Michigan Falls Down, Western Moves Up In Latest College Football Playoff Rankings
The dust has finally settled from this weekend’s incredible game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
That dust would mostly be Michigan who find themselves settling into the number five slot of the College Football playoff—after losing the double overtime thriller to the Buckeyes 30-27.
Yup, Jim Harbaugh and his khakis are on the outside looking in at these four teams.
The still number one ranked and undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide; the Buckeyes who remain at the two slot; the #3 ranked Clemson Tigers and seemingly in déjà vu mode are the #4 ranked Washington Huskies who moved from five to four in the past week, just like they did in the first two weeks of the CFP.
And while Michigan sits just one spot out of the playoff, it would most likely take just a minor miracle to make it in because they will not be playing in the Big Ten championship game.
Best case scenario for the Wolverines would be to have Colorado upset Washington in the Pac-12 Championship game. Michigan already owns a victory over 8th ranked Colorado, and CFP spokesman Kirby Hocutt seemed intent on making a point of how close the margin is between 4th place Washington and 5th place Michigan.
“I can tell you from the discussion, the debate, the separation between Washington and Michigan is very small,” the Detroit Free Press quoted Hocutt as saying, emphasizing the committee is looking for the four “best” teams.
“And I bet over the course of the last two days, we've spent, if not two hours, very close to two hours in the details and comparisons of those two particular teams, then I know there were a number of selection committee members that were really struggling with who was the better team there.”
Meanwhile, the undefeated and disrespected Western Michigan Broncos have moved into position to go to the Cotton Bowl. WMU moved up four spots following its 55-35 shellacking of Toledo. The Broncos are currently the top 'Group of 5' team, so if they can defeat Ohio Friday for the MAC Championship, they would land the bid to the Cotton Bowl.
FYI -- The 'Group of 5' refers to the five conferences not considered a Power 5 conference like the Big Ten (Mid-American Conference, American Athletic, Sun Belt, Mountain West and Conference USA). They only get one major bowl spot per season, and this year it's the Cotton Bowl.
There's a chance Navy could steal that spot with a big win in the AAC Championship against Temple Saturday. The feeling is the AAC is the better league (they went 3-0 head to head with the MAC this fall), and the Midshipmen would draw a bigger national audience than the Broncos.
“Wherever they put us is where they put us,” Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck told USA Today. “But me debating whether we should or not is not going to change anyone’s perspective. We understand what we have to do, and that’s the only thing we can control.”