College Football Playoff Rankings
Last night, the College Football Playoff Committee released their first poll of the 2017 season. There were some teams expected in the poll, others however, surprised many fans and experts alike. Let’s take a look of who made it in the Top-4 and who got left out.
First Rankings: Top 2️⃣5️⃣ pic.twitter.com/2nefOfDhyV
— CFBPlayoff (@CFBPlayoff) October 31, 2017
Georgia Bulldogs (8-0)
The last time the Bulldogs were ranked #1, that team had a tandem of a quarterback named Matthew Stafford and a wide receiver named AJ Green. The Bulldogs will try to avoid the late-season slumps of years past and win the SEC for the first time since 2005. The goal going in the home stretch of this season, is by silencing the critics saying Georgia is undeserving. Head coach Kirby Smart, has not let the high ranking get his own or his player’s heads going into the final month of the regular season. Quarterback Jake Fromm and running-back Nick Chubb’s performances in the stretch are something to watch for in the playoff picture.
Next game: vs South Carolina (6-2)
Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)
For the majority of this season, Nick Saban and company enjoyed sitting on top of the college football throne. Despite facing threats from other teams, the Tide continue to win and do it in convincing fashion. However, Alabama’s strength of schedule and whom they beat affected how the CFP committee ranked them last night. The #2 ranking will be motivation for the Tide as they are in great position to win the SEC West. The rest of their schedule features 3 ranked teams in the Top-25; two of those games are on the road.
Next game: vs #19 LSU (6-2)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1)
You might be asking yourself, how is Notre Dame ranked #3? The answer, plain and simple. The Irish racked up key wins by beating then #11 Southern California and #14 NC State in back-to-back weeks. Head coach Brian Kelly is making the critics of this year’s team forget about the dismal 4-8 record in 2016. Unlike the teams above and below them in the rankings, the Irish don’t have the advantage of facing ranked teams in successive weeks. However, keep an eye on that Josh Adams kid for the rest of the year; he could play spoils in the Heisman Trophy race.
Next game: vs Wake Forest (5-3)
Clemson Tigers (7-1)
If you factor out the loss at Syracuse, the Tigers could have been the #1 team in the CFP Poll. The Tigers’ #4 ranking is the first of the many surprises going in to the last month of the season. To erase the memories of that heartbreaking loss, quarterback Kelly Bryant and company will look to take #20 NC State out of the conference championship picture. A loss, however, will jeopardize the chance of a third consecutive year in the playoff.
Next game: @ #20 NC State (6-2)
The Big 12 (#5 Oklahoma, #8 TCU, #11 Oklahoma State, #15 Iowa State)
The Big 12 Conference could once again be shafted of a playoff spot for the second year in a row thanks to wins from the biggest surprise team of 2017, Iowa State. Oklahoma and TCU still have the chance to win out, but Oklahoma State and Iowa State may think otherwise and the conference crown could be split, possibly putting the Big 12’s reputation on the line.
The Big 10 (#6 Ohio State, #7 Penn State, #9 Wisconsin)
It now looks like that Ohio State has secured the Big 10 East Conference, but a playoff berth is far from certain. The Buckeyes, although I highly despise them, should have been deserving of a playoff berth after Saturday’s comeback win against Penn State. Wisconsin, being one of the few unbeaten teams left in the nation, was another key omission from the Top-4.
To be honest, the committee swung, and missed in the top-4. While I do agree with the Bulldogs and Alabama being up there, Notre Dame and Clemson’s addition really adds controversy thanks to the Irish’s strength of schedule and Clemson’s loss to Syracuse. Ohio State should have been either #3 in the rankings as well as Wisconsin rounding out. With this week’s slate of games coming up, the committee will look at if the Top-4 are really deserving of a playoff spot.