OU football: Are Sooners under-ranked at No. 4?
The College Football Playoff committee didn’t have a bunch of serious decisions to make Saturday night and Sunday morning, and thus there isn’t much to gripe about.
Ohio State or LSU at No. 1? That’s really the only debate, and the committee went with LSU. When I ranked them myself, I found them incredibly close.
I ended up going with LSU for this reason. The best win in America this year is LSU winning at Alabama, and the Tigers also beat Georgia in Atlanta. Those two wins are a little better than Ohio State’s best wins – and the Buckeyes have some great wins.
Here are my rankings, the top 20 among Power 5 teams:
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1. LSU 13-0: LSU’s victory over Auburn, who I have ranked eighth and who the committee ranks 12th, is the Tigers’ fourth-best win. That’s amazing.
2. Ohio State 13-0: Fabulous season and fabulous resume’. Just not quite as good as LSU’s.
3. Oklahoma 12-1: Yes, I have the Sooners above Clemson. OU beat Baylor twice. OU’s next-best wins (at Oklahoma State, Iowa State) were as good as Clemson’s best wins (Texas A&M, Virginia, neither a true road game).
4. Clemson 13-0: There probably exists a great team at Clemson. But probably is the right word. We don’t know. If you believe Clemson is great, it’s because you’re looking at years past.
5. Georgia 11-2: Where exactly was the committee supposed to put the Bulldogs? So I love it that the committee kept Georgia at No. 5. Sure, its home loss to South Carolina is inexplicable. But Georgia won at Auburn, beat Florida in Jacksonville and beat Notre Dame Between the Hedges. Three powerhouse wins.
6. Oregon 11-2: The Ducks had some good wins and now has a really good win, Utah in the Pac-12 title game, so I agree with the committee having Oregon No. 6.
7. Wisconsin 10-3: The Badgers have two losses to Ohio State, which sort of offset that loss at Illinois. The committee ranked the Badgers No. 8, so we’re close. Wins over Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota make Wisconsin’s resume’ quite stout.
8. Auburn 10-3: The Tigers are 2-3 against the committee’s top 13 teams, including wins over Oregon and Alabama. So I’d say the committee had Auburn underbanked at 12th.
9. Baylor 11-2: The committee gave Baylor no respect for the longest time, but after going head-to-head with the Sooners – losses of 34-31 after a 28-3 lead and 30-23 in overtime – the committee loves it some Bears. Baylor didn’t even drop in the committee rankings this week. College football now believes in Baylor.
10. Penn State 10-2: The committee put the Nittany Lions No. 10, which meant a Cotton Bowl berth for Penn State, and I can’t disagree. Rock-solid resume’ – road losses to teams ranging from great (Ohio State) to good (Minnesota), plus victories over Iowa and Michigan.
11. Florida 10-2: The committee put the Gators ninth, and that’s about where I had them last week. But under further inspection, I dropped UF. Just one excellent win, over Auburn.
12. Michigan 9-3: The Wolverines have three losses to top-10 teams (at Wisconsin, at Penn State, Ohio State), plus wins over Iowa and Notre Dame. That’s a heck of a resume’.
13. Notre Dame 10-2: The committee says 15th; a little undervalued but in the ballpark.
14. Utah 11-2: The committee says 11th. But the Utes showed Friday night they weren’t an elite team. Their best win remains what? At Brigham Young? At Washington? Arizona State?
15. Alabama 10-2: Clemson’s resume’ exactly, except the Crimson Tide had to play LSU and Auburn. Bama might be the nation’s third-best team, for all I know. But Alabama’s best win is in Utah territory – at Texas A&M or home against Tennessee. That’s why the committee said 13th.
16. Iowa 9-3: The committee says 16th, so hey, good job. Just a solid, solid team.
17. Minnesota 10-2: The Gophers really have a one-game resume’ – beating Penn State in Minneapolis. That’s Minnesota’s only victory over a Power 5 foe that finished with a winning record. And that’s why the committee said 18th.
18. Southern Cal 8-4: The Trojans are keeping coach Clay Helton, and you know, it's justifiable. USC had a good year against a tough schedule. SC played 11 legit games. That’s one or two more than most every team in America. The committee said 22nd, but that includes four mid-majors above the Trojans.
19. Oklahoma State 8-4: The committee put OSU at 25th, with five mid-majors above the Cowboys. The only team I would I complain about above OSU is Virginia. Now that’s a mediocre team.
20. Kansas State 8-4: Unranked by the committee. Turns out KSU’s slide after upsetting the Sooners didn’t cost OU.