News & Analysis

5 things we learned from the College Football Playoff ranking

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 03: on September 3, 2016 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

The College Football Playoff committee has officially released their second ranking of the Top 25. Last week’s initial entry came with controversy, as the committee shocked the nation by putting Texas A&M at No. 4 while leaving undefeated Washington out of the mix. A Texas A&M loss to Mississippi State took care of that quickly, while the rest of the top seven teams came out strong in their respective games last weekend.

Some quick thoughts on the second College Football Playoff standings.

  1. The committee got it right this week

A week after putting Texas A&M at No. 4 in a questionable call, the committee has the correct four teams this week. The top three was never in doubt with Alabama, Clemson and Michigan locked in, but there was a big question about the No. 4 spot. Both Washington and Ohio State dominated their respective opponents last weekend, but Washington’s undefeated record wins out for now as they earn the final spot in the top four.

  1. Texas A&M is still lurking after their loss to Mississippi State

Everyone expected the Texas A&M bubble to burst after their loss, but they still managed to come in at No. 8 this week. The big story is LSU’s tumble from No. 13 to No. 24 with a 10-0 loss to the best team in the nation while Texas A&M fell only four spots after losing to unranked Mississippi State. Of course, the Tigers and the Aggies will face each other later in the month but for now, it’s curious as to why there was such a discrepancy in how far they fell after their respective defeats.

  1. USC joins the Top 25, ready for collision course with Washington

As much as we love what Washington has done to this point, they have a difficult schedule down the stretch and it starts this weekend with USC. The Trojans have turned around their season since turning to QB Sam Darnold as their starter, and their passing attack will challenge Washington like few teams have to this point. USC got destroyed by Alabama to kick off the season while also losing to Stanford and Utah along the way, but the committee has rewarded their recent strong play with a No. 20 ranking.

  1. The SEC East has no representation in the Top 25

With Florida’s loss to Arkansas, the SEC East no longer has a team in the Top 25, even with Florida sitting with only two losses on the year. It’s still a wide-open race for the division as a number of teams are still in the mix for the right to play the SEC West champion in Atlanta, but there’s a clear drop-off when comparing resumes of teams from the East with those in the West. The SEC West is carrying the conference here in 2016.

  1. The Big Ten has four teams in the top 10

We know that Michigan and Ohio State are among the nation’s elite teams this season, but Wisconsin is still in the Big-Ten mix while Penn State has been one of the hottest teams in the country in recent weeks. Wisconsin’s only two losses have come to Michigan and Ohio State, certainly reasonable for a top-10 team, while Penn State has lost to Michigan and Pittsburgh while handing Ohio State their only defeat of the year. Give the Big Ten credit as the conference is much stronger both at the top end and from a depth standpoint this season.

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