Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss the unveiling of the first College Football Playoff rankings, and share any issues they had with the order sent down by the CFP committee.
DAN WETZEL: The College Football Playoff has come out with its rankings. Number 1-- Tennessee volunteers. Not particularly surprised at that. First time they've been number 1.
Ohio State is number 2. Georgia is number 3. Clemson is 4. Michigan is 5.
Alabama is 6. TCU is 7. Ross, anything stood out for you here?
ROSS DELLENGER: I would say the first thing that kind of stands out is two-loss LSU in the top 10. I didn't expect that. Highest-ranked two-loss team-- kind of sets up, obviously, the top 10 showdown. Maybe that's what the CFP wanted-- a top 10 showdown, Alabama number 6, and LSU number 10.
So that's the one that probably stuck out first. I knew about Michigan's weak non-conference schedule. But I still thought the committee would actually put them in the top four. They're in number 5 behind Clemson, which seems to be one of the more points of outrage, as well as Alabama, as a one-loss team, being ahead of TCU.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, that all was a little bit perplexing to me. I mean, I would have had Michigan ahead of Clemson. I would have had TCU ahead of Alabama. I would have had Georgia ahead of Ohio State.
You know, I don't know how Georgia beating Oregon by 46 isn't more impressive by a long way than anything Ohio State has done. This is all-- thankfully, this is all meaningless. It gets everybody talking, get everybody riled up.
And I did-- I allowed myself to get riled up one time when Boo Corrigan, in the thankless role of being the committee spokesperson, the chair who has to get on TV and give answers and then get on a teleconference with the media and give answers, said that we're looking for complete teams. And I think this was in reference to TCU and perhaps not being as good defensively. And that's why they were ranked behind Alabama and some others there.
Why are you looking for complete teams? That's not your job. You're not there to judge the completeness of it.
If you were, Georgia wouldn't have been number 1 last year. They weren't a complete team at this point. They were a historically great defense with a pretty good offense.
They throw stuff out there. And it's like, what-- y'all, quit trying to be, like, football experts and just judge the records and the resumes, and go from there. That's what drives me crazy when all the sudden, you got an AD who's busy as hell, trying to be an AD, all of a sudden, stepping in and saying, well, this is a more complete team.
They're certainly more explosive. They can get the ball to the outer thirds. Stuff like-- just stop. Stop. Stop. Quit being football analysts, and just put the teams in order.
DAN WETZEL: Well, I'm glad you're still fired up. Boo Corrigan-- first off, this is a marketing, you said, Ross. Maybe they put LSU at 10 so they could have a top 10 match-up. I wouldn't even have a problem with that because this entire thing is just marketing.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, it's a TV show.
DAN WETZEL: So why the hell didn't you have Tennessee, Georgia, 1, 2.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, for marketing purposes. Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Like, was there some just incredible football or analytic integrity that just had to get the Buckeyes in there at 2 over 3?
PAT FORDE: Or did you want to immediately avoid the, oh, my god, SEC domination backlash?
DAN WETZEL: It doesn't matter. One of them's going to win. One of them's going to lose.
I don't know. But other than that, I mean, whatever. Michigan's 5. OK, well, they get to play Ohio State.
There are 14 teams, by my reckoning, that can still make the playoff, regardless of where they're currently ranked. And that includes number 16, like Illinois, includes number 17. North Carolina could win out.
PAT FORDE: Yep.
DAN WETZEL: LSU can make it. They would have to beat Alabama. And then they would maybe go to Atlanta and avenge the Tennessee loss. Ole Miss can make it.
Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia-- that's your SEC teams. Oregon, USC, and UCLA still have a case. I do not like the narrative that Oregon was eliminated because the first game was so bad. It was bad. But they improved.
If they improve and they end up winning out, they certainly have a candidacy. Now, obviously, if there's four unbeaten teams, no, you're not getting in. Illinois, as we have said, it's got a chance.
They visit Michigan. And then they could conceivably play Michigan or Ohio State again in the Big Ten Championship game. So they could get in.
Ohio State and Michigan can obviously get in. TCU obviously can get in for the Big Ten. They're unbeaten. North Carolina could run the table, beat Clemson in the ACC Championship game, and they have a case.
I don't know if it's great. But their one loss could end up being to Notre Dame, who could still have a pretty good season. And obviously, Clemson can make it. Those are my 14.