The committee is starting to show their hand in what they believe are the best teams in the country.
Last week the committee stood still and didn’t change the top four at all. This week after a few teams lost some crucial games the committee decided this was the week to shake up the top four.
There is no surprise that Clemson stayed number one. They are one of two teams left in the “Power Five” conferences that remain undefeated. They have a relativity easy remaining schedule. Next week they play South Carolina in Gamecock territory. South Carolina has really struggled after the departure of Spurrier so that won’t be much of a challenge. Then Clemson has their ACC championship game against North Carolina. Both of these games should be wins making it a clear path to the College Football Playoff.
Alabama remained number two and most people believe they are the best team in the country. No surprise that they stayed number two and will be in the playoffs if they win out.
Number three was a little surprising. The committee picked Oklahoma to be in the number three spot. This is surprising because the committee has shown that they do take bad losses versus good losses into consideration. Oklahoma has built up their resume these past few weeks by beating the elite of the Big 12. However, they have beaten depleted teams in TCU and Baylor. They have a match-up against Oklahoma State this weekend which is basically the championship game for the Big 12. If Oklahoma wins they rightfully should be in the top four but the committee jumped the gun by putting them in the top four already.
Iowa finally cracked the top four. The committee has been waiting them out to see if they are the real deal. The committee saw a 20 point victory last week and decided that both undefeated teams left should be in the top four. Iowa should be disappointed that they aren’t number three, on the other hand they should kind of hope that the rankings stay the same. Iowa will be in the top four if they win out which the only test will be either Ohio State or Michigan State in the Big 10 championship game. If they stay at number four and Clemson stays at one, Iowa fans can be optimistic because Clemson hasn’t had to face a ground and pound type team that Iowa is. If they end up moving up to two or three then they will have to face Alabama which, Alabama’s defense is built to beat a team like Iowa.
With the release of this ranking the committee has basically said that the winner of the Big 10 will be in. Also that the Big 12 winner has a better chance with one loss than Notre Dame has with one loss based on a better SOS. They have stayed committed to bring Alabama in the top four as long as they win out, same goes for Clemson. Notre Dame has an outside chance to make it, but they need a lot of losses in front of them to make their case stronger. Notre Dame should be rooting for Oklahoma State to win this weekend. Baylor is basically not in the conversation anymore because of their loss to Oklahoma. A one loss Big 12 champion might be left out of the CFP again this year.
In all, the committee is showing the teams that are still involved what they need to do in order to secure a spot in the top four. Unless major upsets happen don’t expect much change in the top four after this week.