Blog: The CFB Playoff Committee got it right
So far, so good for the CFB Playoff Committee, lead by Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt.
Granted, they're only one week in - but still - their initial set of rankings, released Tuesday night, were spot on.
Look, it's only Week 10 of the College Football season - we all know there are a ton of games left to be played, and there will be plenty of upsets along the way.
With that said, the initial "final four", if you will, of Georgia / Alabama / Notre Dame / Clemson is almost too good to argue against. Could the Tigers have been replaced by Oklahoma or Ohio State, who are ranked fifth and sixth, respectively? Sure. They each have identical 7-1 records. The Tigers own a trump-card, though: they have the biggest asterisk next to their loss. Clemson, then ranked No. 2, traveled to New York and fell to Syracuse 27-24 on October 13. In that game, Tigers QB Kelly Bryant suffered a concussion near the end of the first half and did not return. Without their starting quarterback, Clemson managed just 10 second-half points (none in the 4th quarter) en route to the upset loss. Bryant returned the following week, and the Tigers dispatched of Georgia Tech.
Where the Committee really got it right, though, is at positions five and six. They valued the head-to-head matchup between Oklahoma and Ohio State, slotting the Sooners a spot in front of the Buckeyes.
“For the teams five through seven, their head-to-head results were very important to the committee,” Hocutt said. That's a breath of fresh air for Sooners fans, who were angered to see Ohio State five spots ahead of Oklahoma in this week's Associated Press poll.
The Sooner players were excited, too - “We all just watched it as a team just now,” Oklahoma linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo said. “We were all just jumping around yelling. Everybody’s hungry. We feel like our foot’s in the door, so we want to go ahead and make it happen.”
Being at No. 5, prior to Bedlam, is huge for the Sooners. If they can get past No. 11 Oklahoma State, that could push them into the top four. If not, then defeating No. 8 TCU in Ft. Worth the following week most certainly will. Then there's the newly renovated Big 12 Championship game in Dallas, where OU could face OSU/TCU/ or get a shot at redemption against No. 15 Iowa State. If they're already one spot outside a Playoff spot, you'd have to think if they take care of business, they'll find themselves in the National Semi-Finals.
The 'Pokes are in a similar position, too. Sure, at No. 11, they'll have a bit more ground to make up - but you'd have to think, a Bedlam win over No. 5 Oklahoma will catapult them within a few spots of a Playoff berth. Then, a win over No. 15 Iowa State and a victory in the Big 12 Championship Game, and Oklahoma State will have as good an argument as anyone to be included in the CFB Playoff.