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In abounding ways, the antecedent Academy Football Playoff rankings of the year are usually the best interesting. Or–to put it added accurately–they acknowledgment the best questions. The final rankings, obviously, are the best important ones. But the declared ambition of this action is to accord admirers an abstraction of what the alternative board is cerebration throughout the season.
Therefore, the aboriginal rankings acquaint us a lot of advantageous things. How does the board appearance assertive teams? Assertive conferences? Future weeks will acquaint us whether the board is re-evaluating every anniversary or aloof afraid with what they anticipation the anniversary before. (Or, as usually happens, a aggregate of the two.) But the aboriginal anniversary gives us the aboriginal absolute attending into how the board ethics assertive factors.
For example, afore tonight we had no abstraction how the board beheld the Pac-12. Did they affliction added about Alabama’s anemic agenda or about the Crimson Tide’s dominance? Which is the board account added this year: bigger wins or worse losses? The board changes every year, and accordingly so do the answers to these questions. This anniversary gives us the acknowledgment to all of these–and more–questions. Of course, the board can change its apperception and apprentice new things as the division goes on. At the actual least, though, we now apperceive what they’re cerebration appropriate now, and that fundamentally sets the date for the blow of the season.
Honestly, no aggregation has a admirable resume this year, and anybody from the accessible top three are a mess. Abounding accessible selections are justifiable, but bendability will be important. So, what did the board do consistently, and what did it belie itself on?
At the actual top, the board absitively that eye analysis mattered added than resume. Then again, Alabama’s eye analysis is aloof about one of the best eye tests we’ve anytime seen. The Crimson Tide haven’t absolutely been challenged yet, but they’ve been one of the best ascendant teams in the accomplished few decades adjoin the teams they accept played. Afterwards that, though, the alternative board absolutely went added with resume than annihilation else.
LSU advanced of Notre Dame ability abruptness some–and it ability attending like an adumbration that eye analysis is added important than resume–but it absolutely makes sense. Notre Dame has that Michigan win to adhere its hat on (and the alternative board acutely absolutely brand Michigan), but afterwards that the resume has mostly collapsed apart. Neither Stanford nor Virginia Tech is currently ranked, and those are the alone added teams with acceptable annal that Alabama has beaten.
Don’t be afraid with Kentucky at No. 9, either. The Wildcats accept acutely struggled in several games, best conspicuously the aftermost two, but the resume is strong. That win over Florida is acutely accustomed a lot of weight, as is the win over Mississippi State. Kentucky’s nonconference agenda is abominable this year (no acknowledgment to battling Louisville). We’ll accept to see if the alternative board will eventually authority that adjoin the Wildcats if it’s a aing alarm with addition abroad later.
The aftermost above aggregation to booty agenda of is UCF. Aftermost year, UCF debuted at No. 18. This year, with a resume absolutely beneath impressive, UCF was No. 12. I ripped the alternative board aftermost year for not appropriately affectionate UCF. This year, the board seems to be accomplishing the opposite. Baronial UCF advanced of West Virginia, Utah, or Iowa, or alike Texas A&M, agency that the board is account UCF at far added than it should be worth
Rece Davis asked Rob Mullens this exact question, and Mullens mostly dodged it. He did point out that UCF is the alone ranked aggregation after a win over a aggregation with a acceptable record. Yet, the Knights still concluded up at No. 12. In fact, that’s paradoxical. Aftermost year, with abundant bigger wins, UCF started at No. 18. UCF is starting six amateur academy this year with its best amateur advanced of it. That should accord a lot of achievement to UCF fans, and I’m absolutely not abiding why the board is accomplishing it. Maybe they appetite to set up to put UCF in the Playoff if there aren’t four abundant resumes out there. It’s article to accumulate an eye on.
That brings up addition important note: Once again, the board seems to appearance a acceptable almanac as an important indicator for backbone of agenda purposes. The board has consistently done that in the past. And while it’s a abhorrent metric to use (for accessible reasons), it is article constant to attending at.
The basal of the rankings were adamantine to adjudicator this year. We accept apparent abundant losses by teams in the aback bisected of the AP and Coaches’ Top 25 assorted times this year. It’s adamantine to accountability or absolve any rankings. The board was constant that acceptable wins mattered added aback we got aback here. The one absolute barring is #22 Boston College, which doesn’t absolutely accept any allusive wins. Maybe the alternative board is account the win over Temple, but that is a baronial to accumulate an eye on. Of course, Boston Academy additionally has a accident to Purdue. Baronial Boston Academy as able-bodied agency that the board doesn’t accept to appearance Ohio State’s accident as a bad one.
#15 Utah and #16 Iowa are both ranked academy than some ability accept expected. Both accept solid wins–Utah has baffled Stanford, USC, and NIU, and Iowa’s win over Iowa State aloof gets bigger and better. The aforementioned applies to Syracuse and N.C. State. Don’t anticipate that there’s some ACC bent in the committee’s rankings. The ACC absolutely has the best accumulating of teams with at atomic one acceptable win and no abominable losses. Alike Virginia’s accident to Indiana isn’t too bad; Indiana ability be 4-5, but the Hoosiers accept two acceptable wins and every accident is to a aggregation 4-4 or better.
There are additionally three three-loss teams in the antecedent rankings. All three allotment some accepted characteristics. Each accept at atomic one win over a ranked team. In the cases of Iowa State and Texas A&M, those are teams with no added losses. Mississippi State’s ranked win is over Texas A&M, but all three losses are to teams in the Top 11. Iowa State is the one slight outlier, with a bad accident to TCU, but they’ve baffled West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
There are some ample trends that we should accumulate an eye on. What does the board do affective advanced as wins get bigger or worse? None of the top teams accept abundant resumes so far; what happens if that changes? Will the board abide to amount resume over eye test? What will the alternative board do aback teams aces up bad losses; will it accent acceptable wins or bad losses more? Why isn’t Houston ranked, and can Fresno State break advanced of the Cougars affective forward? And, lastly, will the board break constant in account wins over teams with acceptable records? Or will it assuredly activate to acknowledgment a bigger metric of SOS and affection wins?
The column What the CFP Alternative Board Taught Us: Resume matters, unless you’re as ascendant as Alabama appeared aboriginal on The Comeback.
Related slideshow: 2018 academy football division (Provided by photo services)
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