When the College Football Playoff committee released their first rankings on Tuesday, there was a lot of anticipation to see what they would do. The two big questions everybody had were where Cincinnati would be ranked and whether Ohio State would be ranked ahead of Oregon.
In the end, the committee ranked the three schools consecutively. Oregon was ranked number four, Ohio State was ranked number five, and Cincinnati was ranked number six.
The committee chair, Gary Barta (the athletic director at the University of Iowa), gave a very reasonable explanation of why Cincinnati was ranked where they were.
“The committee has great respect for Cincy. The win at Notre Dame was really impressive. When you look at who they’ve played after that, who else did they beat?” Barta explained.
Barta is right, Cincy has the Notre Dame win (arguably the second most impressive win of the season), but that is it. Indiana is not as good as they have been in the past, and the AAC (American Athletic Conference) is down this year. The committee does not think highly of the AAC because they did not rank the other good teams (SMU and Houston).
Many people think the Bearcats were disrespected by their ranking, but they should understand that the Bearcats still have a puncher’s chance. Are they in control of their destiny? No. They never were, though. They were always going to need chaos, even if they had gone undefeated. The only thing Cincinnati can control is winning every game convincingly. If they do that, they will have a shot to make the playoff. When the final rankings come out, and they should be one of the top four teams, they are not; then, people can fairly criticize the committee.
We love college football because we do not know what will happen from week to week, so that is why the next four weeks will be fascinating to watch.
Auburn came in at number thirteen after beating a really good Ole Miss team at home this past weekend. Even though the committee has yet to put in a two-loss team in the final four, it does not mean that things could change as soon as this year.
The Tigers will play Texas A&M this weekend in College Station. They will also play Alabama in the Iron Bowl at home. If they win out, they will win the SEC West and play in the SEC championship game to avenge their regular-season loss to Georgia. The Auburn Tigers can say something only a few teams can say “we can control our destiny.” They would have one of the best resumes in college football playoff history. This is easier said than done, but you can guarantee they will be in the college football playoff if the Tigers win out.
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