The college football action in Week 12 featured a wild slate with each of the top four teams in the country struggling to pick up wins. Did that shake up this week’s edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings? Not really. The top four remained the same with Georgia at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2, Michigan at No. 3 and TCU in at No. 4 after its walk-off win over Baylor.
There was a shakeup behind the teams ranked in the top four, however. Among the most notable movement was Tennessee falling from No. 5 to No. 10 after a blowout loss to unranked South Carolina and North Carolina dropping from 13 to No. 17 after losing to Georgia Tech.
So which teams in the updated College Football Playoff Rankings are overrated and underrated as we enter the final weekend of the regular season? Let’s have a look.
The two-loss Crimson Tide chimed in at No. 7, one spot ahead of one-loss Clemson and three spots ahead of a Tennessee team with the same record that it lost to in October. Why? Because of recency bias and the fact that Tennessee just got smoked by unranked South Carolina? That’s not a reasonable excuse.
Alabama struggled to beat Texas, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. That’s in addition to “good losses” to No. 5 LSU and No. 10 Tennessee, which CFP selection committee chair Boo Corrigan referenced on the broadcast. “Game control” is a metric that is often cited by the committee, and Alabama has struggled to control several games this year even in wins. The Crimson Tide are No. 7 because of brand recognition — nothing more and nothing less.
The Trojans have wins at No. 21 Oregon State and at No. 18 UCLA, the latter of which came in Week 12. Its one loss was a wild one-point defeat on the road to No. 14 Utah. Why, exactly, is it behind two-loss LSU? It seems like it’s either more of a nod to the SEC or, conversely, a penalty to the Pac-12.
The Tigers have two losses: a Week 1 loss to No. 16 Florida State and a blowout loss at home to No. 10 Tennessee. Their signature wins are over No. 7 Alabama and No. 20 Ole Miss. Those are solid victories, but are they that much better than what USC has posted? No. USC should be rewarded for its 10 wins, not penalized due to conference perception despite having a better resume than a team above it.
The two-loss Ducks were ranked at No. 9 after a 20-17 win over Utah, which, don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic win. However, they are two weeks removed from a home loss to No. 13 Washington that broke a 23-game home winning streak at Autzen Stadium.
Oregon is getting the benefit of the doubt because it has a “good” loss to top-ranked Georgia in Week 1, even though it was a 49-3 blowout in which the Dawgs could have put up 70 if they wanted. The point differential is supposed to matter … at least a little bit. It seems like Oregon is being rewarded for simply playing Georgia in Atlanta rather than what it actually did on the field in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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The 13th-ranked Huskies in the “underrated” section goes hand-in-hand with Oregon being listed as “overrated.” Washington defeated Oregon on the road and has a win over No. 21 Oregon State. That has to matter. The passing attack led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is one of the most dynamic in the country, and coach Kalen DeBoer has resurrected a once-proud program into a contender in just one season.
Washington lost at UCLA, a team that Oregon defeated. It also has an inexplicable loss to Arizona State, which clearly resonated within the confines of the meeting room more than the head-to-head win the Huskies have over the Ducks. If all things are equal, or at least close to equal, the head-to-head result has to matter. Washington is close enough from a resume standpoint to deserve a higher ranking than Oregon.