Tramel: How far can OU rise in College Football Playoff rankings?
The initial College Football Playoff rankings will be released Tuesday night, and I don’t see OU -- or any other Big 12 team -- in the top 10.
I shouldn’t say that. I don’t have a Big 12 team in my top 10, rankings that are based on who you played, where you played and how you did.
I’ve got the 6-2 Sooners ranked 12th, just behind 4-0 Ohio State and just ahead of 5-2 Georgia, with Iowa State at No. 14.
I have no idea what the CFP committee will do. Our methodology doesn’t match. The committee likes the eyeball test, and that will help the Sooners. So I have no idea. But I’d guess OU would be somewhere around 10, 12, 14. Something like that.
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The good news. The Sooners are accustomed to reaching the playoff from far back in the field.
Here’s where OU was each year on the first playoff rankings.
2015: 7-1, 15th; the Sooners finished 11-1 and climbed all the way to fourth, making the playoff.
2016: 6-2, 14th; the Sooners finished 10-2 but climbed only to seventh and didn’t make the playoff.
2017: 7-1, fifth; the Sooners finished 12-1 and climbed all the way to second, making the playoff.
2018: 7-1, seventh; the Sooners finished 12-1 and climbed all the way to fourth, making the playoff.
2019: 7-1, 10th; the Sooners finished 12-1 and climbed all the way to fourth, making the playoff.
Of course, the key is not original ranking. The key is the number of defeats. A two-loss team never has made the playoff. The year the Sooners had two losses, they didn’t make the playoff. Every other year of OU’s current Big 12 championship run, the Sooners did make the playoff, every time with one defeat at the initial rankings and then still one defeat at the final rankings.
Here is my top 10 for this week:
1. Alabama 7-0: The Crimson Tide has quality wins over Texas A&M and Georgia, and Auburn, 5-2, can be another one this week.
2. Notre Dame 8-0: The Fighting Irish have a big test Friday at North Carolina.
3. Texas A&M 5-1: The Aggies have just one marquee win, but that win, Florida, is a big one.
4. Northwestern 5-0: The Wildcats have made up a lot of ground in five Big Ten weeks. Why Northwestern over Ohio State? The Wildcats’ victims are other 10-4. The 4-0 Buckeyes’ other victims are a combined 6-9.
5. Clemson 7-1: The Tigers seem to be on a collision course for a Notre Dame rematch.
6. Florida 6-1: Can the Gators stand up to Alabama. We’ll soon find out. UF’s magic number to win the SEC East -- any combination of two Florida wins or Georgia losses secures the division for the Gators.
7. Cincinnati 8-0: Another good win for the Bearcats, over Central Florida, and they will get the chance for two more, at Tulsa and then in the American Conference championship game.
8. Miami 7-1: The Hurricanes keep rolling along. But they still face North Carolina, on December 12.
9. Brigham Young 9-0: The Cougars are hoping to schedule a game this week at 2-0 Washington. The UW-Washington State game was canceled. Now that would be interesting.
10. Coastal Carolina 8-0: Sorry, Ohio State fans, but the Chanticleers have more good wins. They’ve beaten both Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian State. Only Indiana qualifies as a good win for the Buckeyes.