College Football Playoff rankings

The 2018 college football season has been an eventful one, with upsets and controversies seemingly occurring every week. The College Football Playoff rankings are no exception to the chaos of this year’s upcoming games.

The College Football Playoff rankings are out, with Clemson and Alabama at the top of the list. This is a chance for fans to see where their favorite teams stand in comparison while also checking what’s ahead in college football next year. But even without this ranking, it seems like almost half of all games had already been decided by last week.

The “college football playoff rankings 2020” is a ranking of the top 25 college football teams. The ranking takes into account each team’s current record and their remaining games.

For the first time since the College Football Playoff’s inception in 2014, there was genuine optimism that Cincinnati would become the first Group of 5 team to reach the final four.

What a naivety.

The CFP selection committee reminded us all that the Group of 5 is not required to participate in the playoff, that it is assessed according to a distinct set of standards, and that it may as well be competing for crumpets rather than national championships.

Despite having the greatest nonconference record of any unbeaten Group of 5 team ever given to the committee, Cincinnati was ranked No. 6 in the inaugural rankings released on Tuesday, which is a complete and total farce that insults every school outside the big conferences.

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The selection committee may be congratulating themselves on ranking Cincinnati higher than any other Group 5 squad in postseason history. But the hypocrisy would be hilarious if it weren’t so pitiful. When UCF went unbeaten in 2017 and 2018 but failed to crack the top four, folks like CFP executive director Bill Hancock told us that if the Knights’ nonconference schedule had been just a little bit better, who knows what would have happened?

2016 Houston, in particular, was held up as a shining example by Hancock. Houston opened the season by defeating Oklahoma. However, the Cougars faltered during conference play, and they were knocked out of the running. When questioned whether the committee was unfair to Group of 5 clubs in 2018, Hancock said ESPN in 2018 “I’m not convinced. Houston is the place to be. Everything was set up for them, including a decent timetable and a good conference schedule, but I just disagree with those individuals.”


Go all-access with UCF football as new head coach Gus Malzahn and the Knights prepare for the 2021 college football season with the hopes of cementing the program’s status as one of the best in the nation. ESPN+ has a live stream available.

The terrible reality is that the goalposts move every year. We were told when the playoff was founded that it would give Group of 5 teams a shot after the BCS eliminated every unbeaten Group of 5 school from the top two. So, if you go unbeaten, the top four will be waiting for you!

Then there was the matter of finishing unbeaten. They were then informed that they needed to establish good nonconference schedules and go unbeaten. However, be certain that their conference is capable of assisting. However, it’s possible that they now need to annihilate every opponent. In the last two weeks, Cincinnati has labored against Navy and Tulane before pulling away to win. That, I suppose, is also not permitted.

So, let me study this lengthy checklist, which only pertains to the Group of 5:

  • Make a rigorous nonconference schedule for yourself.

  • Ensure that the games are played on the road.

  • Make certain that everyone at your conference is in excellent health.

  • Make sure your excellent conference blows everyone away.

See? Nothing these groups do will ever be sufficient.

Rather of awarding Cincinnati a top-four position as one of the six remaining unbeaten teams, the committee chose to honor two one-loss teams: No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 Oregon. But putting Cincinnati at No. 6 wasn’t the only thing that drew notice on Tuesday.

Oklahoma was placed No. 8 by the committee, a reflection of the Sooners’ sloppy, inconsistent performance throughout the season, including a near-loss to Kansas. In the second significant surprise, a one-loss Pac-12 club being ranked in the Top 4 may have been even more odd. Oregon was certainly given credit for a significant victory against Ohio State by the committee, and that should put the Ducks ahead of the Buckeyes. Oregon, on the other hand, fell to a below-average Stanford squad then fought its way to victories over Cal and UCLA, similar to what Cincinnati accomplished the previous two weeks.

This leads us to the state of Alabama. Its finest nonconference victory has come to an end… 4-4 Miami. However, the committee has shown throughout its history that the SEC strength of schedule is all that counts when comparing teams from that league to those from other conferences.

Desmond Ridder has led Cincinnati to an unbeaten start to the season, but the Bearcats are now ranked No. 6 in the first CFP poll. Getty Images/Justin Casterline

“Alabama/Ohio State/Georgia would destroy Cincinnati in a playoff game!” others would respond. Wasn’t it only a year ago that Cincinnati came close to beating Georgia in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl? Is it true that Georgia “didn’t care” and “wasn’t playing hard” because it missed the playoffs?

The truth is that Cincinnati’s ceiling may be No. 6 unless something drastic occurs in the near future. Even if everyone loses and the Bearcats go undefeated, one-loss teams — maybe even a two-loss Alabama — would undoubtedly finish ahead of the Bearcats, given the current rankings. The remainder of the season, Cincinnati will not have a better victory than Notre Dame. Wins against SMU and in the conference championship game will be little compared to the challenges that the teams ahead of them face.

Cincinnati is ranked fourth in both the coaches’ and Associated Press polls, giving fans faith that the selection committee would follow suit. For the last seven years, however, the committee has made it clear how it thinks about the Group of 5.

How naive it is to believe that this year would be any different.

The “2021-22 college football rankings” is a ranking of the teams in college football for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

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