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What we learned from tonight’s College Football Playoff Rankings

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield reacts on the field during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
What we learned from tonight’s College Football Playoff Rankings

Trying To Explain College Football Playoff Committee’s Thoughts On Valuing Wins

The College Football Playoff Committee released their Week 11 rankings tonight. In it, we learned that the committee values wins a little bit differently than what the public imagined they would. This idea brought a sudden discussion between two teams. Here are the résumé’s for those two teams:

Team One-

9-1 Overall Record
Two Wins Against CFP Top 25
One Win Against CFP Top 15
Six Wins Against Teams Over .500
Loss To 4-6 Team


Team Two-

9-1 Overall Record
Three Wins Against CFP Top 25
Three Wins Against CFP Top 15
Three Wins Against Teams Over .500
Loss To 6-4 Team

Team One is Clemson, who came in at No. 2 in tonight’s Rankings. While Oklahoma, who is Team Two, came in at No .4. Kirby Hocutt, Playoff Committee Chairman, mentioned that they valued Clemson’s “six wins against teams over.500” while not mentioning wins against College Football Top 25 teams. Oklahoma has wins over No. 9 Ohio State (in Columbus), No. 12 TCU, and No. 13 Oklahoma State (in Stillwater).

Hocutt also mentioned that Kelly Bryant’s injury for Clemson in the loss to Syracuse is a factor for Clemson. In the loss to Iowa State, Oklahoma had lost their leading rusher heading into the game, Abdul Adams, to injury (freshman wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb, also went out with an injury in the loss). Nevertheless, Syracuse is currently 4-6 while Iowa State is 6-4.

These are the new metrics that the College Football Playoff Committee is going by as of Week Eleven. If the Committee continues to value the wins over .500 teams, Oklahoma could be looking at a dangerous situation with a one-loss Alabama team, if that one loss comes to SEC Champ Georgia. The reason? Alabama could be a Top Four team in the Committee’s eyes. Then, the scenario with comparing Oklahoma to Clemson for wins against teams over .500 comes to fruition, especially if Wisconsin wins out. Alabama wouldn’t have a conference championship in their back pocket, but it’s still Alabama.

The Committee’s exact view on the Final Four teams is somewhat in doubt. It is unknown and unprecedented for them to do so, but tonight’s Rankings spark up a new conversation that could see a situation that the current metrics push an at-large team into the Playoff over a Power Five Conference Champion with the same record. In that situation of Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma, the Committee would be sending a loud message to both fanbases and college football about the value of winning your conference.

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