The second College Football Playoff Committee rankings were released on Tuesday evening, with reigning champion Florida State remaining in second place behind Mississippi State. Auburn and Oregon completed the top four.
The committee continued to place a strong emphasis on quality wins, as each of the top four teams has a win against another top-10 opponent. Ole Miss only dropped to 11th after losing to third-ranked Auburn on the strength of their home win over sixth-ranked Alabama.
The ACC continued to get more respect from the committee than it has received from the polls, with four ACC teams ranked in the initial top 25: (2) Florida State, (21) Clemson, (22) Duke, and (24) Georgia Tech.
These results continued to be positive from Florida State’s perspective, as the committee’s emphasis on quality wins, loss avoidance, and lack of disrespect for the ACC bode well for an FSU team that will have played three Power 5 nonconference games and has quality wins against Notre Dame, Clemson, and last week’s #25 Louisville. Some speculated during the week that Auburn might pass FSU on the strength of their win over Ole Miss, but the committee continued to place higher value on FSU’s undefeated status.
Some complained over the last week about three SEC West teams in the initial top four, but as we said then, that situation did not hold, as those teams will eliminate each other as they play one another. It is still unlikely that more than one SEC team makes it into the playoff field at this point.
Florida State sits in an excellent position at this point and is still likely to make the playoff field even with a loss, as the committee appears to recognize Louisville and (probable ACCCG opponent) Duke as quality teams and will continue to value the Seminoles’ wins over Notre Dame and Clemson. It is unlikely that the SEC will produce more than a single one-loss team, and a one-loss FSU team should have the resume to be at the front of the line of any other one-loss teams at the end of the season.
Of course, the Noles can make all that moot by winning out, at which point they would likely wind up the top seed.
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