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Sport College Football Playoff: Rankings put wet blanket on Alabama-LSU 'Game of the Century'

05:30  06 november  2019
05:30  06 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Why Alabama might want to sit Tua Tagovailoa against LSU

  Why Alabama might want to sit Tua Tagovailoa against LSU Even if Alabama loses to LSU on November 9, its rep might be enough for the Tide to make the College Football Playoff, Michael Weinreb writes.In retrospect, that game felt like the culmination of the pre-playoff era: Two months later, the same teams met in the BCS National Championship game. Alabama won, 21-0. In this way, we learned that a sport that emphasizes the importance of the regular season -- that literally sells itself on the mantra of “Every Game Counts” -- had sold us a bill of goods.

When the College Football Playoff committee convened to formulate its first rankings of this season, there was no shortage of strong cases. L.S.U. travels to Alabama on Saturday for the most widely anticipated game of the season. It will be the first time the top two teams in The Associated Press poll

SportsPulse: Dan Wolken and Paul Myerberg discuss the College Football Playoff first ranking and what the committee got right and what they blanked on. USA TODAY.

TUSCALOOSA — With so much criticism already surrounding Alabama's strength of schedule this season, the College Football Playoff committee sent a message when it doused any hope for another true "Game of the Century" with its initial rankings released Tuesday night.

Nick Saban et al. wearing costumes: Alabama head coach Nick Saban against Arkansas at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 26, 2019.© Mickey Welsh Alabama head coach Nick Saban against Arkansas at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 26, 2019.

The 13-member playoff committee did manage to pick Alabama's upcoming opponent, LSU (8-0, 4-0 SEC), at No. 2 in its first rankings of the season, behind fellow undefeated Ohio State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) at No. 1. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) remained in the current Playoff field at No. 3, ahead of fourth-place Penn State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten). Defending national champion Clemson (9-0, 6-0 ACC) was the first-out at No. 5, with Georgia (7-1, 4-1 SEC) rounding out the coveted Top 6.

Five arguments College Football Playoff committee can ignite with first rankings

  Five arguments College Football Playoff committee can ignite with first rankings The first College Football Playoff rankings will be unveiled on Tuesday. Here are the five arguments that could take off as a result.The Playoff committee will unveil the first set of rankings on Tuesday, a made-for-TV event since the four-team Playoff started in 2014.

The first College Football Playoff Rankings for the 2018 season are out, and there were a lot of close decisions to sort through. Clearly, LSU has played the best schedule of the three so far, while Jerry Palm projects every bowl game , including which four teams make the College Football Playoff .

No. 1 LSU meets No. 2 Alabama this week in a regular-season " Game of the Century " that brings huge College Football Playoff implications for both teams. Everybody will be watching, but it might not be clear who everybody should be rooting for given the subjective nature of the CFP deliberations.

Auburn (7-2, 4-2 SEC), which many believe has the nation's toughest schedule, opened up at No. 11 as the last of five SEC teams in the Top 12 of the initial CFP rankings.

The initial playoff rankings put a wet blanket on Saturday's highly anticipated 1-versus-2 "Game of the Century" matchup between Alabama and LSU, clearly diverging from the AP Top-25 and USA Today coaches polls, which had Tide and Tigers as dueling No. 1s in their latest editions, respectively.

Based on the first CFP ranking, it's clear at least some within the committee took issue with the Crimson Tide's overall lack of multiple quality wins to this point in the regular season.

Alabama and Clemson only have one Top-25 win to speak of this season — for both it's Texas A&M (6-3, 3-2 SEC) — while Ohio State, LSU and Penn State each have at least two Top-25 wins already on their resume

Ohio State, LSU top initial College Football Playoff rankings; Clemson at No. 5

  Ohio State, LSU top initial College Football Playoff rankings; Clemson at No. 5 Joe Burrow and LSU are ranked No. 2 heading into their trip to face No. 3 Alabama.It is the first time in 25 edition’s of the committee’s rankings that Clemson has not been in the top four.

BOWL PROJECTIONS: Alabama - LSU game will clear up playoff picture. BiG TALK: College Football Playoff 's first rankings starts long debate. Starting in the first four has been beneficial, however. In the past three seasons, eight of the 12 teams selected were in that group in the first rankings of the

the College Football Playoff selection committee dropped Alabama (11-1) from No. 1 to No. 5 after it lost to Auburn on Saturday, 26-14, delivering a rebuke of the game Saturday in Indianapolis — a game in which the Buckeyes are favored — they could jump ahead of Alabama and into a precious

In fact, LSU's three victories over ranked teams this season are all Top-10 wins against then-No. 9 Texas, then-No. 7 Florida and then-No. 9 Auburn two weeks ago. Ohio State's Top-25 wins came against then-No. 25 Michigan State and then-No. 13 Wisconsin two weeks ago, while Penn State has beaten both then-No. 17 Iowa and then-No. 16 Michigan earlier this month.

