Georgia Tops First CFP Rankings And Cincinnati Never Stood A Chance


We were hoping this year would be different. 

Cincinnati has been one of the best teams in the country since week one — it’s beat two Power 5 schools en route to the No. 2 ranking in the Associated Press poll, leading many to believe that a Group of Five school may finally make its way into the college football playoff conversation. 

How foolish we all were. 

Tuesday evening, the first College Football Playoff rankings were released, and the results are as typical as one could expect. 

Georgia is No.1, one-loss Alabama is No.2, undefeated Michigan State is No.3, and one-loss Oregon comes in at No.4. 

You might be asking yourself, “Where is undefeated Cincinnati?” 

The Bearcats are buried at No. 6 in the rankings, behind a one-loss Ohio State team, with little chance of moving up the rankings with who they have remaining on their schedule. 

The committee wanted to see a Group of Five team have a stronger non-conference schedule. So, Cincinnati went out and played Indiana — from the Big 10 conference — and Notre Dame, both on the road. The Bearcats beat both Power 5 schools, with the win over the Irish being strengthened by Notre Dame’s No. 10 ranking in the playoff poll. 

And yet, none of it matters. Cincinnati does not play in one of the Power 5 conferences, eliminating any real chance of an appearance in the College Football Playoff. 

“The committee has great respect for Cincinnati. The win at Notre Dame was a really impressive win,” committee chairman Gary Barta said on the ESPN rankings show. “But who else did they beat? Looking at the big picture, we feel six is the right spot for Cincinnati.”

Instead, an Oregon team playing in the pathetic Pac 12 conference sneaks in, giving them an opportunity to win out following a brutal loss to Stanford. The Cardinal are 3-5, including back-to-back losses in recent weeks to Washington State (5-4) and Washington (4-4). Oregon did beat Ohio State on the road — a very impressive win — but is it more impressive than Cincinnati’s win over Notre Dame? Maybe? 

“These rankings, the more you look at them, they’re indefensible,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco told ESPN. “It’s clearly a [Power] 5 Invitational. We’ll see what happens the rest of the year. Let’s hope that something changes in the way this thing is being viewed.”

Michigan State is undefeated and deserves to be in the playoff conversation, but let’s apply the committee’s logic to the Spartans as well. 

Mel Tucker’s team is coming off an impressive win over Michigan, but their only other win of note is over Miami, now sitting at 4-4 and unranked. 

Alabama at No. 2 is to be expected. The committee has always shown that the SEC strength of schedule surpasses all other resumes, and Nick Saban’s team will have an opportunity to win out and play Georgia in the SEC Championship game. 

The bottom line is that there was nothing Cincinnati could do to gain favor with the College Football Playoff committee. They simply never had a chance, regardless of where they were ranked heading into the first week of rankings. 

Take a look at the first College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings

  1. Georgia 
  2. Alabama
  3. Michigan State
  4. Oregon
  5. Ohio State
  6. Cincinnati 
  7. Michigan
  8. Oklahoma 
  9. Wake Forest
  10. Notre Dame
  11. Oklahoma State
  12. Baylor
  13. Auburn
  14. Texas A&M 
  15. BYU
  16. Ole Miss
  17. Mississippi State
  18. Kentucky 
  19. NC State
  20. Minnesota 
  21. Wisconsin
  22. Iowa
  23. Fresno State
  24. San Diego State
  25. Pittsburgh

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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