It is really supposed to be about the groups — not the conferences — but the hottest CFP rankings still left specified leagues giddy and some others gloomy.
(We’ll get to the SEC, which continued to leading the rankings, albeit now with Alabama as an alternative of Georgia, in a bit.)
The ACC and Large Ten toasted CFP chairman Kirby Hocutt and the variety committee Tuesday night. The ACC is practically assured of a playoff location, and the Large Ten, which several wrote off two weeks in the past, is scarcely on the outdoors. The Large 12, meanwhile, are unable to truly feel overly protected about its placement, while the Pac-12, as anticipated, should start out wanting forward to future season.
Let us start out with the ACC, which has improved its rep through the playoff era and now offers two of the leading a few groups in No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Miami. It is really a bit astonishing that the Hurricanes, still fantastic on the season and coming off their greatest effectiveness against Notre Dame, didn’t leapfrog Clemson, which struggled to put away 3-5 Florida Point out ahead of pulling away late.
Clemson’s in general profile plainly resonates with the committee, primarily its 7 days 2 acquire above now resurgent Auburn. Even though victories above Virginia Tech (no longer rated) and Louisville (under no circumstances rated) usually are not as handy, Clemson’s in general agenda strength, which includes a acquire above No. 19 NC Point out, kept it forward of Miami. But if both equally groups acquire their remaining video games — Clemson faces The Citadel and rival South Carolina Miami has Virginia and Pitt — it sets up a playoff perform-in in the ACC championship.
Could Miami still get in as a a single-loss at-significant with a shut defeat to Clemson? That appears achievable, but the Canes shouldn’t financial institution on it.
The SEC still appears likelier than any league to get two groups into the closing leading 4. Even though Georgia fell 6 places to No. 7, it controls its personal destiny. Barring slip-ups against Kentucky or Georgia Tech, Kirby Smart’s group has a playoff perform-in opportunity in Atlanta, wherever it will encounter Alabama or a rematch with Auburn, which is up to No. 6 immediately after its 40-17 acquire. Alabama and Auburn seem to have apparent paths to the leading 4 by successful out, and Alabama’s increase to No. 1 will increase the possibility that it cracks the leading 4 even with a shut loss at Auburn in the Iron Bowl or, most most likely, to Georgia in the SEC title video game following a acquire at Auburn. Gus Malzahn’s group are unable to manage any missteps, but it remains much and away the most sensible two-loss playoff prospect.
The Large Ten is merely striving to have a single entrant in the playoff for the fourth consecutive yr. By climbing a few places to No. 5, Wisconsin has put by itself in a good placement. The Badgers host No. 24 Michigan this 7 days and most likely will encounter No. 9 Ohio Point out in the Large Ten title video game. Wisconsin’s acquire above No. 23 Northwestern, which is favored to acquire out and finish 9-3, will help its profile.
Ohio Point out incredibly is not out of this thing, even with two double-digit losses, together with a historic defeat at now-unranked Iowa. Not only did the Buckeyes move up five places immediately after crushing Michigan Point out, but also the Spartans fell only five places to No. 17, even with a 45-place defeat. Ohio Point out is assisted by its acquire above Penn Point out, which inexplicably rose 4 places to No. 10 immediately after beating Rutgers. Glance, I like Penn Point out, and the Lions haven’t absorbed a undesirable loss, but what changed so a lot in their profile from previous 7 days? A acquire above 4-5 Rutgers shouldn’t completely transform the committee’s perspective so drastically.
The committee soured on the Large 12 this 7 days. Oklahoma’s 38-20 acquire above TCU, its second consecutive signature acquire, resulted in an only a single-location increase. Why is Oklahoma’s profile — wins above Ohio Point out (highway), Oklahoma Point out (highway) and TCU (residence) — weaker than Clemson’s? Does the Auburn acquire actually resonate so a lot? Oklahoma even has a much more excusable loss (an Iowa Point out group with two AP leading-five wins) than Clemson’s (4-6 Syracuse). The gap is a bit baffling.
TCU tumbled 6 places to No. 12 immediately after its loss in Norman, and Oklahoma Point out moved up just two places immediately after a acquire at Iowa Point out, which is no longer rated. When Michigan entered the rankings with no excellent wins, West Virginia remained out.
Oklahoma will be good if it operates the desk. The Sooners will encounter TCU or Oklahoma Point out in the league title video game. But any slip-up could put the full Large 12 on incredibly thin ice.
The Pac-12’s slender playoff hopes seemed to die Friday night at Stanford Stadium, as Washington absorbed its second loss, which resulted in a 9-location fall to No. 18 on Tuesday night. USC appears like the league’s only remaining prospect, but at No. 11, the Trojans would have to climb above so several groups to get to the leading 4. Washington Point out has wins above USC and No. 22 Stanford and still can beat Washington and USC once again, but at No. 14, Mike Leach’s group needs a wonder.
Talking of miracles, Notre Dame had to keep away from a second loss to retain its playoff quest heading, and a no-demonstrate in South Florida resulted in a five-location fall to No. 8. There is as well a lot targeted visitors for the Irish to get through, primarily with no a conference title to screen.
UCF got a bit much more regard this 7 days, going up a few places to No. 15. The Group of 5’s location in the New Year’s 6 most likely will go to the winner of the AAC title video game, which will most likely be No. 21 Memphis against UCF or still-unranked South Florida. But you should not neglect about Boise Point out, which sneaked into the rankings at No. 25.
With Notre Dame out of the way and the Pac-12 basically signing up for the Irish in the cold, that leaves 4 leagues, each featuring numerous candidates, competing for 4 places. The 7 days 12 slate isn’t going to offer several playoff-shaping video games other than Wisconsin-Michigan, as it really is tune-up time in the SEC and in other places.
But leagues should know wherever they stand immediately after Tuesday night, placing up a mad sprint to the finish line on Dec. 3. Buckle up.