Initial College Football Playoff rankings announced
On Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff committee announced its first official team rankings for the 2020 season. Here is where things stand right now.
Notre Dame (8-0)
Ohio State (4-0)
Texas A&M (5-1)
Iowa State (6-2)
North Carolina (6-2)
Coastal Carolina (8-0)
Oklahoma State (5-2)
The top four aren't really a surprise, but it is a notable that Clemson is above an undefeated Ohio State. The Tigers have definitely looked better than the Buckeyes this year, and Clemson's only loss came with some key players missing, so it's hard to dispute this order. Northwestern is likely going to face the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship and comes in at No.8. Wisconsin comes in at No. 16 after being knocked out of conference title contention.
The committee clearly put an emphasis on head-to-head wins, as Texas A&M, who beat Florida, is ranked ahead of the Gators, despite having the same record. I think Florida is the better team, but the criteria for this decision certainly makes sense.
Another interesting result is that one loss Miami is ranked behind a two loss Georgia team that has had several QB questions and been much more erratic. I think the Hurricanes deserve to be ranked ahead of the Bulldogs.
The biggest surprise is probably BYU. The Cougars are 9-0 and were expected to come in a little but higher than their current No. 14 ranking. They should really be closer to the top ten, and shouldn't be behind so many two loss teams (Georgia, Oklahoma, and Iowa State). They have a similar strength of schedule and win margin as No. 7 Cincinnati. If they get the rumored game against the Bearcats scheduled, it will definitely strengthen their ranking.
Another big surprise is Iowa making an appearance. The Hawkeyes are a difficult team to figure out. They lost their first two games of the season before winning three in a row. However, those three wins came against three of the worst teams in the Big Ten this season. I wasn't expecting to see them in this poll, and we likely won't really know how good they are until the season finale against Wisconsin.
New rankings will be announced by the committee each Tuesday night for the rest of the season, and the four team playoff field will be announced on Sunday, December 20.