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Episode 150: Finally talking about College Football Playoff Rankings

For the first time this college football season, we were all given a look at how the new selection committee sees things. To the surprise of few, three SEC teams filled the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings, with defending national champion Florid aState the lone non-SEC team in the mix. Of course, this could easily change by the time next Tuesday comes around. And the week after that. And the week after that…

There were a few key points made with the release of the new ranking. First, strength of schedule matters. This was illustrated best with TCU being ranked six spots ahead of Baylor, despite TCU having lost to Baylor. But Baylor lost to West Virginia and the committee did not take kindly to the non-conference portion of Baylor’s schedule. Also, Ohio State’s home loss to Virginia Tech has not been helped by the Hokies continuing to sink this season. Second, with a couple of notable exceptions, head-to-head results seem to matter. Ole Miss was ahead of Alabama, Mississippi State ahead of Auburn. The major exceptions were TCU ahead of Baylor (strength of schedule) and Oregon ahead of Arizona (strength of schedule and consideration to injury issues). We will have to wait to see how much the committee changes its opinions moving forward, but for the most part I think the first rankings were unveiled about as I expected them to be.

The main takeaway from all of this is this is a measurement of where the season stands today, and not a projection of how things will end. I clearly think there will only be one SEC team in the playoff when all is said and done. Whatever happens, there is no way we will see three teams from one conference occupy four spots. There is plenty to still be settled on the field.

Joining me on the podcast once again is Andy Coppens of Talking 10 (Twitter, Facebook) and Madtown Badgers (Twitter, Facebook). In addition to all of the topics above, Andy and I discuss the importance of these rankings for the Group of Five bowl discussions, instant replay conspiracy theories in the Big Ten and we briefly skip around the Top 25 in action this week. As always, I invite you to leave your feedback in the comment section, or to send me a message on Twitter.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.