Analysis of the third College Football Playoff rating

The College Football Playoff choice committee won’t ever ask coaches to run up the rating, and the protocol particularly states that evaluating video games towards a standard opponent is completed “without incenting margin of victory.”

That does not imply they do not admire an excellent old school drubbing.

With no adjustments to the highest 5 of the third rating on Tuesday evening — No. 6 LSU and No. 7 USC earned small promotions on the expense of two-loss Oregon, which sank to 12 — Week 12 will present a number of alternatives for the highest contenders to go away little question they’re the higher crew.

Within the case of No. 7 USC, now the committee’s top-ranked Pac-12 crew, the one-loss Trojans could make an announcement towards a ranked rival in No. 16 UCLA — or remove the Pac-12 fully with a loss. No crew is best positioned to complete within the prime 4 than No. 1 Georgia, which clinched the SEC East and can face LSU within the convention title recreation. A convincing win at Kentucky, although, could be one other spotlight the committee may level to if Georgia finishes as SEC runner-up.

No. 3 Michigan has an opportunity to proceed to claim itself towards unranked Illinois, a three-loss crew that dropped out of the CFP High 25 however may nonetheless win the Massive Ten West. Tennessee and TCU, in the meantime, ought to cruise towards unranked, unheralded convention opponents.

With solely two weeks remaining within the common season, here is how Week 12 may probably affect the committee’s analysis on Choice Day, ranked so as of largest influence:

Soar to:
Anger Index | 12-team bracket | Résumés |

1. USC at UCLA

Why it is necessary: USC has no margin for error, and the street recreation towards the ranked neighborhood rival is the following step in padding a résumé that might ultimately trump one-loss Tennessee. USC is the Pac-12’s greatest hope on the playoff, and whereas many appear to imagine No. 5 Tennessee will end within the prime 4 as a result of the Vols are at the moment ranked forward of USC, it will likely be far more difficult for the committee as soon as the convention titles are added to the résumés and Tennessee would not have one. USC may end the season with three straight wins towards ranked opponents — UCLA, Notre Dame and the Pac-12 title recreation opponent — which might put it squarely within the dialog for the highest 4.

2. TCU at Baylor

Why it is necessary: No. 4 TCU did not get a bump this week, despite the fact that it performed its greatest protection of the season, earned a street win towards what was a CFP High 25 crew in Texas, and clinched a spot within the Massive 12 title recreation. That signifies the Horned Frogs nonetheless do not have a lot if any margin for error, and a loss on Saturday to an unranked Baylor (6-4) crew that Okay-State simply hammered 31-3 could be tough to beat on Choice Day. If TCU finishes as an undefeated Massive 12 champion, the Horned Frogs will end within the prime 4, however a loss to both Baylor or Iowa State alongside the best way will put them in a precarious place. It helped TCU that No. 22 Oklahoma State popped again into the High 25, giving the Frogs two wins towards ranked opponents, together with Kansas State. That will most likely match Clemson, if it finishes as a one-loss ACC champ, however they might each be wanting up at USC or Tennessee — or each.

3. Tennessee at South Carolina

Why it is necessary: Should you’re not taking part in on championship weekend, you are praying. And not using a division or convention title, Tennessee must impress the committee each probability it will get, and a street win towards a bowl-bound SEC opponent is one other increase for the Vols — even when South Carolina is not ranked. Assuming the SEC and Massive Ten champions are within the prime 4, Tennessee must be involved about undefeated TCU and one-loss USC. The Vols will want their wins towards LSU and Alabama to beat not having a convention title. The place it may get fascinating is that if LSU wins the SEC, as a result of Tennessee may then declare a powerful 40-13 win over the SEC champs — in Baton Rouge. The Vols cannot management any of that, although, so ending the season in type is their greatest guess.

