There are a lot of perplexing tidbits to pick apart from this week’s College Football Playoff rankings: No. 2 Alabama jumping No. 3 Ohio State. No. 5 Iowa jumping No. 6 Baylor. No. 11 Florida dropping despite a win.
There’s a lot to dissect.
But what’s the most surprising aspect to what the committee unveiled Tuesday?
“The committee really values who you’ve beaten so far. (That) is really what they’ve told us through this process,” CBSSports.com college football writer Robby Kalland said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “And with that in mind, I think the most surprising thing is that Oklahoma State – after beating TCU and dropping TCU to 15th – (only improved) to 8 and they’re still behind Baylor despite having a better resume than Baylor in the Big 12.”
What exactly does that tell us, though?
“I really don’t know,” Kalland said, prompting laughter from Lawrence. “Every other move that the committee has made to this point seems to say, ‘Look, we care about who you’ve played and who you’ve beaten – (and) maybe not as much who you’ve lost to.’ (Notre Dame and Alabama) are in the top four despite a loss. Obviously Notre Dame has a loss to the No. 1 team currently, but the Big 12 thing is really confusing (in terms of) how they’ve been judged that they keep Baylor at 6. But Oklahoma State, you look at the resume and they seem to have the best victory with TCU. And you would think off of what the committee has done – especially by moving Iowa ahead of Baylor – you would have thought Oklahoma State would have jumped Baylor as well, maybe jumped Baylor to seven. So that one was a curious move. I like Baylor and think Baylor deserves to be maybe a little higher even because they’v been destroying teams – which is what good teams do even in a weak schedule. I think they’ll prove themselves in the weeks to come. But based off the criteria it seems the committee is going off of, that’s the most curious move they did – keeping the Cowboys behind the Bears.”
It’ll be interesting to see what happens if the top four teams – and either Baylor or Oklahoma State – all win out. As of now, Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame are in. So there has to be a little bit of angst in Big 12 country, no?
“Absolutely,” Kalland said. “If Alabama runs out, they’re going to be the one-loss team that’s for sure in. If Alabama wins out, the SEC’s champion – if it’s one loss – is not getting knocked out of this playoff. Clemson, if they can run out, they’re going to say up there. Ohio State and Iowa are both kind of on the fast track. Obviously Ohio State’s got a couple tough games late, but if either of those teams (win) out, that’s all of a sudden three teams. Then it’s really going to come down to can you get an undefeated (Big 12) team over Notre Dame? They value that Notre Dame loss to Clemson. The Big 12 has kind of set itself up for this with the way they do the scheduling. They backload the top teams’ schedule to where they play this little round-robin tournament in the final month of the season, and in theory, that could work if somebody wins out. But there is no room for error now. You can’t get over a loss in November and get into the top four, I don’t think. I think that is where the Big 12 runs into an issue. If Baylor or Oklahoma State stumbles in that little round robin, nobody’s getting in. That’s where the Big 12’s schedule really hurts them.”