So… initial reaction?
Christopher Novak: I’m…somewhat surprised at everything after Georgia. I have no qualm with Michigan State being in the Top 4. They’ve thus far earned it and scored a Top 10 win over Michigan this past weekend. They secured their spot. Obviously, Georgia deserves to be #1 as they’ve passed the eye test and look great statistically.
The problem obviously is leaving Cincinnati out of the Top 4. They put Notre Dame in the Top 10 in the first ranking. That means that Cincy, Oregon, and Michigan State can each lay claim right now to a Top 10 win. Two of those teams are in the Top 4. The other is Oregon. I think Cincy got screwed over in this instance.
Obviously, we’re SEC here, but I’m not sure what Alabama’s done at this point to justify a spot in the Top 4. They have their reputation and that’s fine, but based on these initial rankings, their best win is against 16th-ranked Ole Miss. Georgia has a better win, Michigan State does, as does Oregon, and so does Cincy. I’m concerned about Cincy going forward because they have no margin for error as it is. Two losses knocks Alabama out entirely but they’ll basically be in this until conference championship weekend.
Matt Seese: This was a very weird first ranking. Georgia and Alabama were the two givens for me in the top four irregardless of the A&M loss for the Tide (reigning champs, the committee loves them, and they and Georgia are the only two schools in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency) but at two was a surprise. Michigan State and Oregon I think earned their spots as their best wins are amongst the best wins in the country, Oregon’s probably being the best against Ohio State.
I’m shocked at the lack of respect to Group-of-5 teams, specifically Cincinnati. They are undefeated and lay claim to a top-10 road win against Notre Dame, but they’re at six. I do think the eye test matters to a degree, and I agree Cincinnati isn’t at the OSU level, but they’re very definitely at Oregon’s, and wins and losses have to matter as well or else what are we doing here? Outside of Cincy, it’s just San Diego State. No love for either Houston nor SMU hurts Cincinnati and is just plain weird. Seeing a three-loss Wisconsin land in the top-25 over Houston is a microcosm for how the Committee sees the GO5 teams.
Do we agree with Oklahoma’s standing at 8th despite them being undefeated?
Christopher Novak: I don’t have too much sympathy for the Oklahomas of the world if I’m honest. I think them being ranked where they’re at is completely fair and earned. They have yet to really show anybody a good, consistent performance from end to end. There are some who think we have to worry about them but honestly if they’re willing to rank Oklahoma 8th right now I’m not sure I see an avenue unless they REALLY turn it on the next month.
Matt Seese: I feel nothing towards Oklahoma yet. They’re undefeated, yes, but they’ve struggled with a pair of one-win teams in Tulane and Kansas. The QB change to Caleb Williams has been a massive difference maker, but that Kansas game came with him under center. OU has to prove themselves the rest of the way, and if they win out against Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and then in the Big 12 Championship, they absolutely have to be in the top four. For now, I’m okay with the jury still being out.
Cincy’s getting screwed, aren’t they?
Christopher Novak: Lot of ball game left, but it’s not looking good for them if they can go unbeaten with a Top 10 win and be ranked sixth.
Matt Seese: 100 percent. The worst part for them right now is that the committee doesn’t like the American thus far, and their head-to-head win at tenth ranked Notre Dame wasn’t enough to vault them into the top four. That’s their lone ranked game as of now, too. It just doesn’t look good for them, and there’s not a game left for them to prove their worth. They’ll get a lift because Ohio State and Sparty still have to play each other, but they need Alabama and Oregon to both lose to have a shot.