4. Miami at Clemson

Why it is necessary: Clemson and the ACC stay within the worst playoff place of any of the Energy 5 conferences, so the Tigers can’t afford to wrestle at house towards a mediocre Miami crew. Clemson hasn’t precisely dominated anybody this season, both. The Tigers are 2-1 towards groups at the moment ranked within the CFP, and have some extent margin of minus-5 in these three video games (wins towards NC State and FSU, loss to Notre Dame). If the SEC, Massive Ten and undefeated TCU are in, Clemson wants to fret about one-loss Tennessee. The Vols’ wins towards LSU and Alabama could be extra spectacular than Clemson’s wins towards NC State, Florida State and UNC. The Tigers may additionally lose a résumé debate with one-loss USC. Their larger drawback, although, is that they are already wanting up at two two-loss groups, together with Alabama.

5. Illinois at Michigan

Why it is necessary: No, Illinois is not ranked, however the three-loss Illini are at the very least above .500, and that is greater than you may say for many of Michigan’s opponents. As a result of the one ranked win to date is towards Penn State, and solely the Nittany Lions, Maryland, Iowa, Illinois and UConn have profitable data, Michigan must profit from each alternative it has towards a good crew in case it would not beat No. 2 Ohio State. It is not unattainable for the loser of The Recreation to complete within the prime 4, however it will be harder for the Wolverines. The choice committee is not thrilled with Michigan’s schedule, which at No. 82 is definitely the worst of any CFP contender. Michigan may face Illinois twice in the event that they win their respective divisions and meet within the Massive Ten championship recreation.

6. Ohio State at Maryland

Why it is necessary: The Buckeyes have not clinched the East but, and if they do not beat Michigan within the regular-season finale, there’s zero probability Ohio State will end within the prime 4 if it could’t win in College Park. Ohio State has already struggled this season in dangerous climate towards 1-9 Northwestern. One other ugly win may increase some eyebrows within the committee assembly room if Ohio State would not win its division. Saturday will even give a glimpse into the well being standing of their two star working backs, TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams, who’ve been injured and can be key to creating a severe playoff run. Ohio State coach Ryan Day instructed reporters he would not know their statuses till Thursday. The choice committee considers accidents to key gamers, however to date, the Buckeyes have continued to piece it collectively however have relied closely on their passing recreation.

7. Georgia at Kentucky

Why it is necessary: What if LSU wins the SEC? It is possible Georgia additionally finishes within the prime 4, nevertheless it’s not a assure — particularly with Tennessee sitting there with a win over the SEC champs. The choice committee considers widespread opponents, and there’s no instance extra essential than this one. Would the committee put within the crew that misplaced to the SEC champs, and never the one which beat them? It is not the one part, although. Head-to-head outcomes additionally matter, and Georgia owned Tennessee in a recreation that was much more lopsided than the ultimate rating indicated. Georgia may proceed to spice up its case with a street win towards a division opponent, and would not be an incredible look if the Bulldogs struggled towards a crew Vanderbilt simply discovered a approach to beat.

Anger index

There are simply two weeks remaining within the common season, which implies we have got simply three extra units of rankings to go earlier than the committee retires to its underground lair to start plotting towards the Group of 5 for an additional offseason. This week’s CFP High 25 supplied few surprises. If anybody anticipated the committee to problem standard knowledge, they had been sorely disenchanted. However that does not imply nobody has trigger for frustration within the aftermath of the discharge. That is school soccer, in spite of everything. Anger is the default setting. So, let’s get to this week’s Anger Index.

1. Washington Huskies (8-2)

We speak lots about résumé on the subject of the College Football Playoff rankings, however we not often outline what precisely an excellent résumé appears like. So, here is one suggestion:

• Not less than one win vs. an excellent to nice opponent (within the prime 10% of FBS groups) to show you may play with the most effective of the most effective.

• Three or extra wins towards good groups (within the prime one-third of FBS groups) to show you may survive the week-in, week-out grind.

• Two or extra wins in true street video games to point out you may go right into a hostile setting and maintain your personal.

Add these three issues up, package deal them with a sterling win-loss file, and you have got a resumé worthy of playoff consideration.

So, who suits that invoice proper now?

