Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

How the first College Football Playoff rankings shook out

The First 2019 College Football Playoff Poll Is Out And You’ll Never Guess Who’s No. 1! (It’s Alabama) Michigan Checks In At No. 5 In Initial College Football Playoff Rankings
Rita Gibson | 01 November, 2018, 16:26

MI is No. 5.

But after the rankings were released, experts and fans alike were speculating best- and worst-case scenarios for their teams.

The first College Football Playoff rankings are out.

Fresh off a win over Miami, the 6-2 Eagles were ranked No. 22 in the first set of College Football Playoff rankings and opened as one-point favorites before the line moved to 2. Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is running away with the Heisman Trophy, and he hasn't even thrown a pass in the fourth quarter this year.

Yes, I think Alabama is easily one of the four best teams in the country. The Crimson Tide travel to No. 5 LSU (7-1, 4-1). Across the Big Ten it's Michigan coming in at No. 5 just outside of the playoff field with Ohio State at No. 10 while Michigan State and Wisconsin both are unranked in the opening week of the poll.

More importantly, MI will have more quality wins.

If the Wolverines win out, there are few scenarios that could keep them out of the playoff. "By comparison, Notre Dame has three such wins". Only Alabama, Clemson and LSU were ahead of the Irish.

Trace McSorley returns from knee injury, sprints for TD
The 6-foot, 202-pound McSorley has started 35 straight games for Penn State since the start of the 2016 season. Just before taking the hit, Stanley pitched to Tristan Wirfs , who gained 15 yards before being tackled.

Again, the one-loss SEC champion would get in, and if Clemson and Notre Dame are undefeated, it would leave MI and Alabama fighting for one spot.

15 for the first week in 2015 and No. 5 previous year, and the Sooners were able to make the climb into the final four spots when it mattered most.

Sound familiar? That's exactly what happened to Alabama last season after a loss to Auburn. That would force the committee to jump the Buckeyes over other conference champions.

Michigan State got a big win over Purdue last week and their conference championship hopes stay alive once again.

Although the Sooners are in a good spot, it doesn't appear they control their own destiny. Quality wins are important, and now that the CFP rankings will overtake the AP polls, those are something to watch for as well. And then North Carolina State was added to the mix at No. 21 after missing out on the AP Top 25 for the first time since Week Five. Fresno State, 24. Iowa State and 25. The committee certainly leans more towards the latter.

It's the first time the Tigers have been ranked in the top four of the playoff rankings since November 3, 2015.

A 12-1 MI team would only have to worry if it struggled badly against IN or Rutgers. The committee looked deeply at the games these teams have played and were impressed with their schedules. That same formula gave LSU just a 12 percent chance. Notre Dame still faces off against a tough Northwestern team this week and MI still has Penn State and Ohio State left on the schedule.

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