The College Football Playoff committee unveiled its penultimate rankings Tuesday night, with seven teams appearing to have a legitimate shot of making the final four. Those teams are Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State, which are ranked first through seventh, respectively.
Tom Fornelli didn’t throw anything at his television – at least we don’t think – but his patience for the committee is wearing thin.
“What annoys me more than anything is they just seem to be making it all up as they go along,” the CBS Sports college football writer said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Kirby Hocutt, when he was asked about Washington and Michigan, said they spent hours agonizing over whether Washington or Michigan should have the 4-spot. He talked about how he’s comparing their common opponents, which will be Colorado and Rutgers, and how they perform against their common opponents. Yet, they don’t seem to care about the common opponents that teams actually share when they play each other – because Ohio State is No. 2. I don’t have a problem with Ohio State being considered one of the best four teams in the country because it is one of the best four teams in the country. I just don’t understand how they can have Penn State all the way down at No. 7 and say that there’s a huge gap between Penn State and Ohio State when Penn State beat Ohio State.”
There were other examples of this line of thinking – or lack thereof – in the rankings.
“They’ve got Florida State a spot ahead of Louisville even though Louisville beat that Florida State team by 43 points earlier this season,” Fornelli said in disbelief. “There’s just so many inconsistencies in their thinking and the way that they do it, and it drives me insane every week. I really feel like they need to come up with more of a set of guidelines and rules for how they’re going to do this, or else at the end of the day it’s always just going to end up being we picked the four teams we wanted all along anyway.”
Getting back to the Big Ten, Michigan remains two spots ahead of Penn State despite losing two of its last last tree games. The Wolverines walloped Penn State by 39 points in September, but the Nittany Lions have won eight straight games – often in convincing fashion. In fact, since beating Ohio State, Penn State has won five games by an average of 30.2 points.
“They don’t seem to care about anything that Penn State does,” Fornelli said of the committee. “I think you could make a really good argument that over the last six weeks, there hasn’t been a team that’s played better in the Big Ten than Penn State. Michigan’s lost two of its last three. It’s a very good team, but it has lost two of its last three games, one of them to an unranked Iowa team. Ohio State has had a great schedule and has a great resume, but the last few weeks itself, it hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders. Penn State, meanwhile, (is) not playing close games. It beat Ohio State and ever since then it’s been on an absolute run. The committee just doesn’t really seem to be paying any attention to the fact that right now it’s playing really well.”