The College Football Playoff committee released its latest edition of its top 25 poll, and it is pretty clear that strength of schedule is playing a huge role. That is why for the third straight week there is no team ranked from outside of the power conferences.
Utah which has a tough schedule and plays in the Pac-12, and despite getting thrashed to Oregon this past week they fell only a few spots. Then there is Texas A&M which did get a nice win over Auburn but they have three loses -- as does Utah -- and were thoroughly embarrassed by Alabama and were not all that close in loses to Mississippi State and Mississippi.
Undefeated Marshall is no where to be found -- yes its schedule is bad and is holding them back -- neither is a one-loss Colorado State team that is on an eight-game winning streak.
It seems that at this pace there will be zero teams outside of the Group of Five that will be ranked at all this year. That is an extreme measure since there are still three regular season weeks left this year.
The committee seems to rather place teams from a Power Five conference in the mix than non-Power Five teams that are winning and playing the league schedule they were dealt. Colorado State has played a pair of Power Five teams in Colorado and Boston College. The former is bad at 2-8 and the latter is a decent 6-4 team from the ACC.
It is understandable for a three-loss LSU team to be ranked in this poll, and 17 might be a somewhat high, but at some point wins have to mean something. In college football with 128 teams the sample size is small and there are only three or four games that teams can control each year to boost its strength of schedule, it is hard to really know how good some teams are.
The way the committee has been voting it seems that a team outside of the Power Five will never sniff the playoffs in addition to probably just earning a token ranking at the end of the regular season.
|Rank||Team||Last week||Week 11 result||Toughest opponent left (per F/+)||If the season ended today ...|
|1||Mississippi State (9-0)||1||Won 45-16 vs. Tennessee-Martin||Alabama||Sugar Bowl vs. TCU|
|2||Oregon (9-1)||4||Won 51-27 at No. 17 Utah||Oregon State||Rose Bowl vs. Florida State|
|3||Florida State (9-0)||2||Won 34-20 vs. Virginia||Miami||Rose Bowl vs. Oregon|
|4||TCU (8-1)||6||Won 41-20 vs. No. 7 Kansas State||Texas||Sugar Bowl vs. Mississippi State|
|5||Alabama (8-1)||5||Won 20-13 (OT) at No. 16 LSU||Auburn||Orange Bowl vs. Clemson|
|6||Arizona State (8-1)||14||Won 55-31 vs. No. 10 Notre Dame||Arizona||New Year's bowl|
|7||Baylor (8-1)||13||Won 48-14 at No. 15 Oklahoma||Kansas State||New Year's bowl|
|8||Ohio State (8-1)||14||Won 49-37 at No. 8 Michigan State||Minnesota||New Year's bowl|
|9||Auburn (7-2)||3||Lost 41-38 vs. Texas A&M||Alabama||New Year's bowl|
|10||Ole Miss (8-2)||12||Won 48-0 vs. Presbyterian||Mississippi State||New Year's bowl|
|11||UCLA (8-2)||18||Won 44-30 at Washington||USC||New Year's bowl|
|12||Michigan State (7-2)||8||Lost 49-37 vs. No. 14 Ohio State||Maryland|
|13||Kansas State (7-2)||7||Lost 41-20 at No. 6 TCU||Baylor|
|14||Arizona (7-2)||19||Won 38-20 vs. Colorado||Arizona State|
|15||Georgia (7-2)||20||Won 63-31 at Kentucky||Auburn|
|17||LSU (7-3)||16||Lost 20-13 (OT) vs. No. 5 Alabama||Arkansas|
|18||Notre Dame (7-2)||10||Lost 55-31 at No. 9 Arizona State||Louisville|
|19||Clemson (7-2)||21||Won 34-20 at Wake Forest||Georgia Tech||Orange Bowl vs. Alabama|
|20||Wisconsin (7-2)||25||Won 34-16 at Purdue||Nebraska|
|21||Duke (8-1)||22||Won 27-10 at Syracuse||Virginia Tech|
|22||Georgia Tech (8-2)||24||Won 56-23 at NC State||Georgia|
|23||Utah (6-3)||17||Lost 51-27 vs. No. 4 Oregon||Arizona|
|24||Texas A&M (7-3)||NR||Won 41-38 at No. 3 Auburn||LSU|
|25||Minnesota (7-2)||NR||Won 51-14 vs. Iowa||Ohio State|