College Football Takeaways, Top Rankings and more
Last week, the College Football Playoff selection committee released their first playoff rankings that had No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Ohio State, and outside looking in, No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 6 Florida. Northwestern made a massive impact at No. 8 that had many questioning their position and BYU, undefeated and blowing away their opponents, ranked low at No. 14. How will the eye test of the committee determine the rankings with canceled games due to COVID-19? Here are the results of Week 13 games from the CFP Top 10 Rankings:
The Crimson Tide confirmed their No. 1 ranking by defeating Auburn 42-13 in the Iron Bowl without Nick Saban. QB Mac Jones, presumably the number 1 contender for the Heisman Trophy, threw five TDs while the defense locked Bo Nix and his offense.
2. Notre Dame
The Irish should remain at No. 2 as they remained unbeaten on Friday with a win over ranked North Carolina 31-17. The defense carried the team by sacking Sam Howell 6 times and limiting the rush to 87 yards.
Trevor Lawrence returned for Clemson and pounded Pittsburgh 52-17. The Tigers proved each time why they are the caliber team for the playoffs.
4. Ohio State
The committee claims that the Buckeyes are the best team in college football. With just four games, they are ranked high with a potential bid for the playoffs. However, Ohio State had to cancel its game against Illinois this weekend because of COVID-19 positive testings that included head coach Ryan Day. But are they the top team in the nation? The Buckeyes defeated Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, which combined 5-14 record, which are bottom the Big Ten Standings. In the Ohio State/Indiana game, they struggled early with QB Justin Fields throwing 3 INTs. The defense gave up 28 points in the second half.
5. Texas A&M
Although Aggies beat Florida in their third game (41-38), they have not shown the dominance of being the top-caliber team. A&M had two games postponed due to COVID-19. They managed to get by LSU, but QB Kellen Mond went 11-of-34 with just 105 yards in a 20-7 win. One touchdown offense and one defensive touchdown while LSU struggles at the QB position.
As mentioned previously, Florida did lose to Texas A&M. Since the game, Florida has convincingly tortured their opponents in the air with a Heisman contender Kyle Trask. Florida is on a five-game winning streak that includes a victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.
The game against Temple was canceled and declared a no contest. The Bearcats will have to concentrate on Tulsa's back-to-back games as they are the only teams on top of the American Conference. There will be much pressure for the Bearcats as they have a potential bid in the playoffs. Playing Tulsa could be difficult as they play on December 12, the regular game, and December 19, American Conference Championship.
It is confusing to understand as to why Northwestern ranked in this position. The All 4 Downs Podcast had Northwestern in a debatable 14-18 rankings. Overall, the rankings for Big Ten are to be questioned when you have key schools like Michigan, Penn State, and Minnesota who are not performing to their skills. It seems as though when you crown these teams to be ranked, they find a way to tumble down. That is what happened to the Wildcats as they fell hard to Michigan State 29-20. Northwestern came out strong in the second half by scoring 14 points to take the lead 20-17. However, the Spartans were resilient and surpassed the Wildcats with two FGs and a fumble return TD to seal the deal.
Kirby Smart finally made the right decision to start QB JT Daniels. Two games and two fascinating starts that jumped started the offense that is not recognizable. Daniels has thrown 6 TDs and over 500 yards as a starter. The defense is playing playoff mode, but it might be too late. They may be the best two-loss team in the rankings after suffering losses to Florida and Alabama. The Bulldogs defeated South Carolina 45-16 and can impact the rankings coming this Tuesday.
They did not play. The team will start next Saturday.
Due to teams not playing due to COVID-19, should the CFP Committee consider matters and award those playing flexible schedules. Listening to Gary Parta, AD of Iowa-member of the selection committee, defended his explanation last Tuesday on the ESPN selection show was more confusing than any other year when establishing first ranking bids. If you based it on the strength of schedule, that is very hard to do when you have conferences that only play within the conference. You have schools that are playing a limited amount of games. Yet, Parta stated that the committee watched every game. If that is so, why is BYU ranked 14? Does playing three or four games justify the value of a college team? This week, there has to be a change in the top 4. Either Cincinnati or Florida should be ranked fourth and have Ohio State should look outside the bubble until they can play a conference championship.
Northwestern's ranking was a botch. Therefore, BYU should get recognition in the top ten. The Sun Belt Conference should be given more respect than the Big 12. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are 8-1 with a victory over Iowa State. Coastal Carolina defeated Kansas and Louisiana. If you are using the so-called eye test with head-to-head matchups, why not ranked Louisiana and Coastal Carolina as top contenders? At least give Coastal Carolina its respect as they deserve to be ranked above Iowa State and potentially be a top ten team. That is undisputed!
The rankings and the season are boiling, and we hope that the right teams are chosen. This Tuesday, we will see if the committee changes their view on their eye test and award the schools that are following protocol and scoring at will to be the best.