Tuesday at 7 pm ET the 12 team playoff committee reveled their first rankings of the season.
Of course, just like last year, the committee is receiving some disgruntlement, especially from fans of the Big 12. In the revealed rankings the new number one team is the Clemson Tigers.
While Clemson being number one is not shocking, it’s a little surprising. Clemson according to the NCAA in a list that accounts for strength of schedule (S.O.S.), Clemson ranked 25th in the entire NCAA. They’ve beaten Notre Dame, Louisville at their place, Georgia Tech and they blew out Miami in Sun Life Stadium, which lead to Al Golden’s firing. The reason they are number one is that their schedule so far has been stronger than both Ohio State and LSU. They play Florida State this weekend in a match-up that if Clemson wins almost guarantees a spot in the ACC final.
The big story however, is the rankings of the Big 12 schools. Baylor, who in the AP poll is ranked at number 2 and in the college playoff ranking they are at number 6. TCU is ranked number 5 in the AP poll but is ranked at number 8 in the college playoff ranking.
Both of these teams are undefeated but their downfall, according to the committee, has been their SOS.
Baylor, who’s overall S.O.S. is 88th really hasn’t played great competition. The best team they’ve played so far has been Iowa State. So, while they do have a legitimate case because they are undefeated, until they play some real competition don’t expect much change. The good news for Baylor fans is that they have a chance to really move up. They’re remaining S.O.S. in ranked 9th in the NCAA including some key match-ups with Oklahoma, TCU, and Oklahoma State. So in other words if Baylor wins out they will be in the college football playoff.
TCU has a very similar case. They’re overall S.O.S. is ranked 93rd mainly like Baylor, they haven’t played really great competition. The toughest opponent they’ve played has been Minnesota which is better than Baylor’s best opponent being Iowa State. Still you would think by now, for both Baylor and TCU that they need to schedule at least one major out-of-conference game a year. However, just like Baylor; TCU really has their own destiny in their hands. TCU’s remaining S.O.S. according to ESPN is ranked at 22nd but they also finish their season facing Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
What Big 12 fans have to realize is that, right now, their conference just isn’t good enough to have two teams make it to the college football playoff. Who ever ends up with the best record in the Big 12 will represent them but Baylor and TCU are not going to make it at the same time.
Oklahoma State also controls their own destiny. The Oklahoma Sooners need a little help from Texas to win a couple of games, but they still can be the representative of the Big 12. The only thing that could really hurt the Big 12 is if all these teams lose one game. If that happens it’s going to be hard for the committee to choose just one and just like last year might just skip the Big 12 overall.
Overall, the committee did a good job. With a human committee the eye test is a larger factor and because it’s new it’s taking a little while to get used to how they decide. It’s also very clear from last year and now this year, that the committee really looks at your S.O.S. That’s why the Big 12 teams are ranked so low as well as the not so prestigious conference teams. The message is very clear, you have to play worthy opposition. You can’t go out and play FCS teams and then cry when your team is left out even though you had the same amount of wins that a team that played better competition got in with.
Also last year we learned that nothing is set in stone. Anything can happen in the next few weeks and ultimately it’s looking like unless you’re in the SEC, you better be undefeated.
You can see the full CFP Top 25 here.