As of this week, there are 9 groups. Eight of them are ranked among the many prime 9 groups within the nation (No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 TCU, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 6 LSU, No. 8 Alabama and No. 9 Clemson).

The ninth crew? That’d be the Washington Huskies, who verify in at a less-than-exciting No. 17 on this week’s rankings, behind 4 different Pac-12 groups, together with two-loss Utah at No. 10 and two-loss UCLA at No. 16 in addition to two-loss Oregon, ranked 5 spots greater, regardless of shedding final week at house to… Washington!

So, why does the committee dismiss the Huskies? It is all about type factors.

Washington led Michigan State 39-10 within the second half, however the recreation completed 39-28.

The Huskies had been up 30-7 on Stanford on the finish of the third quarter, however the Cardinal rallied late for a 40-22 loss.

They had been up 42-24 on Arizona within the second half, too, however that recreation ended 49-39.

Primarily, Washington has gone up large then gone on autopilot, and the tip result’s a handful of wins towards lackluster opponents that look fully mediocre.

Effectively, that and the loss to Arizona State. How can anybody clarify that one? A decide six? Three turnovers on downs? Some type of voodoo curse? Your guess is pretty much as good as ours.

The primary eight groups we included listed here are 23-0 towards the underside half of FBS groups (per FPI) and have a mean margin of victory of 40 factors.

Washington is 4-1 and has received by a mean of 10 factors.

However is it cheap to evaluate Washington by what it did towards Arizona State once we’ve witnessed the Huskies toppled Oregon in Eugene?

The Pac-12 is basically a five-team stalemate proper now, so lots can change. However there’s actually little or no case for Washington because the fourth of these 5 groups, and if we merely have a look at the credit slightly than the debits on the Huskies’ resumé, there’s truly a reasonably sturdy case for placing them on the prime of the heap.

2. The ACC

Clearly the committee isn’t a fan of the ACC, regardless of the league’s 9 groups with six wins or higher already. That pesky Notre Dame deal, which retains resulting in ugly losses for the league and no salvation from realignment from the Irish is an actual drawback.

This week’s rankings put the ACC in a little bit of a bind. Clemson is ranked No. 9, the bottom by any of the supposed playoff contenders, a spot behind two-loss Alabama. Sure, Clemson’s résumé is way superior to, say, No. 7 USC. And sure, Clemson beat a Florida State crew that beat two-loss LSU (ranked three spots greater). And sure, the Tigers rebounded properly from the Notre Dame loss final week with an emphatic win over Louisville. However the committee is not shopping for, which implies the Tigers can win out and nonetheless be on the backside of the convention champion pecking order.

That is doubly true for North Carolina. This is a fast comparability:

Workforce A: 9-1, No. 11 power of file, No. 75 power of schedule, street loss to ranked crew, Heisman contender QB, shaky protection, former Massive 12 teaching nice on the helm, type of a wine-and-cheese fan base.

Workforce B: 9-1, No. 10 power of file, No. 65 power of schedule, street loss to a ranked crew, Heisman contender at QB, former Massive 12 teaching nice on the helm, type of a wine-and-cheese fan base.

Not a lot separating the 2, proper? And but, six spots separate Workforce A (North Carolina) from Workforce B (USC) within the rankings.

3. Everybody exterior the Massive Ten

Ohio State is No. 2. Michigan is No. 3. Each, by any eye check or statistical metric, are excellent groups.

And but, have a look at the résumés.

Michigan beat Penn State. It is subsequent greatest win is by a landing at house vs. Maryland. Seven of its 10 wins are towards groups .500 or worse (and the opposite is Iowa, which… sorry, we fell asleep whereas typing Iowa.)

Ohio State beat Penn State. It is subsequent greatest win was a slightly unimpressive affair within the opener towards Notre Dame. In Massive Ten play, the most effective crew the Buckeyes have crushed is… sorry, we nodded off once more interested by Iowa.

So the lynchpin for each groups to be ranked within the prime three is Penn State. And but, Penn State’s greatest wins are Purdue, Auburn and Minnesota — all unranked.

