College Football Playoff Rankings reactions: Baylor overrated, Minnesota underrated
Apparently wins over Texas go a long ways ... if you're a conference opponent, at least
Thelook a little different this week in ways both expected and not. Nobody was surprised to see Oregon drop eight spots to No. 14 after its loss to Arizona State, but Ohio State jumping LSU to take over the No. 1 spot likely raised an eyebrow or two.
As a whole, however, the rankings look mostly the same. Penn State fell two spots to No. 10 after losing to Ohio State, and Oregon was the only team to fall farther. Of teams moving up, only one advanced more than two spots, and that's where I'm going to start raising an eyebrow or two of my own.
No. 9 Baylor -- Overrated
Did Baylor play some other game I didn't know about this weekend that wasn't shown in my area? Because, I swear, Baylor beat Texas 24-10 in the game I saw. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the win. Baylor looked like the better team in the game, and it was the better team. But how does beating Texas 24-10 push Baylor up five spots?
Again, there wasn't much movement in the rankings this week. Oregon was the only team to plummet, and Penn State dropped two places. So what did beating Texas do to Baylor's resume that suddenly made it better than the Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan teams it was ranked behind last week? Wisconsin and Michigan were the only two of those three to play on Saturday, and both won with Wisconsin crushing Purdue 45-24 and Michigan going on the road to beat a 7-4 Indiana team 39-14. Florida was off after beating two conference opponents by a combined 79-6 the prior two weeks.
Baylor, at home, defeated a Texas team that is now 6-5 by 14. If you want to make the argument that Baylor should be ahead of them because it only has one loss compared to their two, fine, I'll say it's a good argument. But that was the case last week. So what changed?
Ohio State passes LSU due to a likely combination of Ohio State adding another big win to its resume over Penn State and LSU's overall resume weakening because Texas is now 6-5. Yet beating that same 6-5 team that weakened LSU's resume a bit somehow bolstered that of Baylor.
No. 8 Minnesota -- Underrated
Minnesota's schedule has been wielded against it pretty often, but there's something of a double-standard going on here. According to the Sagarin Ratings (a computer poll that was used in the BCS), Minnesota's SOS ranks 68th in the country. Alabama's ranks 63rd. Minnesota has a win over a top-10 team in Penn State. Its loss came to No. 17 Iowa on the road by four points. Alabama doesn't have a single victory over a ranked team, let alone a top-10 win. Its loss came at home to No. 2 LSU by five points, though it was a 12-point deficit with 90 seconds remaining.
Don't worry, I'm not here to say Minnesota should be ranked at No. 5 or ahead of Alabama, I'm just trying to make a point. If we compare Minnesota's resume to No. 6 Utah or No. 7 Oklahoma, however, things get a little interesting. Utah, like Alabama, hasn't beaten a ranked team yet. Its lone loss came to No. 22 USC on the road by seven. Oklahoma's best win is 34-31 over No. 9 Baylor, and its loss was a 48-41 road loss to an unranked Kansas State team.
I know that I'm discussing the rankings, but when I say Minnesota is underrated, I mean more in the sense that I don't think people are taking it seriously enough. If it beats Wisconsin on Saturday, don't be shocked if it leaps past both Utah and Oklahoma, and maybe even Alabama.
No. 24 Virginia Tech -- Overrated
So is this just to give Clemson the chance to face a ranked team in the ACC Championship Game? Virginia Tech is 8-3. Its three losses are a 21-20 road loss to No. 16 Notre Dame (respectable!), a 35-28 loss at 5-6 Boston College (not as respectable!), and a 45-10 loss at home to a 4-7 Duke (downright bad!). Its best win is over an 8-3 Wake Forest, which the committee doesn't deem worthy of being ranked.
I get that the Hokies have won six of their last seven, and the lone loss was to Notre Dame, but those other two losses stink. Navy is 8-2, has won six of its last seven games, and has losses to No. 16 Notre Dame and No. 18 Memphis. The Midshipmen deserve a spot more than the Hokies do.
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