Let Me Have My Moment: Debating the upcoming CFB Playoff ranking release

The first college football playoff rankings are set to be revealed tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST and it is still unclear as to how the 13-member committee will rank programs that have fewer games scheduled. COVID-19 protocols have wreaked havoc throughout all power-five conferences and have notably put the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences in an unusual predicament. 

“If we are going to legitimately rank these opponents this season, the committee will have to consider the Pac-12 and Big Ten as ineligible. As of right now, the Big Ten champion will play a total of eight games and that is with the expectation that no other outbreaks of COVID-19 force cancellations.” – Christian Phillips 

“The Big Ten does not have enough of a case to get a team in. The Ohio State Buckeyes missed a game and that ended the conferences’ chances, due to weakness of the conference only schedule.” – Amari Angram-Boldin

This season will prove to be the most difficult for the college football committee. Conferences are playing different amounts of games, COVID-19 has forced cancellations and in certain cases, postponements. The initial revealment of the College Football Playoff’s Top 25 rankings will answer all of our warranted questions. The cancellation of games will either have no impact on the committee’s decision-making or the likelihood of missing the playoffs due to playing fewer games will be on display. 

“The committee can not treat this season like any other when taking into consideration a team’s resume. I believe that the number of games should weigh heavier  than a program’s strength of schedule due to the absence of non-conference matchups amongst conference powerhouses.” – Christian Phillips 

“I agree the week to week uncertainty for sure makes this season hard to gauge, but I still think it is not hard at all to tell who is the best based on games played.” – Amari Angram-Boldin

“I have been saying this from the start; this year will be an opportune time for the NCAA to implement a one-time eight seed playoff. The level of equal opportunity is simply absent this season due to the vast ranges of games being played throughout all conferences. It will be a dangerous narrative for the committee to exhibit if they place a Big Ten team who potentially plays more or less than eight, above a non-power five team that is scheduled to play eleven games as conference champions.”  – Christian Phillips 

“ I still feel that an eight-team playoff will be unfair to certain teams unless they add clauses in where smaller teams are guaranteed spots in, or it would defeat the purpose of  why most people say it should be expanded.”  – Amari Angram-Boldin

The likelihood of implementing an eight-team playoff is insignificant and this will cause the margin of error to expand. The Big Ten was scheduled to play eight regular-season games, along with the opportunity for a ninth game for the Big Ten championship. But forced cancellations within the first few weeks have erased resume-building games for legitimate title contenders.

After opening night the Wisconsin Badgers had an outbreak of COVID-19 cases, which forced the shutdown of all football-related activities. Big Ten procedures resulted in the Badgers missing two conference games against Nebraska Cornhuskers and Purdue Boilermakers. On the other hand, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been projected to make the college football playoffs even though a cancellation has also limited availability after week eleven’s game being canceled against the Maryland Terrapins. 

The Buckeyes eventually returned to the field this past Saturday against the 4-0 Indiana Hoosiers and went on to win 42-35.  As of right now, Ohio State will have a resume comprising seven regular-season games, so projectively one more cancelation could potentially rule the Buckeyes out of post-season playoff contention. 

“Wisconsin was virtually ruled out of contention for the playoffs after two conference games were canceled and the Buckeyes are on the verge of being in the same boat. I could argue that the one cancellation and one loss for the Ohio State Buckeyes will drop them out of contention for post-season playoffs.” – Christian Phillips 

The black sheep this season has been without a doubt the Pac-12. Oregon and the University of Southern California are favored to be at the top, but the aforementioned argument still remains. Are seven games as conference champions enough to put them ahead of their more dominant counterparts? 

“The Pac-12 simply waited too long for their season to restart. It is hard to imagine the committee valuing an undefeated 7-0 champion above a 9-2 Big 12 champion and even a one-loss SEC or ACC program, especially with one conference playing four additional games compared to the Pac-12.” – Christian Phillips 

“Seven games is just not enough, and it’s definitely not fair to the teams that have been playing since September. They have fought harder, and had chances to put more wear and tear on their bodies.” – Amari Angram-Boldin

Let Me Have My Moment: 

As the season progresses it is becoming a possibility for a two-loss champion to get into the College Football Playoffs. Conferences are falling off due to game cancellations, so Oklahoma’s hopes are reliant on the committee punishing teams for playing fewer games. 

Oklahoma has been one of the most improving and trending teams in college football for the past four weeks. They have gotten key pieces back on both sides of the ball and the team is maturing every single week. Sitting at 6-2 after beating a 5-1 Oklahoma State team 41-13, Oklahoma deserves much respect from the playoff committee.” – Chrisitan Phillips 

“Improving and trending they are, but if we’re comparing their losses and journey to where they are to the rest of the teams in the top 10 they just don’t deserve a chance.” – Amari Angram-Boldin

The first revealment of the rankings will hopefully provide explanations as to why certain teams are placed ahead of others. But until the official rankings are revealed, here are the projections from both Amari Angram-Boldin and Christian Phillips. 

Amari Angram-Boldin’s Top 25 Playoff Ranking: 

1.)Alabama 7-0
2.)Notre Dame 8-0
3.)Clemson 7-1
4.)Texas A&M 5-1
5.)Florida 6-1
6.)BYU 9-0
7.)Cincinnati 8-0
8.)Ohio State 4-0
9.)Miami 7-1
10.)Northwestern 5-0
11.)Georgia 5-2
12.)Indiana 4-1
13.)Iowa State 6-2
14.)Oklahoma 6-2
15.)Coastal Carolina 8-0
16.)Marshall 7-0
17.)Wisconsin 2-1
18.)Southern Cal 3-0
19.)Auburn 5-2
20.)North Carolina 6-2
21.)Oklahoma State 5-2
22.)Auburn
23.)Louisiana 7-1
24.)Tulsa 5-1
25.) Texas 5-2

Christian Phillips Top 25 Playoff Ranking: 

1.)Alabama 7-0
2.)Notre Dame 8-0
3.)Clemson 7-1
4.)Florida 6-1
5.)Ohio State 4-0
6.)Cincinnati 8-0
7.)BYU 9-0
8.)Texas A&M 5-1
9.)Oklahoma 6-2
10.)Northwestern 5-0
11.)Miami 7-1
12.)Indiana 4-1
13.)Iowa State 6-2
14.)Georgia 5-2
15.)Coastal Carolina 8-0
16.)Marshall 7-0
17.)Wisconsin 2-1
18.)Oregon 3-0
19.)Texas 5-2
20.)North Carolina 6-2
21.)Oklahoma State 5-2
22.)Auburn 5-2
23.)Louisiana 7-1
24.)USC 3-0
25.) Tulsa  5-1

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