We started this ongoing analysis in commentary to the College Football Playoff committee’s first rankings for the current season, so we’re going to keep going through the end of the season to expose any corruption we see and any lack of transparency that exists, as well. It’s our job as historians and journalists to do so. We own it, proudly.
Without further noise, here we go, with seeding, in order (with record, type of bid, and SOS comparisons):
- Ohio State (10-1): B1G auto. SOS Rank: 16.
- Michigan (10-1): Wild-card bid. SOS Rank: 17.
- Georgia (11-0): SEC auto. SOS Rank: 39.
- Oklahoma State (10-1): Big XII auto. SOS Rank: 58.
- Cincinnati (11-0): Group of 5 auto. SOS Rank: 86.
- Notre Dame (10-1): Wild-card bid. SOS Rank: 11.
- Wake Forest (9-2): ACC auto. SOS Rank: 45.
- Utah (8-3): Pac-12 auto. SOS Rank: 53.
Here are the teams on the cusp for our 8-team field:
- Alabama (10-1): No bid. SOS Rank: 49.
- Oklahoma (10-1): No bid. SOS Rank: 60.
- Oregon (9-2): No bid. SOS Rank: 56.
- Pittsburgh (9-2): No bid. SOS Rank: 72.
Order rationale: The Bulldogs’ SOS is weak enough that both B1G teams pass it in the seeding, as is our usual standard of 10 spots to overcome a win-loss record disadvantage. The same goes for the Cowboys over the Bearcats. The Fighting Irish cannot be above Cincinnati, either due to the head-to-head loss, but Notre Dame has the best SOS rating right now of all considered teams.
Excluded: We didn’t list Michigan State as the Spartans cannot win the B1G anymore. And the reality is that the Crimson Tide SOS is mediocre, and Alabama has no business being gifted a spot right now. It’s a close call between the Cowboys and the Sooners, and that will resolve itself on the field soon. Oregon has the better record than Utah, but the Utes have the head-to-head edge for the Pac-12 autobid—although the Ducks still control their own destiny, as do the Panthers in the ACC.
See how easy this can be when things are transparent? Keep this in mind when the time comes. The top real four teams right now should be Ohio State, Georgia, Oklahoma State, and Cincinnati. But it is what it is: We know the CFP committee loves Alabama’s cash registers.