The second week of College Football Playoff rankings is upon us, and there's even more controversy to sift through this week than last when Clemson was placed as #1 in the first reveal. One-loss Notre Dame's inclusion above the cut line at #4, below the aforementioned Tigers, Alabama, and Ohio State, has left several fan bases of undefeated teams around the nation scratching their head. We'll try to make some sense of all of it with our College Football Playoff: 3 Things We Learned From The 2nd Rankings Reveal.
1. This Will Always Be A Subjective Snapshot
The top three of Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State felt like a given. Swap the orders a bit and we still wouldn't have been surprised. The real intrigue for us comes with pick #4. Notre Dame is a worthy choice, considering the fact that they've overcome an insane amount of season-ending injuries just to be a functional team, let alone an 8-1 CFP contender. It also helps that they're only loss was by a hair to #1 Clemson.
#5 Iowa and #6 Baylor, though, have both dealt with their fair share of adversity as well. Baylor's starting QB Seth Russell is out for the year with a neck injury. Hawkeyes starting RB Jordan Canzeri is just coming back from an ankle injury, but Iowa's running game remained just as potent with Akrum Wadley as the engine. Also, neither of these teams have lost. So, there's that.
In the end, Notre Dame, Baylor, and Iowa all have legit cases to be #4. Put a group of different people in that committee room, and we're guessing you would have gotten a different result.
2. Notre Dame/Stanford Is An Elimination Game
#7 Stanford's next two home games aren't gimmes (Oregon, Cal), but they're heavy favorites to win both. Notre Dame's schedule eases off with a home game against Wake Forest and a road game against a Boston College team that is allergic to playing offense.
There's a very good chance that both the Cardinal and Irish win their next two games, setting up a College Football Playoff knockout game. With no conference championship game to alter Notre Dame's final impression, a loss to the Cardinal opens the door for an undefeated or one-loss team to vault them easily. Stanford would have a mulligan in the Pac-12 title game, but two losses would still likely be too much to overcome.
If you're looking for that one football game to get away from visiting relatives on Thanksgiving weekend, this is it.
3. So Are You Ready For A Cinderella Story?
Want to see the heads of the fans of Top 10 teams explode? Tell them they'll have to wait a week to figure out their program's College Football Playoff fate if a really good #20 Navy team continues their roll to an American Athletic Conference win.
Why, you ask? Well, one-loss Navy would be well in line for the Group of Six's automatic New Year's Six bowl bid, but the committee would have to wait to make their final determination on the Midshipmen's ranking fate until the Army/Navy game the week after the final CFP rankings are slated to be released. There's a very good chance Navy, who handed Memphis their first loss this past Saturday, will turn that chaos into a reality.
Firstly, they're as efficient as any team outside the elite on offense, and they have a defense that papers over its limitations with a great mind for field positioning. Secondly, they have a chance to boost their resume by taking down currently-undefeated #24 Houston on Black Friday. Navy isn't just good. They're worthy of a New Year's Six bowl.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed