At the midpoint of the Champions Classic in New York City, in the rafters atop of Madison Square Garden, the College Gameday crew announced the official top 25 rankings, including the top 4 teams that would be in the College Football Playoff if the season ended today.
Firstly, these rankings, as Nick Saban likes to say, mean nothing. They are simply where the committee views them at this very point in time, and there is still plenty of football left to be played. I do not believe the committee simply ranks the top 25 teams in their order from best to worst, I think there is a lot more politics involved. They know which teams churn out higher ratings and which matchups will give them the most eyeballs. Because of that, they have set it up in a way for these top games to have serious playoff implications.
I truly believed the committee would decide to make Bama and LSU #1 and #2 (no particular order) because they wanted to have that 1-2 matchup that so rarely happens in the regular season. I thought the top 4 would look like this:
3. Ohio State
After looking further at the rankings, the way the committee sorted this all out was actually really well done. What they’ve done is they’ve created a path for a lot of teams to get into the playoffs. This season of college football has been unlike the others in the playoff-era because this is the first year that there isn’t one truly dominant team.
In recent years it has been Alabama and Clemson’s title to lose. The semifinal games have not been that interesting and those two teams have dominated the competition. This year it’s different and I think the committee has acted accordingly. They looked at, and assessed future schedules and tried to figure out how those games would play out, and created a realistic path for a team currently in the top 9 (NINE) to find their way into the playoff.
For more on the path of how the top 9 teams can make their way into the playoff check out Laced Up Sports' article.