College Football Playoff Rankings 2016: Experts React to Week 13 Top 25 Poll

College Football Playoff Rankings 2016: Experts React to Week 13 Top 25 Poll

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The latest College Football Playoff rankings provide little clarity heading into the final few weeks of the 2016 season.

Alabama remains the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country, still undefeated with a strong resume of impressive wins. Ohio State, Michigan and Clemson follow in the next three spots, which would represent the semifinals if the year ended today. Of course, Michigan and Ohio State will play each other Saturday, with the loser likely falling down the polls.

This makes it important to follow the next few spots as teams continue to jockey for position in the coming weeks. Here are the latest rankings as decided by the committee:



The big discussion after Tuesday’s release might be the presence of the Big Ten, which should be pretty happy about the way the rankings came out, as noted by Nicole Auerbach of USA Today:

It remains to be seen if this will turn in to one or two teams in the final Top Four. 

Brady Frederickson of the Ledger noted the scenarios for the conference:

Meanwhile, Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports 1 noted the problem with ranking Wisconsin so high:

There will be a lot of discussion about Ohio State against Penn State if the Nittany Lions are able to win the conference title with a victory over the Buckeyes on their resume. However, Jared Shanker of doesn’t believe that is guaranteed:

The fact Washington is sitting at No. 5 will make a big difference, though, especially if the Huskies are able to win their final two games.

Interestingly, FiveThirtyEight lists Oklahoma as the most likely to sneak into the playoff, per ESPN Stats and Info:

Committee chair Kirby Hocutt discussed the closeness at that point of the rankings, per Derek Levarse of the Times Leader:

He added another team that has been impressive lately, per Ted Miller of ESPN:

USC stays outside the Top 10 thanks to three losses, although Joel Klatt of Fox Sports believes it should be higher based on level of recent play:

Western Michigan remains far down the list at No. 21 despite its 11-0 record, battling Boise State (No. 19), Houston (No. 20) and Navy (No. 25) as the highest-ranked “Group of Five” team.

Shehan Jeyarajah of SEC Country isn’t happy about the bottom of the rankings:

Meanwhile, Bruce Feldman of wants to see Houston higher:

In any case, fans should expect a lot of movement in the next two weeks. In addition to the high-profile battle between Michigan and Ohio State, just about every top contender has a tough matchup during rivalry week that could lead to upsets. These games will be followed by championship week, where anything can happen.

While you might not like the rankings now, remember a lot can change before the playoff matchups are set.


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