During the four previous seasons of the College Football Playoff, the first set of rankings have always included a team that fell out of the top four by the end of the season as well as a lower-ranked team that eventually surged to the final four. We will get to that in shortly, but first, let's start with the usual disclaimer.
The rankings, which in their final release determine which teams make it into the four-team national championship playoff, featured the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2) at number 16 and the Iowa State Cyclones (4-3) at number 24.
Despite being 6-2 and being just a few plays away from an undefeated record, it didn't feel like the Iowa football team was getting the love they deserved. That dominance and a better record help give Clemson the nod.
Unfortunately, that ideal scenario would still likely leave them behind a combination of a 12-1 Big Ten champ, undefeated ACC champ Clemson and an undefeated Notre Dame squad. Why?
First and fore most, Michigan's only loss came against an undefeated Notre Dame team on the road. It looked like a much tougher schedule in September, but Stanford and USC have underachieved, and Virginia Tech lost its starting quarterback a month in a loss at Old Dominion.
The Hawkeyes are the fourth highest ranked two-loss team in the nation behind #11 Florida, #14 Penn State, and #15 Utah. The Knights finished 12th, the best ranking for any non-Power Five team in any committee rankings over the four seasons.
It's going to be a very hard decision for the committee because LSU probably has higher quality wins, but MI is the only team in the nation with its one loss coming against an undefeated team. It would have to come from the SEC, however.
"It just doesn't matter as (you've) heard me say a million times unless they're going to cancel the rest of the season", Swinney said. If Notre Dame wins out, it should be fine. ISU also owns the top defense in the Big 12, and has forced three safeties in the last three weeks - the first such streak in ISU and Big 12 history. However, there is still not a lot of hope for the Cougars.
Taggart left the Oregon Ducks after one season as their head coach to take the job at FSU. But yes, I'm saying there's still a chance.
If you enjoyed these rankings, you'll be in for a treat next week. It also would be an unfair advantage for LSU to play in Arlington as it is geographically closer to Baton Rouge than Tuscaloosa.