We’re finally at that time of year where the College Football Playoff Rankings will be released weekly and the weeks of debates can begin as to who belongs in the College Football Playoff. With the first College Football Playoff Rankings I think there is PLENTY to debate. Before the rankings are revealed the ESPN panels discussed being curious about where UCF will land and then talked about what games are left in front of them.
The first team we see are the Fresno State Bulldogs at number 23. Fresno State’s only loss comes on the road against Minnesota in a game they could’ve easily won. This is well deserved because outside of their one loss they have blown everyone out and that includes a win on the road at UCLA. The ESPN panel didn’t speak on the Bulldogs so we don’t have an explanation for their ranking but them sitting at 23 feels about right.
Then we get to the UCF Knights who come in this initial ranking at number 12. The ESPN panel discussed them and think the ranking was fair. They also discussed who they’ve played and beaten up to this point and that the strength of their schedule is in the remaining games beginning this week with Temple. Obviously an undefeated team at number 12 will be a point of contention for some but there is plenty of ground to gain and they come in ranked higher than they were at this time last year. Like the panel said they have tough games in front of them and still have plenty of time to make an impression.
Rece Davis asked new playoff committee chairman Rob Mullens about UCF, their resume, and if any equity were built up from last year’s undefeated season:
The AP poll had Houston and Utah State crack their rankings but neither team would make an appearance in first playoff rankings. Leaving Utah State out feels easily explained by the ranking of Fresno State but leaving Houston out is a head scratcher. Their only loss is against Texas Tech and their best win is over a previously undefeated USF team. Will we see either of these teams next week? Will we see new faces before the season is over? You never know with this unpredictable committee.