The College Football Playoff selection committee unveiled its Week 11 batch of rankings Tuesday night, with the Top Three unchanged.
Alabama, Clemson and Michigan all won in Week 10 to maintain their perfect records, so there was no chance they’d drop out of the Top Four.
The CFP committee rectified what many argued was a big mistake in their initial rankings when it ranked Texas A&M fourth ahead of unbeaten Washington. The Aggies made the committee’s decision a lot easier when they lost 35-28 to Mississippi State last Saturday.
As a result, the Huskies climbed into the Top Four.
Ohio State narrowly missed out. Eleven Warriors isn’t getting too worked up about the Buckeyes’ position just yet:
Herbstreit's right. No matter where Ohio State shows in the CFP rankings tonight, it's not worth sweating (or putting stock into) yet.
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 9, 2016
The Dispatch‘s Bill Rabinowitz is counting on Oklahoma to provide Ohio State a bump in the coming weeks:
Oklahoma moves up to 11. The higher the Sooners go, the better for Ohio State.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) November 9, 2016
Land of 10’s Ben Axelrod expects plenty more surprises to come over the remainder of the regular season:
Washington is no. 4. Ohio State is No. 5. None of this will mean anything come Nov. 26.
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) November 9, 2016
Like Ohio State, Louisville will need some good fortune the rest of the way in order to book a place in the semifinals. For Uproxx’s Matt Hinton, the Cardinals’ problem is the fact they lack many opportunities to win over the selection committee again:
Championships matter, and the fact that Louisville has no realistic route to win the ACC is a killer. No big games left, either.
— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) November 9, 2016
Looking at the bigger picture, ESPN College Football provided a quick look at the teams that moved the most:
⬇️ The biggest winners and losers in the updated College Football Playoff rankings. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nd3ANxN1on
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 9, 2016
While the team’s chances of getting into the playoff are slim to none, Western Michigan fans will be happy to see the Broncos’ hard work continues to be rewarded. They were 23rd in the Week 10 playoff rankings and jumped into 21st after their 52-20 win over Ball State.
Hustle Belt wondered, though, if Western Michigan is getting the respect it deserves:
"Wisconsin's two losses are as good as anyone in the country" is an argument I actually just heard to justify them at 7.
WMU has 0 L's.
— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 9, 2016
USC is in a somewhat odd position this year. Whereas they’re often given more credit than they deserve by voters, the Trojans are arguably underrated after winning their last five games.
Neither the AP Top 25 Poll nor Amway Coaches Poll has the Trojans among its Top 25 teams, but the playoff committee inserted USC at No. 20. USA Today‘s Dan Wolken thought the ranking was fully deserved:
Nice to see USC recognized by the committee at No. 20 unlike the coaches and AP voters.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 9, 2016
Although it registers little impact on the playoff discussion, Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde was surprised at the relative respect granted to Nebraska after it lost 62-3 to Ohio State:
CFP Top 25: LSU plummets 11 points after losing to Bama by 10. Nebraska drops nine spots after losing by 59. Hand of Alvarez!
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) November 9, 2016
Jumping on that point, FoxSports.com’ Bruce Feldman saw a flaw in the selection committee’s justification for inserting Texas A&M in at No. 4 last week:
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 9, 2016
ESPN.com’s Brian Bennett also criticized what he saw as a lack of consistency:
I mean, Texas A&M somehow got credit for losing by 19 at ‘Bama, but Ohio State gets punished for losing by 3 at No. 10 Penn State? Nonsense
— Brian Bennett (@BennettESPN) November 9, 2016
Ohio State and Louisville fans may feel aggrieved by the fact their teams are ranked behind Washington. Until the Huskies falter, though, they’ll almost certainly get the edge over the one-loss Buckeyes and Cardinals.
Granted, Washington has tricky games against USC and Washington State ahead, in addition to the Pac-12 championship if the Huskies get that far. It’s far from a sure thing Chris Petersen‘s team makes it to December unscathed.
The 2016 season has already delivered plenty of upsets, and another shock—or two—is likely in store.