College Football Playoff Rankings Week 2: Minnesota and Baylor Collapse, Georgia Claws its way back into the Top 4

The College Football Playoff Rankings were just released and the Top 7 are as follows:

  1. LSU (10-0)
  2. Ohio State (10-0)
  3. Clemson (11-0)
  4. Georgia (9-1)
  5. Alabama (9-1)
  6. Oregon (9-1)
  7. Utah (9-1)

LSU once again highlights a field of strong contenders for the college football playoff, coming off victories against Auburn, Alabama, and Florida, all strong SEC rivals. This is no surprise, however, as they have, arguably, the Heisman front-runner in QB Joe Burrow and the number one offense in passing efficiency. Currently, they seem to be a lock for either a one or two seed, playing the punching bag of the SEC, Arkansas, and an overrated Texas A&M squad.

The true intrigue of the week’s rankings takes place with the other two SEC teams in the running for a championship. While Alabama is coming off a good win on paper against SEC foe Mississippi State, they fell a place in the standings to Georgia. It is clear the committee does not look at the simple wins and losses of teams like the BCS did but instead look at the current state of the team and the “flukiness” of their loss. In most major statistical categories, especially those pertaining to defense, Georgia has the edge. While they are a one-loss team, their one loss was, in the eyes of the committee, not a true testament to their skill but simply a bad day which can be forgiven if other schools lose games as well. 

More notably, Alabama recently lost its star quarterback Tua Tagavoiloa for the remainder of the season and only scored three points with backup Mac Jones against a weak Mississippi State defense. The committee sees this and considers them a significantly lesser team without Tua. After the pivotal decision by the committee, the only way Alabama will squeak in is if they manage to win the Iron Bowl by a considerable margin, and then receive help from Georgia in either a loss to Texas A&M or a blowout in the SEC Championship Game, the latter being far more likely. When one looks back onto this Alabama season, it may seem as if Tua’s injuries were the reason the powerhouse of Alabama did not reach the playoff, but their shaky defense was their true Achilles heel, evidenced by a whopping 46 points given up to LSU. 

Last week, a major topic of discussion was the case of the underdogs, Baylor (14) and Minnesota (10), and their chances of making the playoffs. Those chances have been effectively nixed, with both teams taking losses to Oklahoma and Iowa, respectively. The committee will find it extremely hard to fit these teams into the playoff now that they have a loss, and the chances of non-blue blood making the playoff have ended. It was a sad ending to an otherwise magical season by both teams, but one that was seen as inevitable since the beginning.

The regular season tests of many of the SEC teams have now ended, and the big games for the remainder of the season will be in the Big-10. The next two weeks will be a crucible for the Ohio State University, with games against Penn State (8) and Michigan (13). So far, Ohio State has looked the part of a top 2 powerhouse, being 10-0 and being top 5 in almost every statistical category. Their stars have shone, with JK Dobbins top 5 in rushing yards while only playing 3 quarters per game, and Justin Fields continuing to prove the doubters wrong every week. If the Ohio State we have seen so far this season shows up to their last two regular-season contests and the Big 10 Championship, it should be an easy road to the top 4. However, Ohio State has a history of blowing seemingly perfect opportunities; seen last year with a blowout loss against Purdue. Also, with Michigan QB Shea Patterson becoming better and better each week, and an extremely balanced Penn State team to contend with, nothing is guaranteed. 

– Sam Richardson ‘22


The following is Edsman staff writer Diego Palko’s ‘21 response to the College Football Playoff Rankings and a response to Richardson’s take on this week’s rankings:

Although I mostly agree with the rankings, I do believe the unthinkable can happen in the following weeks when pertaining to Alabama.  

Some people thought Alabama would drop just because of Tua’s injury, but I don’t think Tua’s injury should affect the rankings.  Out of high school, Mack Jones was a talented 3 start recruit and the 20th best Pro-style QB in the country. With Alabama’s core group of receivers, a pro-style QB might be something the Crimson Tide need.  Over the last couple of games, Tua has looked shaky, especially against LSU. He seemed timid running the ball, partially because of an unhealthy ankle, but when he did run the ball, he fumbled without contact.  Maybe Mack Jones is the answer to Alabama’s entrance ticket into the College Football Playoff. Flashback to 2015, when the 3rd string quarterback Cardale Jones lead the Ohio State Buckeyes to a National Championship and a Semi-Final win over Alabama.  Hardly anybody expected this, and this could be the same case for Mack Jones. He could very well lead the Crimson Tide to the College Football playoff, possibly even acquiring the #3 or #4 seed. Historically, the #1 seed has never won a national championship in the playoff era.  So maybe, just maybe, Mack Jones leads a very talented and speedy Alabama offense to a national championship.