The College Football Playoff committee has unleashed its weekly rankings on the world at this late hour of a Tuesday night, much to the chagrin of those good folks promoting #MACtion on Twitter, and thus have given us all a few new things to argue about.
The top five slots remain unchanged, rare for this committee with its penchant for etch-a-sketch-style complete reevaluation each time around. But lower down, there is a little more movement. We'll just highlight the numbers involving G5 teams:
There's much more action going on at this level of the rankings, and especially of note is the respective movements of Houston and Memphis.
Houston beat Memphis, as you know, and moved up five slots. Well done, Cougars, you'll now have an even harder time keeping Tom Herman around.
More importantly, Memphis lost the game and moved not one spot in the rankings. The reason? This is just a guess, of course, but it appears the committee is screaming to all of us once again that strength of schedule is the end-all be-all at the moment.
Well, right behind winning, anyway.
Further evidence: In spite of the top 25 victory, Houston still remains ranked below No. 16 Navy. The Midshipmen's lone loss came to No. 4 Notre Dame, who would actually feature in the playoffs if they magically started tomorrow. Houston has no losses, but also no such opponent on its schedule.
My gut tells me they'd have to flip Houston above Navy at some point if the two teams won out and we were left with a 13-0 team against one that went 12-1, a sort of wink that says "just kidding guys, we're not really gonna pick a one-loss team over an undefeated one."
It's a moot point. Houston and Navy meet Nov. 27, meaning the committee won't have to show its cards on this subject, at least not where the G5 access bowl is concerned. Houston seems much too low at this point in the game to reach the top four no matter what happens from here on out. If Navy had beaten Notre Dame it might be a different story.
Elsewhere: Last point on this strength of schedule deal, promise. The other ranked G5er from last week, Temple, lost and fell out of the rankings. Their loss came to a 6-4 USF team. 'Nuff said.
Northwestern beat a bad Purdue team 21-14 and dropped two slots. Ole Miss went from unranked to No. 22 on their bye week, I guess because teams in front of them lost.
A big question based on the ranking patterns of the committee now becomes: How should G5 contenders piece together their non-conference schedule to maximize a shot at the access bowl?