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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Column: First college football playoffs ranking released

It was anticlimactic, yet the talk of the nation.

On Tuesday, the College Football playoff selection committee announced the first ever college football playoff top 25 rankings. In an ESPN special, the 12-person committee set the much speculated top four: Mississippi State at No. 1, Florida State at No. 2, Auburn at No. 3 and Ole Miss at No. 4. The first two teams out are Oregon at No. 5 and Alabama at No. 6.

The Arizona Wildcats ended up ranking 12th overall over teams such as Baylor, Nebraska and Ohio State. In total, five Pac-12 Conference teams made the first rankings: Oregon, Arizona, ASU at No. 14, Utah at No. 17 and UCLA at No. 22.

To put that into perspective, every Pac-12 team is ranked at or above their AP Top 25 rankings.

Rich Rodriguez has maintained his belief that these rankings don’t matter. Just on Monday during his weekly press conference, Rodriguez said he cares more where the team is down the road rather than at the moment.

For fans of an Arizona team that wasn’t even supposed to be here, there’s no reason to be upset over Oregon being ranked ahead of Arizona or even being ranked outside the top 10.Of course, none of this really even matters right now, but it still says a lot over what the selection committee values when ranking teams. What’s obvious is that the committee values head-to-head matchups only between similarly rated teams, something that will be evident in the coming weeks.

Notre Dame dropped from No. 6 in the AP poll to No. 10 in the playoff rankings, and Georgia dropped from No. 9 in the AP poll to No. 11 in the playoff rankings. TCU jumped from No. 10 in the AP poll to No. 7 in the playoff rankings.

Despite Alabama ranking No. 3 in the latest AP poll and going on a tear lately, Ole Miss defeated Alabama earlier this year and is rightfully ranked above the Crimson Tide. It’s not unbelievable to think Alabama would be in the top four had it had not lost to Ole Miss at the beginning of the month.

Things are only going to get wilder, too.

Auburn and Ole Miss play on Saturday, Alabama and Mississippi State play on Nov. 15, Auburn and Alabama play on Nov. 29 and Mississippi State and Ole Miss play on Nov. 29.

For those keeping count, that’s four of the top-six teams matching up at various times throughout the rest of the season — and that doesn’t even take into account the rest of the top 10. TCU and Kansas State play Nov. 8, Kansas State and Baylor play Dec. 6, Georgia plays Auburn on Nov. 15 and Michigan State plays Ohio State on Nov. 8.

Incredible things are about to ensue, folks. Strap in, and prepare yourselves for the ride.

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Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter.

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