This year’s initial College Football Playoff rankings were bound to be the strangest, for obvious reasons. In a year marred by uncertainty, it was anyone’s guess as to how the committee would weigh factors such as the number of games a team has played, strength of schedule and even games lost due to unavailable players. Although the Ducks were considered a longshot to make this year’s CFP due to a small and relatively easy schedule, their landing spot in these initial CFP rankings would be a good indicator of their Playoff chances.
Unfortunately, it would appear Oregon doesn’t stand much of a chance to make a serious Playoff push based on the committee’s highly questionable rankings. The Ducks are rightfully ranked behind the undefeated teams with stronger resumes than them to this point (Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Northwestern). And they’re also understandably behind a few one-loss teams that have stronger wins than them at the moment (Clemson, Florida and Texas A&M). This should have put Oregon right on the edge of the top 10, in competition with teams such as BYU, and possibly Miami and Indiana.
Instead, Oregon ranks behind those teams — and a few others — despite winning two of its three games by multiple possessions, and ultimately remaining undefeated, unlike many of the teams ahead of it.
Two-loss Iowa State and Oklahoma both rank ahead of Oregon, despite Iowa State losing at home to a now-unranked team from the mighty Sun Belt conference, and Oklahoma nearly losing three in a row before it pulled out an overtime victory against Texas. No. 9 Georgia is somehow ranked ahead of all of these teams, with its only win worth mentioning coming against Auburn. That win was solid, but getting blown out by Alabama and Florida should factor into their positioning too, right?
Miami and Indiana are getting credit as one-loss teams for beating absolutely nobody. Miami’s best wins are a three-point victory against NC State and a one-point victory against Virginia Tech — both unranked, middle-of-the-pack ACC teams. Indiana’s wins are honestly worse; the four teams they have beaten have a combined four wins among them. The Hoosiers are getting credit for keeping their game against Ohio State close, but a “good loss” shouldn’t overshadow what has been a cakewalk schedule so far for them.
Do you think that the Ducks got the raw end of the deal in these initial CFP rankings? Is it possible for Oregon to somehow impress the committee enough in the coming weeks to make a Playoff push, or is the writing on the wall for our feathered friends?
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Photo by Tom Corno
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