The College Football Playoff Committee released its most recent top 25. As a refresher, the top four teams as ranked by the committee will meet in the national semifinals (this year at the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl). The Committee also places the teams in the next highest prestige bowl games- Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach. So that is 12 slots to be filled.
But there are a couple of monkey wrenches in filling the 12 slots. At least one each of the 12 slots has to go to a team from the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC. And at least one of the 12 slots has to go the highest ranked team from outside these five conferences. Finally, this year, if an ACC team is in the top four, then another ACC team gets a slot in the Orange Bowl.
Without further ado, here are this week's rankings, from the Bowl Playoff Committee site:
As another refresher, if the season had ended last week, and the bowls had been based on last week's rankings, the national semifinals would have been Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss (at the Sugar Bowl), and Florida State vs. Auburn (at the Rose Bowl). That would have been three SEC teams in the four slots, with Florida State from the ACC as the lone outlier.
The other eight teams for the Bowl slots would have been Oregon (Pac 12), Alabama, TCU (Big 12), Michigan State (Big 10), Kansas State, Notre Dame, #21 Clemson (Orange Bowl ACC replacement), and #23 East Carolina (highest team outside the big five conferences).
This week, with the above rankings, Oregon jumps into the top four after their win over Stanford (note to Morgan Center- to "crush" somebody, you win 45-16, as Oregon did, not 17-7 as we did). And Ole Miss drops out of the top four (all the way down to #11) after losing at home to Auburn.
Other non-Bruin items of note- Arizona State jumped from #14 to #9, after beating Utah in overtime at home. That is a very healthy bump for a narrow win. If the season had ended last week, that would give the Pac-12 two teams in prestige bowls- Oregon in a national semifinal game, and Arizona State in one of the other prestige games. All the other teams would move up in the pecking order for the other Pac-12 bowl tie-ins. In other words, the Alamo Bowl would now make the 3rd selection from the Pac-12 instead of the 2nd selection. And so on down the line. And there is no longer a top 25 team from a non-power conference (not counting independents), after East Carolina fell off the list post-loss at Temple.
UCLA moved up to #18 this week, from number 22 in the initial rankings. But all that does is move us one week closer to prestige bowl exile, despite the win over Arizona. Perhaps this week the Bruins should wear uniforms which are visible on TV.
All the Bruins can do now is win out and hope that somebody else beats Arizona State. At least we would then again be in control of our own destiny- beat Oregon in the rematch at Levi's and prestige bowl here we come.
Go Bruins !! Beat the Dawgs !!