By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL/Designated Writers
The first College Football Playoff rankings are out and we should all expect the world to stop spinning on its axis. Here’s what the committee decided would be be going down if the season ended today.
(Quick note — the season doesn’t end today, so all the wailing and gnashing of teeth is absolutely, 100 percent pointless. So go ahead and over-analyze it all you want; nobody is going to remember these in two weeks, much less in December,)
2. Alabama: No way the exact same team with the exact same resume is ranked No. 2. They lost to unranked Texas A&M and didn’t really look that good doing it. The big wins are over Miami and Florida, neither of which looks that good right now. Top four is a coin flip; top two is based on history. Shouldn’t be.
3. Michigan State: Flavor of the Week. The Spartans beat Nebraska by three. At home. Not 1995 Nebraska; this Nebraska. They do close with Ohio State and Penn State, so we shall see.
4. Oregon: You always hear about how teams that “have the best win” so if that truly means something, then the Ducks have the best win of anybody this year. They went to Oho State and dominated the Buckeyes and did it without their best player (defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux). There is a loss on the road at Stanford that is a mark against the Ducks, but as long as they are ahead of Ohio State, I’m OK with it.
5. Ohio State: They have dominated everyone they have played since Oregon, but that’s still going to be a roadblock untill proven differently.
6. Cincinnati: Well, well, well … look what we have here. So much will be read into this, but just leave it alone. Now, if teams start jumping them, then that’s a different story. I get what the committee is thinking – do you really think the Bearcats would beat any of the five teams above them?
7. Michigan: I understand that the analytics bear this out, but they also only beat Nebraska by three and in the Jim Harbaugh Era, the Wolverines are 2-13 against Top 10 teams. If history matters for Alabama and Ohio State, why doesn’t it matter here?
8. Oklahoma: I think this is too low. I know they haven’t looked great in a few games and I’m not saying they should be in the top four, but the Sooner are dangerous, especially with freshman Caleb Williams now at quarterback.
9. Wake Forest: Never fall in love with a team that scores a lot of points. It might also be a good idea to never fall in love with a team from the ACC this year. The Deacons are a cute story and they’ve beaten exactly zero ranked teams.
10. Notre Dame: Nothing the Irish have done this year would give you any indication that they are Final Four worthy. Top 10 is a stretch, but they’ve got to put somebody there.