Penn State is ranked in the top four of the College Football Playoff for the first time ever, landing in the No. 4 spot. Oklahoma is three spots behind Georgia despite losing to No. 16 Kansas State on the road while Georgia lost to 4-5 SC at home. Surprisingly, that wasn't the case, though. LSU (8-0) 3. Alabama (8-0) 4.
College Football Playoff chair Rob Mullens explained why Clemson is at No. 5 during a teleconference Tuesday night, pointing out that Clemson has yet to play a team now ranked and that the Tigers had a close call at North Carolina. Their fans might be ticked about being ranked behind six two-loss teams, namely Florida (10), Auburn (11), Wisconsin (13), MI (14), Notre Dame (15) and Kansas State (16). The loser here is going to fall down the College Football Playoff rankings. This is because LSU and Alabama play this week and Penn State and Ohio State play each other in a couple weeks. "As for Oklahoma, it was a bad loss to Kansas State, but the Sooners should be ahead of Georgia, Oregon and Utah and be at No. 6". "You have Ohio State playing Penn State, LSU playing Alabama", ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said.
"Penn State's been very consistent", CFP chair Rob Mullens said on ESPN while highlighting the Lions' marquee wins over Iowa and MI while praising the team's defense. She called them more "business-like" and expedient than the highly-scrutinized last top-25.
Clemson, on the other hand, does not have a win over a team now ranked in the CFP. And we got to keep getting better. Florida gave the SEC four of the top 10 teams. That's not to mention the possibility of numerous other undefeated and one-loss teams. The justification for Ohio State ahead of LSU, which has played a tougher schedule - beating both Auburn and Florida - was the eye test.
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It is obvious when you compare the résumés of Clemson and No. 3 Alabama. That is also the reason why his teams always end the season strongly, and why Clemson is the victor of four consecutive ACC championships: his teams reach their peak at the ideal time of the season, from the starters to the third. It would start by winning out, seeing Georgia lose two regular-season games and then UF either beating Alabama or LSU in the SEC Championship Game.
■ Texas A&M at Georgia - The Aggies have already faced Alabama and Clemson. The Crimson Tide have played a soft schedule to this point, but they will jump up to No. 2 - or perhaps even No. 1 - if they beat the Tigers on Saturday.
No. 3 Ohio State (8-0, 5-0) - The Buckeyes are doing what they always do, run through a hugely undermatched Big 10.