A change at the top of the College Football Playoff committee rankings, moving Alabama to the number one spot, followed by Oregon and only then undefeated Florida State while Mississippi State, suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of the Crimson Tide, keep it a two-SEC team playoff at the moment.
What did we learn? That TCU beating Kansas by only four points and trailing for parts of the game didn’t make a strong impression on them. That Florida State’s road to a perfect record and probably another ACC title hasn’t been that impressive. Just one loss from them and they’ll be out, as it seems the committee appreciates their one loss (potentially) less than it does from the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and even the Big Ten would-be champions.
Speaking of the Big Ten, Ohio State are at number six with one loss. Not having a Big 12 championship game might help them leap over TCU (number five) or Baylor (number 7) when the final, decisive rankings come out, but unless one of the current top four teams lose another game, it’s hard seeing the Buckeyes make it into the final four and the national championship semifinals. But maybe the complex situation in the SEC can offer them a chance.
The SEC West might hold all of the quality in the conference, but there still is an East vs West championship game. Right now, the 20th ranked Missouri will play Alabama in it, but Georgia, ranked 10th overall following their impressive win over Auburn, are probably the better team, with a better chance of competing against anyone, and are still capable of winning the division. Surely, that will help knock off the other SEC West team from the top 4, right?
Unless more surprising losses come our way – Florida State against Florida, Boston College and/or Duke or Georgia Tech in the title game, Alabama to Auburn and Oregon to Oregon State or the Pac-12 championship game, the Ducks are the only team from the Pac-12 that can make it into the playoffs. Arizona State losing to the Beavers made sure of that, and things are wide open once again in the South division of the conference. In the Big 12, unless one of the teams loses before the season is over, it’s going to be very hard picking who makes the final four, unless both of them are cut out of the picture.