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5 Things We Learned from College Football Playoff Committee's Week 13 Rankings

Samuel Chi@@ThePlayoffGuruCollege Football Playoff GuruNovember 19, 2014

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Are you happy now?

For those who clamored for the BCS' demise and the birth of a playoff system, Tuesday night's rankings could not have brought smiles to their faces. In short, the committee's choices actually made the polls look good by comparison.

It's as if the selection committee's 12 members are waging war on logic. Strength of schedule is important, only when it's not. Head-to-head matters, except when it doesn't. 

Sorry, Marshall.
Sorry, Marshall.Chris Tilley/Associated Press

And if you're not a member of the Power Five conferences, you should just tune in on Dec. 7 when the committee reveals who will get that guaranteed slot in a New Year's Six bowl. Your resume and body of work clearly do not measure up to the big boys, no matter what you do.

So what can we take away from this week's rankings? You mean other than that the committee should be immediately disbanded in favor of an improved BCS formula?

OK, let's try these five:

1. The eyeball test trumps all

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Alabama is ranked No. 1 because it apparently looks better "on offense, defense and special teams" than everyone else, according to chairman Jeff Long, who spoke on ESPN's broadcast. The committee is untroubled that Alabama has beaten just one of its own Top 25 teams (Mississippi State) while No. 2 Oregon has beaten three (UCLA, Michigan State and Utah) and No. 3 Florida State two (Clemson and Louisville) while staying undefeated.

2. Maybe the problem is those lying eyes

Former No. 1 Mississippi State only dropped to No. 4 after losing to Alabama because Long said the Bulldogs lost by only five to the Tide and were never out of the game. Maybe that's the biggest problem with item No. 1—the committee members need to have their eyes examined.

The Bulldogs were never in that game, all the way to the concession TD that made the final score of 25-20 deceptively close. This "good loss," however, was enough to keep MSU in the playoff field despite the fact that, like the Tide, it's beaten just one currently ranked team (Auburn).

3. Strength of schedule for me, not for thee

And whereas Baylor is ostensibly still punished for its terrible nonconference schedule, the same does not apply to Mississippi State, which actually played four non-Power Five opponents as compared to Baylor's three.

The Bulldogs beat Southern Miss (3-8), UAB (5-5), South Alabama (6-4) and Tennessee-Martin (FCS, 5-6) and that's good enough to trump TCU, which actually beat three currently ranked teams and played two more Power Five opponents than MSU did.

4. Ohio State looks to be DOA

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 15: J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to pass the football against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the second quarter of the game on November 15, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Buckeyes are No. 6 and probably as good as dead when it comes to the playoff, unless they get some kind of divine intervention. There are not enough good opponents left on their schedule that will provide them with a significant lift to jump teams like Mississippi State and TCU.

And Baylor, one spot behind now, is poised to perhaps snatch the final playoff spot if it can defeat Kansas State on the final day of the regular season to claim the Big 12 title.

5. Group of Five? What Group of Five?

For the third week in a row, no team outside of the Power Five conferences (and Notre Dame) was in the rankings. Of the 27 Power Five teams with three or fewer losses, only Duke and Iowa are not ranked.

The committee clearly takes strength of schedule seriously when it comes to Group of Five teams. It's still very much anybody's guess which team among Marshall, Colorado State and Boise State is considered the best in the (possibly faulty) eyes of the committee.

The rankings

Playoff Committee Rankings Comparison
RankTeamBR MockAP PollRecord vs. T25Losses
1Alabama221-1No. 8 Ole Miss
2Oregon133-1No. 15 Arizona
3Florida State312-0None
4Miss State541-1No. 1 Alabama
5TCU453-1No. 7 Baylor
6Ohio State772-0Virginia Tech
7Baylor662-0West Virginia
8Ole Miss881-12
9UCLA9112-22
10Georgia1093-02
11Michigan State11101-22
12Kansas State12121-22
13Arizona State14132-12
14Auburn15162-23
15Arizona13151-22
16Wisconsin16141-02
17Utah17202-23
18Georgia Tech20171-02
19USC18241-23
20Missouri19190-12
21Oklahoma25230-33
22Clemson34271-33
23Nebraska22210-22
24Louisville35280-23
25Minnesota28310-23
NRMarshall21180-0None
NRColorado State24220-0Boise State
* No group-of-five team is ranked by the committee.

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