How Will CFB Playoff Rankings Look Following a Wild Week 11?

Proving week in and week out why college football is the most exciting game on the planet, Week 11 saw four teams in the Top 10 of the CFB Playoff rankings lose (all on the road, with three of them falling to fellow Top 10 teams). When the new CFB Playoff rankings come out this Tuesday, much will look different. The Georgia Bulldogs will no longer occupy the No. 1 spot. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will drop, while the TCU Horned Frogs and Washington Huskies will likely fall out of the Top 10. While things did not go well for those four teams, others will clearly reap the rewards following a wild Week 11 slate of games. With roughly two regular season games remaining before we separate some contenders from pretenders during the conference championship games on December 2, a lot will still change. But, if I were releasing my version of the CFB Playoffs rankings entering Week 12, this is how it would look:

  1. Oklahoma Sooners
  2. Alabama Crimson Tide
  3. Clemson Tigers
  4. Miami Hurricanes

I could go on to reveal No. 5-25, but I had a hard enough time in the Top 4, to be honest. Right now, to me, these are the best four teams in the college football landscape and deserve to go to the CFB Playoff. Of course, as Saturday once again taught us, things can change in a hurry. The Sooners vault to the top spot following a blowout of TCU, as well as the fact that they have three victories over teams currently ranked in the Top 25 of the Week 11 CFB Playoff rankings. The Tigers also have three wins over currently ranked teams, justifying their No. 3 spot. Alabama has two wins, which is the same as Miami. Of course, Notre Dame also has three wins over currently ranked teams, but they drop due to the beatdown they received at the hands of the ‘Canes on Saturday night.

Could “Boomer Sooner” be playing loudly as OU makes a case for the top spot in the next CFB Playoff rankings?

As for some of the other teams on the outside looking in, despite the fact that the Auburn Tigers have two losses, they also have two wins over currently ranked CFB Playoff teams, including yesterday’s drubbing of the previously undefeated Bulldogs. Couple that with a very close loss against Clemson, and Auburn can still reach the CFB Playoff with a win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl, followed by an SEC Championship victory over Georgia.

Say what you want about the Big 10 Conference, but I am just not a big believer. Sure, the Wisconsin Badgers are undefeated, but yesterday’s win against the Iowa Hawkeyes was the first over a currently ranked team. Beating Michigan and Minnesota will not do all that much to improve its resume, but if Wisconsin can easily defeat Ohio State in a potential conference title matchup, then a case could possibly be made for the Badgers to sneak into the CFB Playoff, depending what happens with some of the other top ranked teams.

Aside from those teams, barring complete chaos – which we all know can happen in college football – I don’t know how many other teams can legitimately make a case, based on the opponents remaining and current standings. A Pac-12 champion is not gaining entry to the CFB Playoff. UCF may be a very good team and will likely play in a Big 6 bowl game, but it will not get into the CFB Playoff either. I also can’t see a two-loss team getting in, eliminating a bunch of strong squads.

Maybe this will be what proves that we need an eight-team CFB Playoff beginning in 2018?


About the author

Rob Kelley

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.