We all kind of knew it was coming, but despite what you might think about the weekly rankings the College Football Playoff Committee releases to the public, the SEC is well represented thus far in 2018.
In the initial rankings, four SEC teams made it into the top ten, three in the top six and two in the top four. Again, this all was to be suspected. Alabama was, of course, ranked No. 1, with one-loss LSU usurping undefeated Notre Dame at No. 3. (If you didn’t think the game in Death Valley had enough juice, just imagine the sight of seeing No. 1 vs. No. 3 this weekend. This is easily the biggest game for the Tide and the Tigers since 2011.
Georgia, which stumbled at LSU three weeks prior to tonight’s rankings, primped themselves very nicely for the committee with a resounding victory in Jacksonville over the No. 11 Gators this past Saturday. They appeared at No. 6 on Tuesday evening.
The most surprising (albeit pleasantly) submission to the Committee’s first Top 10 was Kentucky. Obviously, this is not to say that the Wildcats are not deserving, but when the AP left them out of its Top 10 this week, conventional wisdom said that maybe the Committee would as well.
However, given Kentucky’s wins over Florida, Mississippi State and an overtime loss at Texas A&M, Kentucky doesn’t merely look like a pretender. And with UGA coming to Lexington this Saturday, you’ll have two SEC teams on the outside looking in heading into next week’s rankings.
This is what’s exciting about the final act of the regular season in college football. There are some pivotal games up front, but most teams not only save their magic, but a little bit of “what the??” for November. No one really thought a two-loss Auburn team had a legitimate shot at the top four in 2017 until they put a hurtin’ on, both, UGA and Alabama at the close of the season.
With A&M and Mississippi State making the Top 20, there were seven total representatives from the SEC, the most of any Power 5 conference.
Obviously, games over the next several weeks will render the initial rankings moot, but for those of you out there saying the SEC was no longer the premiere college football conference, I will happily point you to tonight’s Playoff rankings.