The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released its first set of rankings on Tuesday. For the most part it looked the way we expected it to look, with one very notable exception, but more on that in a minute.
First, here are the committee’s full rankings for this week:
- Texas A&M
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- Virginia Tech
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- Western Michigan
- Boise State
- Washington State
Remember after week one, when every talking head in college football raced to his camera or microphone to breathlessly proclaim the death of the SEC?
The CFP committee apparently disagrees with this.
If the College Football Playoff began this weekend, two SEC teams would play each other. With two SEC teams in the top four, three SEC squads in the top 10, and five in the top 25, that’s a lot of respect for a supposedly dead conference.
On the other hand, the CFP committee apparently hates the Pac 12. Sliding a one-loss Texas A&M team ahead of an undefeated Washington team will turn some heads and trigger more than a few angry Huskies fans.
In reality, Washington has played two ranked opponents, one of them an absolute fraud of a Stanford team no longer even ranked in the top 25, and the other a game they nearly lost to 17th-ranked Utah.
Texas A&M has played four ranked opponents and beaten three of them, with their single loss on the road against the greatest college football coach in the history of college football coaches, and a game that A&M lost by a mere 19 points. Yes, we have reached the point in the Alabama dynasty where we give credit to opposing teams for losing by less than 20.
By ranking A&M fourth, the committee put the Aggies in a great position. Not just because of the ranking, but by virtue of the fact that A&M has already played the toughest part of their schedule. A flawed Ole Miss team and the LSU Tigers with their interim coach remain the only stumbling blocks to A&M winning out and holding on to that playoff spot.
The lone team that might come in and take that spot is committee favorite Ohio State. The Buckeyes have the worst loss, by far, out of any of the one-loss teams in this poll on the road against an unranked Penn State team.
Yet, the committee put them in a prime position to jump back into the fray with games against tenth-ranked Nebraska, a tough conference road game against Michigan State, and of course the ultimate grudge match at the end of the year against Michigan.
The Buckeyes have a great chance if they win out to vault Washington and A&M and give us another Urban Meyer vs. Nick Saban first round CFP matchup.
Surely the CFP Committee had no intention of setting up that scenario when they put these rankings together—none at all.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn