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Playoff Committee Ranking: Rapid Reactions

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We all knew who number one would be, but a new number two and some names we all thought out of the running creeping slowly toward the top four highlight the latest round of College Football Playoff rankings.

Dawg Stats: I don't know how anyone can really make a case against Cincinnati at this point. UGA SEC runner up, and 1 loss B1G/Big 12 champs I guess. But, when UGA wins SEC, Cincy deserves a bid over a 2 loss Bama. If someone wants to make the case for Bama over Cincy, then we must concede that the “perfection” of the college football regular season is a farce.

There is plenty of chaos potential. OSU or Michigan can lose to Wisconsin. Sooners might have to beat Cowboys in back to back weeks. Baylor can upset the 11-1 Cowboys in Big 12 Championship. I think that this get messy before we get to the final four teams. Notre Dame can absolutely back door this thing... Georgia winning out for a matchup with a. 4 seed seems like a significant advantage.

Chalk = Bama OSU UGA Sooners

Chaos = UGA Wisconsin Cincy and Oklahoma State.

If Wisconsin makes a run and gets a seed, the Notre Dame folks will lose their minds. For that reason alone - I am cheering for the Badgers. This scenario would put 3 of the 4 best defensive success rate allowed in the playoff. Imagine Saban being left out of this field.

Top 4 Defensive Success Rates in Power 5

  • Georgia 30.5%
  • Wisconsin 30.8%
  • NC State 33.3%
  • Oklahoma State 34.4%

There are a couple of rivalry games that are also elimination games

RedCrake: Georgia at #1, yada yada yada. Yes, I just yada yada’d your Georgia Bulldogs being the #1 team in the land... because they obviously deserve to be. Also, I might be getting a tad bit drunk on their complete dominance of all comers.

Ohio State follows at #2, which might surprise some folks, but they deserve it at least as much as Alabama did (on paper, anyway). The Crimson Tide drop to #3. I don’t really have any thoughts on this other than that Alabama Twitter is gonna be a lot of fun to read tonight. The Cincinnati Bearcats are now at #4 and in the playoff field (for the moment), so maybe the fanbase will finally take a breath and calm down for a couple weeks. That said, it wouldn’t shock me if they drop back out if things fall right with the rest of the Top 10. Then again, it also wouldn’t shock me if they wet the bed against Houston. Michigan at #5 isn’t of much consequence. Beat the Buckeyes and they’re sitting pretty (and, for the record, I very much support this happening). Lose and it’s no longer a going concern. Notre Dame is on the outside looking in at #6 and I don’t see that changing because I think the committee is afraid of the backlash of having a 12-0 team leapfrogged by a team they beat (even if it is Cincinnati).

#7 is the Oklahoma State Cowboys and an awful lot is going to come down to how they perform against Oklahoma this week. MIke Gundy’s boys don’t have a great history with coming through in the clutch, so we’ll see if they can. Baylor checks in at #8 which is probably high, but given the rest of the landscape, I can’t really argue with the placement. Ole MIss comes in at #9. Good for Lane Kiffin. It would be a shame if MIke Leach found a way to plunder a win in the Egg Bowl. A real shame. OU at #10 seems about right, although I’m not convinced they’re actually a Top 10 team. Overall, it feels like the Big 12 is a bit over-represented, but I’ve gotten used to that.

Others: Oregon and Michigan State both had significant drops (to #11 and #12 respectively), and that’s fair. Texas A&M continues to benefit from that one big win against Alabama and is now #15. Utah moves up to #19 as they should after bludgeoning #3 Oregon. Honestly, they could have moved up more, but I always thought Oregon was fool’s gold (although I’m sure that’s just my anti-Pac-12 bias talking). Arkansas stays in the Top 25 at #25, which is just fine by me (in terms of SOS and my love for Sam Pittman).

MaconDawg:

Night. A comfortable living room somewhere in the heart of Georgia. MaconDawg sits polishing off a plate of pulled pork nachos and watching the Playoff Committee unfurl it’s latest masterpiece....

{MaconDawg hears scratching on the windows}

“That was probably just the wind. Or an Ohio State receiver blowing by a Spartan defender on a skinny post.”

{Goes back to playoff reveal}

“Well the good news is that Cincinnati is definitely going to be rewarded for beating Notre Dame and the Irish are absolutely out of the discussion ....”

“OH SON OF A ...”

Lugnut Dawg:

This almost feels like the 2003 and 2005 lead-in to the SEC title game, where you knew Georgia’s fate late in the season, but also that a bigger stage awaits. Then, the narrative was that Georgia ‘backed in’ to Atlanta. It’s bizarre thinking that barring a blowout loss to the Tide, Georgia is in the CFP. If that happens, this team is in trouble, because the whole ‘can’t beat Bama narrative’ is hanging over its head for a few weeks until 12/31.

On the other hand... few things can kill the Bama narrative more than not only beating them, but being the reason they miss the CFP.

DavetheDawg:

First off, if any Tech fans were watching I’m sure they were absolutely enamored with Rece Davis essentially announcing this Saturday’s COFH tilt as a fait accompli (which it is).

Cincinnati moving into the mix as Oregon has exited is just. Alabama sliding a spot is undoubtedly causing some gastric distress over in the Yellowhammer state this evening as there is a bit more pressure added to them over the next 2 Saturdays, but is appropriate considering how well the Buckeyes are grooving and their destruction of the Fightin’ Mel Tuckers. I still contend that a physical game last weekend with Arkansas and another potentially physical Iron Bowl (hey, never count out Auburn’s willingness to chop block and poke eyes) could force Bama to match some intensity and expend some energy while we will probably be resting a bunch of guys in the second half again. Bama ain’t getting in with 2 losses. Back on point...

I don’t see Notre Dame sliding into the top 4 (join a conference, dudes) and Michigan isn’t going to beat Ohio State this weekend despite playing that game in the big house. Oklahoma State is at 7 now, but if things fall a certain way after the dust settles this weekend, they have a decent chance of sneaking in. Now, watch Michigan pull a shocker and Bama get 2 punts blocked for touchdowns on Saturday...

HNDawg:

Welcome to the party, Cincinnati. This is shaping up to be quite the Selection Sunday. Let’s say Cincinnati and Oklahoma State win out, and Alabama loses to UGA in the SEC Championship Game. Which two teams get in?

I truly believe Alabama would be left out in this scenario. Cincinnati would jump them, and Oklahoma State’s Big 12 Championship and closing with two top ten victories would be enough to also jump over the two loss Tide.

Of course, this also assumes that Ohio State wins the Big Ten, and I know of two future first round defensive ends in Ann Arbor who are looking to make C.J. Stroud look more human than he did against Michigan State. That Michigan defensive line could be the great neutralizer this Saturday.

Finally, welcome back Clemson. That opening night win for UGA is looking much better than it did a few weeks ago.

Time to take care of business in Atlanta, Part One.

DawgOutWest:

Ohio St is #2, as they should be, but looking at Michigan at #5 I think we should be asking more questions about whether or not the Buckeyes could get into the CFP with a close loss to Michigan. I think that’s on the table if they lost a classic to the Wolverines.

I think losing again is off the table for the Crimson Tide. The performance against Arkansas was another example of Alabama struggling against a team that a dominant team should not.

Thanks for coming out, PAC-12! We will now enter a fifth straight year where the conference will miss out on the Playoff.

I like seeing Cincinnati at #4 as a UGA fan. Georgia played a tough game with the Bearcats last year when they were down a ton of starters and still thought that Xavier Truss was a tackle (he should be starting at Guard for Warren Ericson right now but that’s for another time). A UGA-Cincy matchup with a national title berth on the line is a wonderful thing for Georgia.

Also, I know that the scenarios shouldn’t play out in a way where it seems possible for Notre Dame to make it into the CFP, but I have seen this movie before and I won’t believe they aren’t getting in until the field is announced.

Before you read Sarah’s populist take on how the sport should structure its postseason, I want you all to consider something. The following games will have an outcome on which teams participate in this year’s College Football Playoff and how the Semifinal matchups shake out…

Georgia - Georgia Tech

Ohio St - Michigan

Alabama - Auburn

Cincinnati - East Carolina

Notre Dame - Stanford

Oklahoma St - Oklahoma

Baylor - Kansas St (The winner of Bedlam really needs Baylor to continue being a Top 10 team)

Michigan St - Penn St (Michigan really needs that loss to the Spartans look better than it is. OSU would like their drubbing of the Spartans last week to look better)

Oregon - Oregon State (Does Ohio State’s loss to the Ducks seem much less acceptable if they lose out to Utah (potentially twice) and Oregon St?)

