The College Football Playoff selection committee has released its penultimate rankings and we have some issues. Issues that we will fix with this week’s XN Sports Top 25 College Football Rankings but issues that we, or at least I, feel need to be addressed.
First is the win and you’re barely in situation Florida State faces each week. I’d like to take the opportunity to remind the committee that the Seminoles HAVE NOT LOST. Aside from the fact that Florida State is the defending national champion and is riding a 28-game win streak. A power five conference team that is undefeated yet sliding each week in the playoff poll is ridiculous regardless of how close the games are.
TCU LOST to BAYLOR. The Horned Frogs are a really good team no doubt but their being ranked ahead of Florida State in the most recent playoff poll (Nos. 3 and 4 respectively) and ahead of Baylor (No. 6) despite the fact that the Bears beat the Horned Frogs head-to-head undermines the credibility of the selection process and the rankings. The committee continues to champion TCU’s strength of schedule which really is the Horned Frogs lucking out by scheduling Minnesota, which had a surprisingly strong season and finishes 8-4. Baylor played three cupcakes, SMU, (which TCU also played) Buffalo, and Northwestern St. Baylor and TCU will play the exact same Big 12 schedule and if the Bears beat Kansas State this week they will have the exact same record. If head to head doesn’t trump scheduling Minnesota, then why play any games? Simulate the season on the Xbox and wake us when you have the four playoff teams.
Ohio State also bears watching after QB J.T. Barrett went down with a broken ankle. Oregon faces Arizona, the only team it lost to this season, in the Pac-12 title game and Alabama, which gave up 630 yards and 44 points to Auburn, faces Missouri in the SEC title game. A loss by any of those teams could send them out of the playoff altogether.
The Seminoles are once again No. 1 in this week’s XN Sports rankings after outlasting Florida, 24-19, to improve to 11-0 and in its 28th straight game.
Oregon remains in the second spot followed by Alabama with Baylor and TCU rounding out the top five.
This week’s poll:
25. Memphis (9-3) – The Tigers got four TD passes from Paxton Lynch in a 41-10 victory over UConn that clinched at least a share of the American Athletic Conference title. Last Game: Beat UConn, 41-10. Next Game: Regular season complete.
24. Minnesota (8-4) – Minnesota coach Jerry Kill was announced the winner of the Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the conference coaches and media on Tuesday. Last Game: Lost to Wisconsin, 34-24. Next Game: Regular season complete.
23. USC (8-4) – The Trojans finished the season winning three of their last four games including a thumping of Notre Dame in the Coliseum. Cody Kessler threw six TD passes for the Trojans, who will be a very tough matchup for whomever they face in their bowl game. Last Game: Beat Notre Dame, 49-14. Next Game: Regular Season complete.
22. LSU (8-4) – The Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak with a season-ending win over the Aggies. Last Game: Beat Texas A&M, 23-17. Next Game: Regular season complete.
21. Oklahoma (8-3) – The Sooners have won two straight and scored 86 points in the process. The season has been a bit of a disappointment with three losses but Oklahoma has found a new star in running back Samaje Perine, set a new major college rushing record with 427 yards in the win over Kansas. Petrine has rushed for 640 yards and eight TDs in his last two games. Last Game: Beat Kansas, 44-7. Next Game: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State.
20. Louisville (9-3) – The Cardinals won their final three games after blowing a big early lead in a loss to Florida State. Last Game: Beat Kentucky, 44-40. Next Game: Regular season complete.
19. Boise State (10-2) – The Broncos are riding a seven-game win streak and have scored 50 or more points five times in that span. Last Game: Beat Utah State, 50-19. Next Game: Saturday vs. Fresno State in Mountain West Championship game.
18. Auburn (8-4) – Auburn rolled up 630 yards and scored 44 points but it wasn’t enough to overcome a porous defense in its Iron Bowl loss to Alabama. Last Game: Lost to Alabama, 55-44. Next Game: Regular season complete.
17. Arizona State (9-3) – The Sun Devils lost two of their last three games to squander the Pac-12 South title and a potential shot at making the college football playoff. Last Game: Lost to Arizona, 42-35. Next Game: Regular season complete.
16. UCLA (9-3) – Coming off a rout of USC, UCLA was a win away from the Pac-12 South title but were picked off by Stanford. Last Game: Lost to Stanford, 31-10. Next Game: Regular season complete.
15. Georgia (9-3) – First Georgia lost a shot at Alabama in the SEC title game when Missouri outlasted Arkansas and then the Bulldogs lost at home to the Yellowjackets. Last Game: Lost to Georgia Tech, 30-24 (OT). Next Game: Regular season complete.
