Minnesota... The Minnesota Golden Gophers were ranked 25th in last week's College Football Playoff Rankings and after losing to Ohio State at home in a game that was only close due to the Buckeyes turning the ball over three times, Minnesota remained ranked at 25th in this week's CFP Rankings. There have been many questionable decisions by the Selection Committee, one of which is having TCU ahead of Baylor even though they lost the head-to-head match up, but keeping Minnesota at number 25 even after losing is probably the worst. There are, however, a very clear reason for this decision. Minnesota being ranked at number 25 gives both TCU and Ohio State another Top-25 victory, which allows the Committee to put them ahead of the Bears in the rankings. While if the Bears keep winning they should still eventually jump TCU as their resume's become more comparable, due to Baylor's head-to-head win, jumping Ohio State is not going to be that simple.
Ohio State jumping ahead of the Bears makes it very unlikely that the Bears will make it into this year's inaugural College Football Playoff, unless Ohio State loses one of their last three games, which is highly unlikely. The Bears already had to hope that number 4 Mississippi State was going to lose to Ole Miss or that their Big 12 Champion status would allow them to jump them, which is highly unlikely. Now the Bears have to jump an Ohio State team that has a very similar end of schedule as Baylor with two bad teams and one team likely in the top-15 at least. You might ask, but won't Baylor have a better resume at seasons end? And I would answer that the Bears already have the better resume. Ohio State's best victories are over number 25 Minnesota and number 11 Michigan State and their loss is to a bad Virginia Tech team at home. The Bears on the other hand boast victories over number 5 TCU and number 21 Oklahoma and their loss is to a pretty good West Virginia team on the road. Many put the Big 12 over the Big 10 this year, which also helps Baylor's resume. Nevertheless, the Bears are behind Ohio State in the CFP Rankings.
There are many people that say that the only ranking that matters is the last one, that is not correct. The Selection Committee puts these rankings out each week for a reason, and they clearly have influence on later polls. Putting a team that is unlikely to lose again in Ohio State ahead of the Bears, for whatever reason, makes it very unlikely that Baylor will be ranked higher in the last rankings.
The rest of the rankings shook out like this, Alabama is now number one after their home victory over Mississippi State, Oregon is still at number 2 after having a bye-week, Florida State once again had a come from behind victory to stay undefeated and is still at number 3, and after losing to Alabama, Mississippi State only dropped three spots to number 4. After being ranked number 4 last week, TCU dropped one spot to number 5 after struggling on the road once again against Kansas. Ole Miss is right behind Baylor at number 8, UCLA is at number 9, and Georgia closes out the Top-10 after beating Auburn this past weekend.
In the Big 12, Kansas State moved up to number 12 after having the weekend off and have a tough match up against West Virginia on the road ahead of them. The Bears need the Wildcats to win each of their games before their match up against Baylor on December 6th. Oklahoma is back in the rankings at number 21 after they beat Texas Tech, which also helps the Bears.
The Bears are still in a fight for the Big 12 Championship and need to win their last three games in order to claim their second one in two years. The Bears take on Oklahoma State at home this weekend in our BLACKOsUT game, have Tech next week in Jerry World, and close out the season at home against Kansas State. If the Bears win all three, they will be Big 12 Champs and hopefully they will be rewarded for that.
Full Rankings: CFP Rankings