of the top quarterbacks, offenses, and defenses in the nation. How they dropped out of the top 4, I do not know.
  6. OHIOST Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1)
    • This is a fair ranking for Ohio State. They are not overrated nor underrated.
  7. LOU Louisville Cardinals (7-1)
    • Louisville was snubbed. With one close road loss against Clemson, they deserve to be higher than #7, especially with Heisman favorite quarterback Lamar Jackson behind center.
  8. WISC Wisconsin Badgers (6-2)
    • If the committee really valued strength of schedule, as they said they did with Texas A&M, why is Wisconsin not in the top 4? The Badgers played five top 8 teams in eight games and beat three of them, giving them a better resume than Texas A&M.
  9. aub Auburn Tigers (6-2)
    • The Tigers may be a bit overrated, but they have been a hot team recently. Ranking them at #9 is probably the highest I would be okay with at this point.
  10. neb Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-1)
    • Nebraska fits right in in the #10 spot. There is nothing wrong with that.
  11. FLA Florida Gators (6-1)
    • Florida is fine at #11 for now, but I do not think it will last. The committee got it right putting them here for now.
  12. psu Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions (6-2)
    • Where did Pennsylvania State come from? They have one quality win all season long, and suddenly they’re more than halfway up the top 25 despite some ugly losses. I am not exactly sure how this ranking can be justified.
  13. lsu Louisiana State Tigers (5-2)
    • This is right around where Louisiana State should be ranked. They have had some hard-fought wins and some hard-fought losses, and they are a lot better than many people give them credit for.
  14. OKLA Oklahoma Sooners (6-2)
    • Both of Oklahoma’s toughest two games were losses. They have not beaten a team they were not supposed to beat, but they have played well. Being ranked at #14 seems about right.
  15. colo Colorado Buffaloes (6-2)
    • Colorado seems a bit overrated having not earned any real impressive wins and having lost the games that they lost.
  16. utah Utah Utes (7-2)
    • Utah proved they deserved this #16 spot by holding their own against Washington. Other than that, they have been winning the games they’re supposed to.
  17. BAYLOR Baylor Bears (6-1)
    • The Big XII is weak this year, and the committee realized that when placing Baylor all the way down at #17 despite only having one loss. This is where the Bears belong.
  18. okst Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-2)
    • Oklahoma State may be a little bit high given where the other Big XII teams are ranked, but recent play would indicate that they have earned this #18 spot.
  19. vatech Virginia Tech Hokies (6-2)
    • Virginia Tech has some quality wins that support the committee ranking them at #19, so I cannot argue with their rank.
  20. wvu West Virginia Mountaineers (6-1)
    • West Virginia’s ranking is accurate in the same way Baylor’s is. They are a Power Five conference team with only one loss, but that one loss proved that they belong down here.
  21. unc North Carolina Tar Heels (6-2)
    • North Carolina’s rankings is pretty accurate. They are a very inconsistent but good team, so #21 is a pretty good ranking for them.
  22. FSU Florida State Seminoles (5-3)
    • Florida State has won and lost some tough games against some tough teams. However, ranking the Seminoles at #22 was the right decision by the committee since they do have three losses.
  23. wmich Western Michigan Broncos (8-0)
    • You play who’s on your schedule, so I think Western Michigan deserves more respect than being ranked at #23 since they are unbeaten. However, their schedule has been loaded with easy games, so #23 is an acceptable rank.
  24. boise Boise State Broncos (7-1)
    • Boise State has won most of its games unconvincingly. Still, their rank of #24 is just about right for a one-loss non-Power Five conference team that has not faced any real tests.
  25. wast Washington State Cougars (6-2)
    • Washington State has had a nice rebound since their 0-2 start. Being ranked at #25 is fair.

-Asher Fair


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