14. Ole Miss (9-3) – Relegated to a spoiler role, the Rebels took out their frustrations on rival Mississippi State, winning the Egg Bowl and knocking the Bulldogs out of playoff contention. Last Game: Beat Mississippi State, 31-17. Next Game: Regular season complete.
13. Georgia Tech (10-2) – Georgia Tech goes into the ACC title game against Florida State on a roll having knocked off Georgia last week. Last Game: Beat Georgia, 30-24 (OT). Next Game: Saturday vs. Florida State in the ACC Championship Game.
12. Wisconsin (10-2) – The Badgers have won seven straight to capture the Big Ten West Division title and get a crack at Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Last Game: Beat Minnesota, 34-24. Next Game: Saturday vs. Ohio State in Big Ten Championship Game.
11. Mississippi State (10-2) – A dream season ended with losses in two of three games for the Bulldogs, including the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss. Last Game: Lost to Ole Miss, 31-17. Next Game: Regular season complete.
10. Michigan State (10-2) – Too little too late but after losing to Ohio State to see their Big Ten and playoff hopes dashed, the Spartans bounced back to knock off Maryland, Rutgers, and Penn State by a combined 116-28. Last Game: Beat Penn State, 34-10. Next Game: Regular season complete.
9. Kansas State (9-2) – Tied with Baylor and TCU at the top of the Big 12 standings, the Wildcats face Baylor in a game that has all sorts of Big 12 and playoff implications. Will the Wildcats play spoiler? Will the Bears win by enough to overtake TCU and make the playoff? Last Game: Beat Kansas, 51-13. Next Game: Saturday at Baylor.
8. Missouri (10-2) – Winners of six straight, Missouri is in the SEC East title game for the second straight season. The Tigers won’t make the playoff with a win, too many teams to climb over, but a win would knock Alabama out and give Missouri its first SEC title. Last Game: Beat Arkansas, 21-14. Next Game: Saturday vs. Alabama in SEC Championship Game.
7. Arizona (10-2) – Arizona got the help it needed from Stanford and knocked off rival Arizona State to win the Pac-12 South and earn a rematch with Oregon. The Wildcats won the first meeting with the Ducks, who will be motivated by revenge and a spot in the playoffs. If Arizona wins, giving it two victories over Oregon this season to go along with 11 wins, it may have an outside shot at the playoff if enough things break right. Last Game: Beat Arizona State, 42-35. Next Game: Friday vs. Oregon in Pac-12 Championship Game.
6. Ohio State (11-1) – The Buckeyes beat the Wolverines but lost QB T.J. Barrett to a broken ankle. Playoff committee chairman Jeff Long said the Buckeyes’ performance without Barrett will be judged and could impact whether or not they are considered for a playoff spot. As if QB Cardale Jones didn’t have enough pressure entering the game. Last Game: Beat Michigan, 42-28. Next Game: Saturday vs. Wisconsin in Big Ten Championship Game.
5. TCU (10-1) – TCU keeps getting the benefit of the doubt with Baylor when it comes to the playoff rankings but this could be the week that evens things up. The Horned Frogs have to be impressive against a bad Iowa State team while Baylor gets a high-profile matchup with Kansas State. Last Game: Beat Texas, 48-10. Next Game: Saturday vs. Iowa State.
4. Baylor (10-1) – For the Bears their season comes down to Saturday’s game against Kansas State. Win and they have a shot at the playoff and will have a head to head win over TCU going for it despite a soft non-conference slate. Lose and they are out. Last Game: Beat Texas Tech, 48-46. Next Game: Saturday vs. Kansas State.
3. Alabama (11-1) – Alabama overcame its defense and outscored Auburn to reach the SEC title game. The Crimson Tide still have work to do and a loss to Missouri Saturday would likely mean the SEC is shut out of the first college football playoff. Last Game: Beat Auburn, 55-44. Next Game: Saturday vs. Missouri in SEC Championship Game.
2. Oregon (11-1) – The Ducks have won seven straight since losing to Arizona on a Thursday night in early October and they get a chance for revenge against the Wildcats in the Pac-12 title game Friday night. Oregon has scored less than 38 points just once in 12 games this season, when Arizona won in Eugene, 31-24. Expect the Ducks to come out flying with the league title and a berth in the first college football playoff on the line. Last Game: Beat Oregon State, 44-10. Next Game: Friday vs. Arizona in Pac-12 Championship Game.
1. Florida State (12-0) – Florida State has won 28 straight games but gets zero respect from the playoff committee. The defending national champs have to beat Georgia Tech to guarantee a spot in the playoff no doubt about it. Last Game: Beat Florida, 20-17. Next Game: Saturday vs. Georgia Tech in ACC Championship Game.
Dropped out: Marshall, Arkansas, Colorado State