All the speculation has begun on who will be in at #4 when the final College Football Playoff ranking is released on Sunday. And yes, all of the “expert” analysts are posting their rankings and breakdown. Posts from personalities like Kirk, Gary and many more are just opinions and likely has no final bearing on what “the Committee” decides this morning. It is like I have always said, “Opinions are like belly buttons and many of them are a little fuzzy.” Now get ready for Tim’s Top Ten.
First of all, I always place value of winning your conference, especially one of the super conferences. If you can make through a competitive schedule and then win your conference game, I believe that is essentially a perfect playoff situation and you are the best of your conference’s best. Even when my beloved Dawgs were not selected as the final two back in 2007, I was disappointed, but said, they should have took care of business in September through November and win the conference. Given that as an initial qualifier, here is my ranking (not a seeding, keep reading for that).
- Clemson (12-1): Impressive conference championship win, combined with strong performances to close the season earns my number one spot. Granted they did slip up against Syracuse and there are the caveats that there was a major injury, but to be a good team, you have to survive injuries.
- Georgia (12-1): Great win over Auburn in the SEC Championship and their only loss came to an Auburn team that was ranked in the top ten at the time. Good teams also show how they can adjust and recover from a bad loss to a good team.
- Oklahoma (12-1): Solid win over TCU in the Big-12 Championship, but their slip up was to Iowa State, at home. This combined with not playing much defense at times justified their slip to #3. Plus defense wins championships
- Ohio State (11-2): Didn’t think I would go there did you? They won a thriller against an unbeaten Wisconsin team to win the Big-10 Championship. Iowa loss was ugly, but like the Georgia case, a good team recovers, add a championship from a major conference, you punch your ticket.
- USC (11-2): I jumped them to number five based on the conference championship and they are playing some good ball right now.
- Auburn (10-3): They make the top six because they made it to the conference championship and are a solid football team. Isn’t this about the best football teams right now?
- Alabama (11-1): Some will argue that I dropped them too low. We all expect “the committee” to rank them either 4 or 5, but they lost to Auburn, a top ten team, didn’t make the championship game, and basically haven’t looked good the last few weeks.
- UCF (12-0): Unbeaten in a mid-major and an ugly 2OT conference championship win still earns their way into my top eight.
- Wisconsin (12-1): Nice season, tough loss in the title game.
- Miami (10-2): Good to see Mark Richt have success in his second season, but things got ugly at the end.
For the future, I think an eight team play off would be in order and there is where an Alabama could get in at an At-Large, non-conference winner. This would also be where a Notre Dame could get an opportunity (C’mon guys do the right thing in get in a conference). Here is how I would seed it with another mid-major conference winner: 1) Clemson vs 8) Boise St; 2)Georgia vs 7) UCF; 3)Oklahoma vs 6) USC; 4) Ohio State vs 5) Alabama. Sorry conference championship runner-ups. You lost your playoff game last night.
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