Despite being the only undefeated team in the nation, Florida State keep falling in committee rankings for the College Football Playoff, while TCU move up to number 3, sitting right behind Alabama (number one) and Oregon (number two), while Ohio State and Baylor are waiting for an opening.
The committee doesn’t like Florida State, and it seems that every win for the Seminoles is treated like a loss. They didn’t impress against Florida, so they got bumped further down. The Seminoles have one game left to play: The ACC Championship game against number 11 Georgia Tech. A loss there and they’ll be dropped for good from the playoff contention. With the Yellow Jackets beating Georgia, Clemson and Duke this season, that doesn’t sound like such a far fetched option.
The thing with Alabama and Oregon is clear. Both of them have the committees back – all they need to do is win their conference. Alabama will play for the SEC title against Missouri, up to number 16 despite not being the best team in the SEC East. Georgia, losing to Georgia Tech, were dropped to number 14. Still higher than Missouri, but without enough wins in the conference. Even if Missouri beat Alabama, it’s hard to see them getting into the playoff, unless the committee is all about rewarding conference champions.
Oregon are in a similar situation to Alabama: Win the Pac-12, facing an Arizona team (number seven) that they’ve lost to in the regular season, and they’re in the playoff. Arizona make for an interesting story and situation. If they beat Oregon, do they jump over Baylor and Ohio State? That’s not too far fetched, especially with the Big 12 possibly being punished eventually for not having a championship game.
Ohio State are hoping that conference championships mean something. They’re at #5 at the moment, but need to go through a very tough Wisconsin team in the conference championship game, a place they slipped up in last season. The Buckeyes would have gone to play for the national championship against Florida State had they not lost to Michigan State. This season, they’ll be without their top two quarterbacks heading into the biggest game of the year. Wisconsin, if they beat the Buckeyes, won’t make the leap into the top 4.
The Big 12 presents another complicates situation. TCU get the committee love over Baylor despite losing to Baylor. Kansas State, number nine overall, have a shot at winning the conference as well, but that won’t get them in the playoff. One thing we’ve learned from these rankings is that no one is safe. A team not doing well but still winning can be punished. This isn’t the AP Poll which is all about the win-loss record. Even if TCU win their next game, it doesn’t guarantee them a spot in the top 4, or even being over Baylor.