We'll have a lot more analysis of the college football playoff selection committee's rankings up later today and tomorrow, but the headlines are the rankings themselves and bowl pairings that flow from that. So let's get to it.
|3||Florida State (13-0)
|4||Ohio State (12-1)||5|
|7||Mississippi State (10-2)
|8||Michigan State (10-2)
|9||Ole Miss (9-3)
|11||Kansas State (9-3)
|12||Georgia Tech (10-3)
|15||Arizona State (9-3)
|20||Boise State (11-2)
|24||Southern Cal (8-4)
There are some notable changes here that affect the bowl order. The biggest one comes from one of the two teams that jumped the farthest. Mississippi State and Ole Miss both shot up three places in the rankings despite not playing a game.
Ole Miss' move simply puts them into the New Year's Six bowls, which is good for everyone else in the SEC, because it pushes everyone one place higher (more or less) in the pecking order. But in Mississippi State's case, the jump moved them past Michigan State -- which will cascade down the bowl pairings for the SEC, the ACC and the Big Ten. But first, the pairings.
|Sugar Bowl||(1) Alabama||(4) Ohio State|
|Rose Bowl||(2) Oregon||(3) Florida State|
|Orange Bowl||Mississippi State||Georgia Tech|
|Cotton Bowl||Michigan State||Baylor|
|Peach Bowl||Ole Miss||TCU|
|Fiesta Bowl||Boise State||Arizona|
Mississippi State going to the Orange Bowl instead of another playoff-aligned bowl is huge, because it means that the Citrus Bowl will take a B1G team instead of an ACC team. That essentially moves every member of the Up North Conference up one place in their bowl order, and knocks everyone in the ACC down a place.
It could also reshuffle the SEC's order even more. Georgia would not have gone to the Citrus Bowl if an ACC team had gone, because that ACC team almost certainly would have been Clemson. Now, the Citrus will take a B1G team -- and as long as that team isn't Nebraska, Georgia is a likely candidate for the SEC's berth. Missouri could then end up in the Outback, for example. The Tigers won't fall far, because Slive has grumbled in the past about SEC Championship Game losers dropping, going so far as to put in a "safety net" for those teams in recent years. The conference doesn't technically control the Citrus Bowl's selection, but it does control the Outback's.
But that's the other part of the uncertainty here. This is the first time the conference office has dictated bowl destinations for a lot of the teams. There might be another curveball or two coming before the day is out.