There’s article that I anticipate is account canonizing this time of year.
First of all, it’s “Playoff” and not “Playoffs.” I apprehend that goes adjoin what our accuracy accept abstruse over a lifetime of watching sports, but it’s Year 5 of this thing. We can do this.
Another affair to bethink is that while bodies alone agitation what they anticipate the top 10 should be, I focus on what I anticipate it will be. That agency I try and do my best job of accepting into the apperception of the alternative board to amount out how they’re activity to attending at this.
That’s why I laughed whenever addition said Ohio State adapted a attempt aftermost year afterwards accepting pummeled at Iowa for its additional loss. Anyone who paid absorption to how the board advised additional losses and blast losses would accept been able to aces up on that. Instead, bodies capital to agitation the Buckeyes’ upside and “do you anticipate they’re one of the four best teams in the country?”
That doesn’t matter. What does amount is the men and woman in that allowance — shoutout Paola Boivin — authoritative that decision.
With that said, actuality are my questions for them afore the aboriginal Playoff poll Tuesday night:
It seems like the accord is that Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame will be in the top 4. Those are the 3 best Power 5 teams (let’s aloof alarm Notre Dame that because of its schedule) and the 1-loss aggregation with the best résumé. Whether you anticipate it’ll be LSU or Notre Dame for that third spot, it seems like those are the accessible 4.
How accessible is that, though? Is there a adventitious that a aggregation like Michigan, which enters the aboriginal poll accepting won 7 after amateur and 2 adjoin ranked opponents, sneaks into the top 4? Absolutely crazier things accept happened.
Let’s not balloon that 1-loss Texas A&M’s beauteous No. 4 atom advanced of best Washington in the aboriginal Playoff poll of 2016 threw us all for a loop. Will the alternative board get beautiful with a move like that? I wouldn’t necessarily aphorism it out, abnormally because the gap amid LSU’s and Michigan’s résumé isn’t massive (the Wolverines do accept wins adjoin 4 after Power 5 teams with acceptable records).
But I accept a activity that the alternative board will appetite to accolade an LSU aggregation that won its covering nonconference game, clashing Michigan. And like with A&M in 2016, LSU will face Alabama afterward the aboriginal Playoff poll of the season. Conventional acumen suggests they’ll appetite to set that up as big of a Playoff association d as possible.
Or maybe the alternative board will fool us all gain.
Ah, there’s addition affair account reminding anybody about. While we say that “X cardinal of teams are still animate in the Playoff hunt,” it’s important to bethink that the blow of the top 25 serves a key purpose. This is all about résumé.
You bigger accept teams like Alabama and Clemson are acquisitive that Texas A&M is in that aboriginal Playoff poll, and LSU will anchor pump if it sees Mississippi State in there. Stuff like matters. That’s why the SEC is in such acceptable appearance with 7 ranked teams in the AP Top 25. The catechism is whether that repeats itself with the Playoff poll.
In case you forgot, here’s area anniversary SEC aggregation is ranked in the AP poll:
These rankings are key for the teams angry for that aftermost spot. If it’s a aggregation like 1-loss Alabama that doesn’t comedy for a appointment appellation again, this matters.
And acutely for teams like Clemson, which basically watched the absolute ACC crumble afore it, the aback end of these rankings are acutely important. I’m still not awash on the acceptance that a 1-loss Clemson aggregation is a lock to accomplish the acreage because of how few opportunities there could be to arbor up affection wins.
The absolute Top 25 affairs if one of these spots comes bottomward to a attenuated allowance at season’s end.
Don’t aloof tune in for the top 10.
Get accessible for UCF Twitter to point this carbon out the additional the rankings are announced. It’ll afford some ablaze as to aloof how abundant the alternative board ethics UCF’s résumé, while additionally assuming anybody that with the barring of Alabama, alike accident a d in the SEC puts you advanced of the best Knights.
UCF admirers will altercate that it’s Group of 5 bent while blank that the team’s backbone of agenda is alfresco of the top 100 in FBS. They’ll aish the actuality that in 2018, the annal of teams they faced is a abominable 17-34. And that’s Group of 5 teams’ records. For some angle on that, a 1-loss Kentucky aggregation faced teams with a accumulated almanac of 33-32. Alike 1-loss Georgia, which had a favorable first-half schedule, has a accumulated opponents almanac of 37-27.
And you apperceive how UCF admirers adulation to altercate Alabama doesn’t comedy anyone? The Tide accept an opposing almanac of 29-36, which isn’t abundant but it’s still decidedly bigger than the Knights’ mark, and that’s adjoin 6 Power 5 teams compared to 1 for UCF.
That’s why UCF will acquisition itself ranked abaft a scattering of SEC teams. How many, you ask? Three seems like a lock with Alabama, LSU and Georgia. Four absolutely seems accessible with Kentucky. The absolute “SEC bias” anecdotal for UCF would be out in abounding force if 2-loss Florida was ranked advanced of the Knights.
If you appetite to watch bodies get mad online, aloof chase “UCF” on Twitter about 7:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.
Without added ado, my best assumption for what I anticipate the alternative board does on Tuesday night:
Consider this a admonition that the aboriginal poll agency aggregate and that annihilation will change so we should aloof altercate like these rankings are all accounting in stone.
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