Welcome to the Funvee Tailgate BLOG! For longtime readers, you’ll remember this supplemental series as a way for me to break down the newest College Football Playoff Poll. The reason for this: the committee never really seems to give a consistent way of determining the order for their poll. This week’s post will likely be shorter than the ones you have read last season as I’ve been breaking down some of the crazier weeks in the days after they’ve happened, including this past weekend for Week 9. Regardless, the first poll was still a shocker so it’s time to try to make some sense of it. LET’S FIIIIIIIIRE IT UP!!!
We need to talk about Georgia being the CFP #1 team over Alabama (CFP #2). Matty D, Kenny, and I all have discussed it on the podcast: the AP Poll doesn’t punish you until you lose while the CFP holds your shitty schedule accountable. It’s why I put the 7-1 Ohio State at #3 and Wisconsin at #6 in my terribly guestimated poll earlier this week. The committee cited Georgia’s quality wins vs. Alabama’s best win being over Texas A&M. I’ve always thought they should try to assume the four teams they’re putting here are the actual matchups they project at the end of the season, but I applaud the committee for rewarding Georgia’s tougher road to an unbeaten record at this point. That being said, if an unbeaten Georgia beats an unbeaten Alabama in the SEC Championship, I would think Alabama would get in as the 3-seed, not the 2-seed. Can’t give one conference that much credit–especially when you look at the rest of the SEC.
Notre Dame got the 3-seed in the first poll because of how they’ve played through their current gauntlet and the fact that their only loss was by one point to the current CFP #1. Georgia being #1 might also explain ND getting #3 instead of a projected rematch at #4–I do really think that if the committee is putting in two teams that played already, they wouldn’t rematch them in the semifinal. Once again, the CFP committee is rewarding a team for navigating a tough schedule and it’s great to see this. Part of me wonders if it’s only because of the wild season we’ve been having but we’ve come to expect an unpredictable first poll upon release.
Rounding out the top four is Clemson who I would’ve thought been left out considering their schedule. They’ve beaten Auburn and Virginia Tech but the Syracuse road loss is a tough pill to swallow, especially considering how they bounced back this past weekend. Considering Oklahoma and Ohio State have each beaten a top 10 team, you’d think the committee would’ve put those two schools ahead of Clemson at this point. I’d guess when you’re assuming one conference is sending in two teams and the final spot is being determined by three different “projected” conference champs, you give the initial nod to the last team to beat Nick Saban. I talked about Oklahoma’s next two weeks against OK State and TCU, perhaps the committee wants OU to show them something. If the Sooners win both bouts, they will HAVE to be in.
The committee has made it quite clear here that the Pac 12 is likely OUT of contention with Washington being the only team in the Top 15 (remember, the team at CFP #14 in the first poll has made it to the playoff in two of the first three years). That being said, A LOT would need to happen for Washington to get in and EVEN MORE for one of the two-loss Pac 12 teams–likely, some three-loss conference champions out of the ACC, Big Ten, and Big XII.
We could debate where the rest of the teams in the Top 15 are “priced in,” but right now, there is still so much left in the air with HUGE matchups to be played this weekend. Stay tuned for Matty D and me to break this all down Thursday night on the podcast. Let me know your thoughts on the first poll in the comments below…Follow @geordo9