College Football Playoff 2018: Rankings and Reaction from Week 12 Poll

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell (99) and teammates celebrate their 27-7 victory over Boston College in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The College Football Playoff selection committee had one of the easiest tasks in the history of the playoff rankings in advance of Tuesday's night release. 

With no teams in the top 10 losing in Week 11, the committee decided to keep the same 10 teams in their positions from the week before. 

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan are still on track to qualify for the national semifinals, while Georgia is first in line to replace a team that loses. 

After the top 10, there were some surprising decisions, with UCF once again being slighted and the SEC being rewarded for its strength. 


College Football Playoff Top 25

College Football Playoff @CFBPlayoff

Here’s the full #CFBPlayoff Top 2️⃣5️⃣ rankings for games played through November 10. Is your team in? 👀 https://t.co/wBq7fDvI8Q



Tuesday's rankings release was historic, but not in the manner we hoped it would be.

Since the top 10 teams came out of Week 11 unscathed, the first 10 programs in the rankings remained the same. 

In addition to the consistency in the top 10, UCF moved up to No. 11 to become the highest-ranked Group of Five team in playoff history, per The Athletic's Stewart Mandel: 

Stewart Mandel @slmandel

Same Top 10 as last week. First time that's ever happened. UCF at No. 11 is the highest ranking a G5 team has reached.

Once again, Alabama topped the list of the nation's top programs, and Tuesday marked the 15th time in 28 weeks of playoff rankings the Crimson Tide landed on top, per ESPN College Football: 

ESPN CollegeFootball @ESPNCFB

Let this sink in: more than HALF of all #CFBPlayoff rankings have had Alabama at No. 1 😳 https://t.co/J4BIFU4Gtl

Although each of the teams currently residing in the top four has looked dominant in the last few weeks, there's just a 14 percent chance of Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan qualifying for the playoff, per SportsCenter's official Twitter account: 

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

With three weeks left, there is still a lot of room for chaos 😈 https://t.co/6v2C6YwPKW

While there wasn't much chaos in Week 11, there's still the potential for some results to shake up the complexion of the standings. 

The one scenario on everyone's mind involves a win by Georgia over Alabama in the SEC Championship.

As The Athletic's Seth Emerson noted, Georgia's No. 5 ranking doesn't mean much because of the upcoming clash with the top-ranked Crimson Tide: 

Seth Emerson @SethWEmerson

Georgia is still No. 5 in the playoff rankings, and just like last week, it doesn't really matter.

In the event Georgia topples the undefeated Crimson Tide, Michigan and Alabama will be compared to one another, and The Athletic's Pete Sampson pondered what would happen to the Wolverines if that occurs: 

Pete Sampson @PeteSampson_

Notre Dame stays at No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Top 5 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Notre Dame 4. Michigan 5. Georgia The question is what happens to Michigan if it wins out and Georgia knocks off Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, plus ND and Clemson win out.

Fox Sports' Joel Klatt is aware of the situation as well, as he noted LSU's short fall to No. 7 after losing to Alabama as a worrying sign for Michigan fans: 

Joel Klatt @joelklatt

Hey, @UMichFootball fans, you better hope that @AlabamaFTBL wins out. You see what the CFP Committee is doing right? LSU at #7 is like a giant safety net for the Tide

However, playoff committee chairman Rob Mullens pointed out Michigan's resume as one of the reasons why it's above Georgia at the moment, per Nick Baumgardner of the Detroit Free Press: 

Nick Baumgardner @nickbaumgardner

CFP Rob Mullens asked why Michigan is ranked ahead of Georgia: Gives a lot of compliments, notes No. 1 defense in the country, Q wins and ends with: "Strong resume."

UCF once again received attention for landing underneath the marquee programs in the nation. 

Mullens commented on the Knights' No. 11 ranking by expressing concerns in the team's strength of schedule, per the Orlando Sentinel's Twitter account for UCF coverage: 

osknights @osknights

Playoff chair Rob Mullens said the discussion surrounding UCF was much like it's been in past weeks: impressive offense but strength of schedule continues to be a concern.

If UCF stumbles against Cincinnati Saturday, the Bearcats and Utah State could be in a fight for the Group of Five berth in the New Year's Six. 

As Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman noted, Utah State is more than deserving of its spot in the Top 25 because of its performance throughout the season: 

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

Good to see #UtahState in the Top 25. USU's won nine in a row since losing at Michigan State by 7 in the opener. QB Jordan Love's been terrific and Matt Wells reminding folks he's one of the best coaches in the West.