None of that is to recommend Michigan and Ohio State aren’t two of the three greatest groups within the nation. They could be. However even earlier than the season started, it was apparent the trail to get right here was only a two-step course of: Beat Penn State, meet up in Columbus on Nov. 26.

Should be good.

How a 12-team playoff would look

Everybody with the facility to develop the College Football Playoff desires the sphere to develop to 12 groups in time for the 2024 season.

However at the moment, enlargement is scheduled to start in 2026. So whereas discussions proceed on the best way to transfer up the timeline, we’re having a look at how a 12-team playoff would look at this time primarily based on the already-determined mannequin launched by the commissioners and presidents.

The sector can be composed of the choice committee’s six highest-ranked convention champions and its subsequent six highest-ranked groups. The 4 highest-ranked convention champions will earn the highest seeds and a first-round bye. The opposite eight groups will play within the first spherical, with the upper seeds internet hosting the decrease seeds on campus or at one other website of their alternative.

This is what the playoff would appear like if the 12-team format had been in place at this time:

Seeds with byes

1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. TCU
4. USC

Remaining seeds
(convention champs in daring)

5. Michigan
6. Tennessee
7. LSU
8. Alabama
9. Clemson
10. Utah
11. Penn State
12. UCF

First-round video games

No. 12 UCF at No. 5 Michigan
No. 11 Penn State at No. 6 Tennessee
No. 10 Utah at No. 7 LSU
No. 9 Clemson at No. 8 Alabama

Quarterfinal video games

No. 9 Clemson-No. 8 Alabama winner vs. No. 1 Georgia
No. 10 Utah-No. 7 LSU winner vs. No. 2 Ohio State
No. 11 Penn State-No. 6 Tennessee winner vs. No. 3 TCU
No. 12 UCF-No. 5 Michigan winner vs. No. 4 USC

High résumés

1. Georgia

Document: 10-0 | SOS: 44 | SOR: 2
Largest win: Nov. 5 vs. Tennessee 27-13
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Saturday at Kentucky
Final playoff look: 2022 CFP Nationwide championship, No. 3 Georgia 33, No. 1 Alabama 18

No. 2 Ohio State

Document: 10-0 | SOS: 60 | SOR: 4
Largest win: Oct. 29 at Penn State 44-31
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Nov. 26 vs. Michigan
Final playoff look: 2021 CFP Nationwide Championship, No. 1 Alabama 52, No. 3 Ohio State 24

No. 3 Michigan

Document: 10-0 | SOS: 82 | SOR: 5
Largest win: Oct. 15 vs. Penn State 41-17
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Nov. 26 at Ohio State
Final playoff look: 2022 Playoff Semifinal on the Orange Bowl, No. 3 Georgia 34, No. 2 Michigan 11

No. 4 TCU

Document: 10-0 | SOS: 38 | SOR: 1
Largest win: Oct. 22 vs. Texas 17-10
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Saturday at Baylor
Final playoff look: By no means

No. 5 Tennessee

Document: 9-1 | SOS: 3 | SOR: 3
Largest win: Oct. 8 at LSU 40-13
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Saturday at South Carolina
Final playoff look: By no means

No. 6 LSU

Document: 8-2 | SOS: 11 | SOR: 7
Largest win: Nov. 5 vs. Alabama 32-31
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Nov. 26 at Texas A&M
Final playoff look: 2020 CFP Nationwide Championship: No. 1 LSU 42, No. 3 Clemson 25

No. 7 USC

Document: 9-1 | SOS: 65 | SOR: 10
Largest win: Sept. 24 at Oregon State 17-14
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Saturday at UCLA
Final playoff look: By no means

No. 8 Clemson

Document: 9-1 | SOS: 55 | SOR: 8
Largest win: Oct. 1 vs. NC State 30-20
Largest remaining regular-season recreation: Nov. 26 vs. South Carolina
Final playoff look: 2021 Playoff Semifinal on the Sugar Bowl, No. 3 Ohio State 49, No. 2 Clemson 28