5 things B1G fans should anticipate when the first College Football Playoff rankings are revealed
The calendar has turned to November and the college football season has entered its final month. The long awaited return of the College Football Playoff rankings is upon us.
Later tonight, the first dose of the College Football Playoff rankings will be revealed, setting the stage for the remaining four weeks of the regular season. The USA Today Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll become essentially irrelevant.
These rankings always come under pretty harsh scrutiny, and the conversations had on ESPN’s coverage quickly turn to heated debates on social media. So, in order to prepare B1G fans for what’s sure to be a frustrating evening — at least for some — I’ve come up with five things to anticipate for tonight’s “big reveal” in college football.
Hopefully this helps you prepare for what’s to come later tonight.
Five SEC teams will be in the Top 12
Go ahead and prepare yourselves for this one now. Five SEC teams — Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida and Auburn — were all ranked in the top 12 spots of the USA Today Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll this week. So, I don’t really imagine we’ll see much of a change when the College Football Playoff selection committee reveals the rankings.
First, let me give the SEC some credit — Alabama, LSU and Georgia deserve to be ranked in the top 7 spots right now. That much, I’ll concede. But having a two-loss Auburn and two-loss Florida ahead of undefeated Baylor and Minnesota is, in my opinion, asinine. Unfortunately, I don’t expect to see much of a difference.
I wouldn’t even put it out of the realm of possibility that Florida lands at the No. 10 spot, giving the SEC teams four teams in the top 10. If that’s going to drive you nuts, I suggest having a stress ball near or perhaps a cushy pillow to yell into during the program.
Ohio State gets dinged because Nebraska and Michigan State are a combined 8-9
Everyone has been giving Ohio State plenty of recognition this season, as well they should. The Buckeyes have dominated every opponent on the schedule, winning every game by at least 24 points. They’ve proven to be one of the best teams in the country through the first two months of the season.
But I can’t help but think someone on that analyst panel is going to attempt to take on the “devil’s advocate” role in an attempt to poke holes in Ohio State’s case. The Buckeyes have actually played one of the toughest schedules in the country among the unbeatens, but with Michigan State sitting at .500 (4-4), Nebraska dropping below that mark (4-5), and no non-conference Power Five opponents on the schedule, Ohio State is vulnerable to criticism.
Even if it’s unnecessary.
Minnesota’s resumé will get criticized by David Pollack
Iowa 2015. Wisconsin 2017. Minnesota 2019.
David Pollack nearly experienced self-induced aneurisms because of how passionately he vetoed against the idea that the 2015 Hawkeyes and 2017 Badgers deserved a spot in the College Football Playoff, even if they went undefeated, because of weak schedules. It didn’t matter that both teams were 12-0 in those respective seasons entering the B1G Championship Game.
Fortunatley for Pollack’s health, neither team won the conference title and didn’t receive one of the four bids.
Expect to see the same this week with Minnesota. Regardless of where Minnesota falls in the rankings, there’s a good chance Pollack rails against the Gophers’ weak strength of schedule and those close wins at the beginning of the year. It may not be quite as passionate this time around, though, since Minnesota does have a chance to prove itself against Penn State on Saturday.
Expect to hear about the B1G and SEC having a shot at multiple bids
Four weeks still remain in the college football season, plus a weekend devoted to conference championship games. But rather than allow that all to play out, we’re going to hear about 1,000 different scenarios that could happen, but probably won’t happen.
Some of those scenarios will include situations in which the SEC or B1G gets two teams into the field. And, honestly, I’d be surprised if we didn’t hear something about the SEC having a shot at getting three teams into the field.
The two teams for the B1G will be Ohio State and Penn State, with some sort of argument that the loser of that game still being alive at 11-1. The three-team conversation for the SEC will involve some sort of LSU, Alabama and Georgia combination, with all three teams finishing with one loss.
Don’t worry, there will be plenty of scenarios.
Just remember, before yelling at your television screen, there’s still a month of football to be played. Try not to get too wrapped up in those scenarios quite yet. Chances are, you won’t have to worry about anything.
There will definitely be an “eye test vs. resumé” debate
Honestly, is there anything worse in sports than this debate? It’s the same argument every single year, with neither side really giving much leniency to the other. We’re six years into the College Football Playoff format, we could probably do without the 10 to 15 minutes of debating whether a team “looks” better than another.
But, If I was a betting man, I’d put money on this being a topic of conversation.
Bonus: Indiana should crack the Top 25, but won’t be ranked
I’ve been pounding this drum pretty loudly over the last few days, since the Hoosiers are now sitting at 7-2 on the year and are riding a four-game winning streak. If Indiana was wearing the “Nebraska,” or “Michigan State” across its chest, it would probably see a number next to its name in every poll.
Neither the Coaches Poll nor the AP Poll had Indiana ranked this week. I suspect they’ll miss the cut in the College Football Playoff rankings, too.