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Sport Five questions the second College Football Playoff rankings will answer

17:00  12 november  2019
17:00  12 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Winners and Losers: Predicting what the first College Football Playoff rankings of 2019 will look like

  Winners and Losers: Predicting what the first College Football Playoff rankings of 2019 will look like It’s time to start seriously thinking about the College Football Playoff. The 2019 college football season is now 10 weeks complete and the first set of College Football Playoff rankings arrive on Tuesday. What will they look like? We have an idea.It’s pretty obvious that the top five teams in the AP top 25 entering the week will be in the top five of the CFP rankings. After all, four of those top five didn’t play on Saturday. But the order could be a little different. We’re taking our stab at what the order of the top 15 teams in the CFP rankings will be on Tuesday. We’ll likely be wrong.

There’s no bigger debate around this week’s College Football Playoff rankings , set to be And in beating Alabama, the Tigers answered one enormous question — whether the program could This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Five questions the second College Football Playoff

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Not since 1950 had Ohio State done such a number on a Big Ten opponent. The Buckeyes spent Saturday afternoon scoring 10 touchdowns, gaining 705 yards of offense and dropping 73 points on Maryland, the second-most points the school had scored in a conference game since the birth of the poll era in 1936.

Later in the day, in Tuscaloosa: LSU snapped an eight-game losing streak against Alabama with a 46-41 win that showed how the Ed Oregeron-led Tigers have unearthed not just a hugely improved offense but perhaps the best offense in the sport that makes them a threat to win a national title.

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Others, like the College Football Playoff rankings , have been around for only five completed seasons. Unlike other polls, the College Football Playoff rankings come out only until well into the season. And unlike other polls, it's the only one that really matters, as it's for the four-team playoff .

The first in-season Playoff rankings don’t have any impact on the ones that matter, but they do So, Saturday’s Game of the Century may not officially be No. 1 vs. No. 2 . Not if the College Football It’s an incomplete evaluation, of course, and it can change. But the initial rankings can answer some of

There’s no bigger debate around this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, set to be released on Tuesday evening, than the dueling cases for No. 1. Ohio State held the top post in the debut rankings but may be replaced by LSU, should the selection committee put heavy stock in the Tigers’ road win. Yet the Buckeyes made their own case, albeit against a vastly inferior opponent.

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It's not the only question the committee must address as the regular season streams through November. Consider, for example:

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On Tuesday, the first college football rankings will be released by the now 12-person playoff committee and the new four-team playoff will become immediately infuriating — until Jan. 1, when four teams begin battling for a national title and all the nonsense that preceded it will be disregarded, just

The College Football Playoff committee’s third rankings of 2017 are guaranteed to have a new No. 1 team, after Georgia lost to Auburn, and a fresh debate about the whole top five , after it remained stagnant the week prior. We likely already know No. 1, but who’s No. 2 ? I think it comes down to

Who should be No. 1?

It will be LSU, which has the stronger list of wins and, after Saturday, a marquee moment to offset Ohio State's week-by-week dominance. The Buckeyes' smallest margin of victory through nine games is 24 points, against Michigan State on Oct. 6. In all, the Buckeyes may have three wins against teams in this week's playoff rankings: Cincinnati, Wisconsin and Indiana, should the 7-2 Hoosiers sneak into the back end of the Top 25. (Indiana is No. 25 in this week's Amway Coaches Poll.)

But LSU will have four wins against the Top 25, given that Texas should return to the rankings after hitting a late field goal to sneak past Kansas State. And in beating Alabama, the Tigers answered one enormous question — whether the program could solve the riddle presented by Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide — while showcasing the sort of offensive brilliance that will speak to members of the committee.

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Two human polls and a committee's selections comprised the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football rankings , in addition to various publications' preseason polls.

Ranking All 130 College Football Teams for 2019 (After Week 15). If Michigan wins its bowl game, Jim Harbaugh would have four 10-win seasons in five years in Ann Arbor. Alabama’s defense had no answers for LSU’s offense and couldn’t get a stop when it needed one late in the game.

So look for a swap: LSU up one spot from last week to No. 1, Ohio State down one to No. 2. Not that it matters. Should they win out, these teams are destined to become the higher-ranked seed in the national semifinals, with LSU close to home in the Peach Bowl and the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl.

a group of football players on a field: Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins  tackled by Maryland defensive back Nick Cross during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium.© Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sports Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins tackled by Maryland defensive back Nick Cross during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium.