Texas A&M - LSU (That A&M loss is looking less and less playoff worthy each week, Crimson Tide)

Arkansas - Missouri (Bama struggling with the Hogs for 4 quarters at home when UGA KO’d the same Arkansas team in about 10 minutes of game play would look really bad if they lost to the Alpha Nerd and his Missouri team. Georgia would like the Razorbacks to remain ranked for resume purposes in the event of a loss to Alabama in Atlanta)

Clemson - South Carolina (In the event of an SECCG loss for Georgia, seeding is going to be up in the air and the Dawgs would probably prefer a scenario where they won’t see Ohio St until a potential National Championship game. Having a ranked win over Clemson on their resume would come into play)

WE WANT MORE MEANINGFUL GAMES DURING THE SEASON they screamed as they conveniently forgot how much less entertaining Michigan-Ohio St, Oklahoma-Ok St, Cincy-ECU, Alabama-Auburn, and ND-Stanford would be if all the contenders involved could cruise into the CFP with a loss.

College Football has the most meaningful regular season in sports… That’s why those 3:30 CBS games in late October feel like the whole World is on the line and you’re going to have Michigan-Ohio St on a second screen as Georgia finishes its drubbing of the Yellow Jackets this Saturday.

Yes, this is my most curmudgeonly take, but I also fell in love with this sport because a single upset can ruin a team’s chances at a national title. Was 2018 Georgia one of the 4 best teams in college football? I firmly believe so. Should they have performed like a Top 4 team when they went on the road to LSU and got their asses waxed earlier in the season? I firmly believe so. Would they have beaten that Clemson team who annihilated Alabama? No.

I don’t need to watch Coastal Carolina and Grayson McCall get killed by this Georgia defense to feel like they were a worthy champion. I also don’t need to see the teams with the highest percentages of future pros potentially play 17 games. Before you say that we should shorten the regular season and cut out games like UGA vs Charleston Southern, I will remind you that the game the Dawgs played last Saturday provided a massive percentage of CSU’s athletic funding for the next year. Who’s the non-inclusive one now, buttheads? So you don’t want G5 and FCS programs to have funding huh? Forgive me if I’d rather have more kids be able to go to college for free than see Georgia or Ohio State pound UTSA this holiday season.

If you want more playoff games then you need to realize that you have a bunch this week and a bunch more next week. You also had a bunch every week of every college football season ever.

SarahGDawg:

Here is the thing, I have always been a loud proponent of a playoff system that allows conference champions to participate. It just makes logical sense to me. In sharing my views, I discovered that there is a deep-seated hatred of an expanded playoff. A passionate group, who reside both permanently in my Twitter mentions and perhaps as writers on this site, view the playoff allowing amatuer athletes who went undefeated to get a chance a real post-season, as the ultimate commodification to this sport. With that in mind, I am conflicted with Cincy’s ranking. Because the truth of the matter is that this Cincy team is worse than its predecessor. So while I am glad they are included, the inevitable homicide that Georgia would commit if the rankings were to stay as they are, will only give this an-expanded-playoff-is the-root-of-all-evil group further ammunition that every expanded game will be a drubbing. (Which is false but I don’t have the energy for y’all today). This group will conveniently forget that this has happened with other Power 5 teams, and that Cincy almost beat us last year, while they throw darts at my face for suggesting winning your conference should have significance. Sadly, the fact of the matter is, this Cincy team is a bit of a paper tiger. They have struggled with some teams that they shouldn’t have and have not looked as good as last year’s squad. So, although I still think going undefeated should matter and be valued in a sport with amateur athletes, I worry that this Cincy team may not be the best flag bearer for the wave of the future. That being said- I’ll take them as our first-round team every day of the week. And the team that should be number one is all that I can worry about.

Lugnut Dawg:

Not to discount Cincy, but a 14 UGA-Cincy game almost feels like a Georgia-Hawaii Sugar Bowl with more glitz. Georgia will spend weeks hearing national media talk about how it’s the Bearcats chance to take down the big boys...and Cincy will have that anvil hanging over its head. It’s almost the point where the Committee will say, find, we’ll give a Group of 5 a chance...but be careful what you ask for.