First college playoff poll sparks controversy with questionable rankings

by STEVEN GEHEGAN//Editorial Assistant

The first College Football Playoff rankings were just released with a few surprises.

There is not too much surprise with the number one team in the nation, the University of Alabama. Alabama has been rolling through the season with no game that has been in question. Since Alabama is the defending national champion, they deserve the top spot as long as they keep winning.

There is not an issue with the second and third spots in the rankings, Clemson University and the University of Michigan, respectively. The two spots are debatable, as Michigan has looked a lot better than Clemson, even though the only good team that Michigan has played has been the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Clemson has beaten better teams in Auburn University and the University of Louisville, while they have struggled with lesser teams. The second and third spots could go either way, as both teams have looked good at certain parts of the season, though neither has looked good enough to dethrone Alabama as the number one team.

Then comes the part that the committee got wrong. They decided to place Texas A&M University in the fourth spot, ahead of University of Washington in the fifth spot. Texas A&M has had a quality season, with good wins over Auburn, the University of Arkansas and the University of Tennessee. Their only loss had been to Alabama. But then came another loss to Mississippi State University, after the first poll came out. The loss for Texas A&M further proves that they were overrated. While they have a lot of good wins, their season is still not perfect, while the University of Washington is. While Washington’s only good win came against the University of Utah, they still are a team in a Power Five conference and should be rewarded for being undefeated so far. While the committee seems to value strength of schedule more than anything else, I think being undefeated eight games into the season is impressive, no matter who you have played.

The rest of the top 10 is solid with the placement of the teams, except for the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, which should be closer to other two-loss teams, Auburn and Wisconsin. Any teams that have two losses at this point in the season do not deserve a spot in the top 10 of the college football playoff rankings, unless they have lost to highly-ranked teams.

Then there is an interesting choice for the number 12 spot, Pennsylvania State University. Penn State only had one good win this year, which was Ohio State University. While that may be a good win, they already have two losses, and have not looked dominant in any of their games this season. They are slotted ahead of teams such as Utah and Louisiana State University. While Penn State does have one good win, that is no excuse to put them ahead of all of those schools at the 12th spot.

The last issue is the fact that Florida State University is even ranked at all. No team that already has three losses at this point of the season deserves to be ranked. Even if two of their losses are to Clemson and Louisville, the fact that they lost three times means that there should be a more deserving school.

Even though this is the first college football playoff ranking of the year, there are still a lot of teams that the committee needs to sort out. The football playoff committee includes a new member, Kirby Hocutt, the athletic director of Texas Tech University, who is replacing Jeff Long, the athletic director at the University of Arkansas.

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