Where will Alabama land?

Alabama would've fallen out of the top four had Penn State found a way to beat Minnesota; that would've bumped the Nittany Lions to No. 3 while Clemson climbed to No. 4, leaving Alabama next at No. 5. The Golden Gophers' win creates a scenario where Alabama will drop only two spots to No. 4, however, with five or six contenders in the mix for No. 5. (If jam-packed and confusing now, the next few weeks will inevitably trim the list of options.)

A better question may ask whether Alabama deserves to fall below No. 4. On one hand, there's no overlooking the team's lack of marquee wins. Alabama has just one win against a Power Five team with a winning record, Texas A&M. The once-impenetrable Alabama defense has allowed at least 28 points in three of its past five SEC games. The eyeball test matters, and on defense the Tide draw a failing grade.

College Football Playoff projection: Alabama's chances still high after LSU loss

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What will the College Football Playoff rankings be in the fourth unveiling on Tuesday night? The ranking will matter later. If the Badgers beat the Gophers, they’re off to play Ohio State for the Big Ten title. The Utes are dominating. They haven’t allowed more than seven points in five of their last six

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There's still this conundrum for the committee: If LSU is the No. 1 team in the country, what does that say about an opponent that lost to the Tigers by five points and is otherwise unbeaten? That's the case for Alabama falling only to No. 4, though the coming weeks will give those teams just behind the Tide ammunition and an argument for leapfrogging ahead into the top four.

Will Minnesota soar up the rankings?

Yeah, the Golden Gophers are going to make a huge leap. Looking back, the team's flimsy schedule justified, to a degree, being No. 17 in the debut rankings. It may look bad in hindsight, but the committee had an argument for slightly penalizing a team that had yet to beat any opponent of consequence. That changed with Saturday's 31-26 win against the previously unbeaten Nittany Lions.

Minnesota will easily move ahead of several two-loss teams ranked higher in last week's release — Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin, Auburn and Florida — and into the top 10, where the Gophers will come into comparison with undefeated Baylor and one-loss Oklahoma, Georgia, Utah and Oregon. Given how the committee valued Penn State a week ago, there's reason to believe the Gophers will be in the mix for No. 5, though Georgia would be the obvious choice to move up after being sixth in the debut rankings.

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a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson celebrates scoring a touchdown in the first half against Penn State at TCF Bank Stadium.© Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson celebrates scoring a touchdown in the first half against Penn State at TCF Bank Stadium.

Will there be a second ACC team?

Nope. The league's best hope of giving Clemson a marquee in-conference win was shut down after Wake Forest's 36-17 loss at Virginia Tech. This week's Coaches Poll, for example, has Clemson at No. 3 but no other ACC team in the Top 25 — the Demon Deacons, Hokies and Virginia are receiving votes but would need to win out to earn a national ranking.

It's not a huge deal for Clemson, which is a lock for the top four with another perfect regular season, and it's not like the Tigers haven't looked the part of a team capable of defending its national championship. Clemson has scored at least 45 points in its last five games and is running at high gear heading into its final three games before the postseason.

How many Group of Five teams in the Top 25?

Four are a lock: Cincinnati, Memphis, Boise State and Navy. No. 25 a week ago, SMU is a candidate to fall out of the rankings after Saturday's 59-51 win against East Carolina, especially with Texas set to rejoin the Top 25. However, the Mustangs could stick and Appalachian State could bounce back into the rankings after beating South Carolina to give the Group of Five six teams in this week's list.

Whether it's four, five or six representatives hinges on how the committee approaches Kansas State, Iowa, Wake Forest and Oklahoma State. The Demon Deacons will likely go from No. 19 to out of the rankings. Kansas State was No. 16 before losing to the Longhorns, and the narrow, final-seconds loss shouldn't be too heavily penalized. Iowa hung tight with Wisconsin and has a case to fall only a few spots from No. 18. And while Oklahoma State didn't play on Saturday, the Cowboys' best wins look slightly weaker after the Wildcats' loss and Iowa State's close setback at Oklahoma.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Five questions the second College Football Playoff rankings will answer

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