College Football Rankings Review – Week 12

“Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing” – Vince Lombardi Henry Russell “Red” Sanders

“The only meaningful statistic is number of games won.” – Woody Hayes

“We play to win the game!” – Herm Edwards

Marshall (9-0) Excluded by the Committee

The Thundering Herd is ranked in the AP Top 25, the USA Today Top 25, the USA Today Computer Composite, and almost every other rankings system known to college football fans. The committee continues to overlook them. It makes you wonder if smaller conferences and smaller schools were better served by the despised BCS.

Oregon (9-1) moves ahead of Florida State (9-0)

The defending champions are moved down to make room for a one-loss Oregon team. This is an odd move. I’ll admit to being somewhat of a traditionalist. I think wins and losses are important. I think wins and losses are very important. I think holding the belt is important. I wouldn’t have moved the champs out of the #1 spot till they lost a game, though I understood dropping the Seminoles to #2 behind another undefeated team, but moving the champs down behind a one-loss Oregon….

FSU plays Miami this Saturday and Mississippi State plays Alabama. Things will change.

TCU (8-1) leaps Alabama (8-1)

I complained about Alabama being ranked ahead of TCU last week. The committee redeemed themselves this week, but how long will it last. If Alabama beats Miss St this week, I’d look for the Tide to be back in front of the Frogs in the next rankings. TCU will be handicapped by the Big 12’s lack of a championship game. The Frogs shouldn’t feel too secure. There are some big brands with big games behind them.

TCU (8-1) stays ahead of Baylor (8-1)

Baylor continues to remain trapped behind TCU, a team that Baylor beat in the head-to-head competition. I’ve heard compelling arguments for keeping TCU ahead. But none of these arguments seem consistent with a system that claims that a head-to-head, single-elimination tournament is the best way to choose a national champion.

Ohio State (8-1) Remains a Longshot

The Buckeyes and the Big Ten will need some help to make the playoff. They are behind two SEC teams, Two Big 12 teams, and two Pac 12 teams. Two of those teams play this week (Alabama and Miss St); two are set to collide in the Pac 12 championship game (Oregon and Arizona St); but two have already played (Baylor and TCU).

Nebraska (8-1) Ranked Behind Seven Teams with Two Losses

Nebraska’s only loss to date is to #12 Michigan State who remains ranked ahead of Nebraska despite the Spartans suffering their second loss of the season last Saturday. I guess head-to-head matters when you’re looking for reasons to keep the Huskers trapped near the bottom of the rankings. I guess everything matters when that’s your goal. This ranking makes no sense. When there are no rules stupid things are bound to happen.

Notre Dame (8-2) Dropped to 18th

Thanks for playing, guys. We’ll see you next year!

Duke (8-1) Trapped at 21st

If you think Duke has no chance, you’re right. I don’t think Duke and Notre Dame can really complain much. Don’t the CFB Playoff Selection Committee procedures resemble the Vatican procedures for picking a new pope…without all the cool colored smoke and stuff?

Still No Group of Five Team (Old News)

So far this system effectively limits the field to the 65 teams from the Power 5 conference plus Notre Dame. The Group of Five is, of course, guaranteed a spot in a New Year’s Day bowl game. It goes to the highest ranked conference champion. If no conference champion is ranked in the published top 25, then the committee simply selects which champion it thinks is best, so the members have to be keeping up with these teams. Why can’t we be told who is leading the way?

See you next week! Go Bearcats!

By Guest Contributor/Rankings Guru: Rhett Lemmel