Alabama — which debuted at No. 1 last season and held that spot until after the 44-16 loss to Clemson in the national championship game in January — has a strength of schedule rating of 68.48 to rank 59th in the country, according to the nationally-recognized Sagarin rating system. For comparison, No. 5 Clemson's schedule is ranked 64th nationally with a 67.14 rating, while both Ohio State and LSU have schedules ranked in the Top 35 in the country, per renown sports statistician Jeff Saragin.

Ed Orgeron et al. in uniform: Oct 26, 2019; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates with players after defeating the Auburn Tigers 23-20 at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports© Derick E. Hingle, Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Oct 26, 2019; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates with players after defeating the Auburn Tigers 23-20 at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It's because of LSU's strength of schedule that most prognosticators believe a loss to the Tide on Saturday won't necessarily remove the Tigers from the playoff picture. The same can't be said of Alabama, which would not only seemingly fall out of SEC Championship game contention with a loss, but only have one Top-25 game remaining on its schedule to make up ground: at No. 12 Auburn on Nov. 30.

Can Alabama, LSU give real meaning to 'Game of the Century'?

  Can Alabama, LSU give real meaning to 'Game of the Century'? LSU and Alabama play in a regular-season 'Game of the Century,' but the last five winners failed to win it all. Will that change this time?It's a college football thing most outsiders would not understand. "How can there be more than one 'Game of the Century?' What does that even mean?" This marks the 24th regular-season No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the AP Top 25 era, and the first since No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama met on Nov. 5, 2011.

The 2011 LSU vs. Alabama football game was a regular-season college football game between the unbeaten LSU Tigers ( ranked No. 1 in the nation), and the unbeaten Alabama Crimson Tide ( ranked No. 2 in the nation) on November 5, 2011, at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama .

The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday night, and while they'll be fun to argue about, they really won't mean anything. The playoff rankings are a secondary concern when the playoff itself essentially starts this weekend. The battle between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama is

Not that any of the current Tide players are worried about that scenario playing out.

"As players ... we don’t make the schedule, we just play the games that’s on it," Alabama junior receiver Henry Ruggs III said earlier Tuesday. "The only thing we can do to change that narrative is to play the best football we can & try to prove to (the media) that we are a top contender."

Ruggs and the rest of the Crimson Tide will get that chance in Saturday's SEC West showdown against the top-ranked Tigers (2:30 p.m. kickoff on CBS).

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney responded to critics of the Tigers' much-maligned ACC competition by taking a not-so-veiled shot across the bow at Alabama's dominance in the SEC, including its 39-2 record against conference opponents (including the postseason) since 2015.

"Who's beat Alabama in the SEC? Who's beat them?" Swinney said Tuesday, according to the Athletic's Grace Raynor. "How many games have they lost in the last 5 years in their conference? You gotta really think about that, don't you? It ain't many. And yet we've had a great run in our conference and it's only because nobody is any good."

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The 13 members of the College Football Playoff selection committee reminded everyone in its first ranking that last year is irrelevant. (Of course, with LSU and Alabama facing off this weekend, and Ohio State and Penn State squaring off later in the season, these rankings should change in a hurry.)

We get the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season today. But remember, things will shake out with Alabama - LSU and Penn State -Minnesota this week and Ohio State -PSU not far off . This is what I think the games will be at season's end. This isn't based off what the rankings will be

The SEC currently has five teams all ranked in the Top 12 nationally in both the AP and coaches polls, while No. 19 Wake Forest is the ACC's only other ranked team outside of Clemson entering Tuesday. For comparisons, the Big Ten has six teams in the Top 20 nationally.

The CFB Playoff committee will release new rankings each of the next four Tuesday nights before the final postseason rankings are unveiled at 11 a.m. CT Dec. 8, the Sunday after the conference championship games.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser sports reporter Alex Byington at abyington@montgome.gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @_AlexByington.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: College Football Playoff: Rankings put wet blanket on Alabama-LSU 'Game of the Century'

Related slideshow: 2019 college football season (Provided by imagn)

a group of football players: Mississippi Rebels running back Snoop Conner (24) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the fourth quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 2, 2019.

College Football Playoff projection: Alabama's chances still high after LSU loss .
College Football Playoff projection: Alabama's chances still high after LSU lossAlthough it did take a sizable hit, Alabama still has a 40 percent chance to make the playoff but only a nine percent chance to win it all, according to ESPN’s Playoff Predictor. Those numbers plunged from last week, when the team had a 72 and 22 percent chance, respectively, but the Crimson Tide are still No. 4 on this list.

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