The second edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released on Tuesday night with very little surprises. Georgia and Alabama stayed at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Oregon and Ohio State round out the top four with each moving up one spot since then-No. 3 Michigan State was stunned by Purdue last weekend.
Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State fleshed out the top 10. UTSA, one of four undefeated teams in college football, chimed in at No. 23 — the first time in its history that it has been highlighted in the CFP Rankings.
There is plenty to unpack after this week’s release, so here is a look at the overrated and underrated teams in this week’s rankings.
Overrated — Michigan
No. 7 Michigan State beat No. 6 Michigan 37-31 on Halloween weekend, which was just two weeks ago. Yet the Wolverines find themselves one spot ahead of their intra-state rivals. Why? CFP selection committee chair Gary Barta told ESPN during the broadcast that the discussion between the two was long, and that the Spartans’ loss to Purdue on Saturday was too much to ignore. Excuse me? A road loss to Purdue — a team which the committee ranked No. 19 this week despite not being in last week’s rankings — was what set the Spartans back? This is all brand awareness. There’s no other way that a top-20 loss one weekend negates a head-to-head outcome the week prior.
Underrated — Michigan State
Well, since Michigan is overrated, it’s pretty clear that Michigan State has to be underrated for the reasons listed above. What is really surprising about this whole thing is that, in Michigan State’s win over Michigan, the Spartans came back from down 16 points to upend their intra-state rivals. Apparently that doesn’t matter either. Come on. It was a two-score comeback in the final 22 minutes of the game against a top-10 team. Can we stop trying to out-think the room here?
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Overrated — Baylor
The Bears at No. 13 seems odd to me. They just suffered their second loss of the season — this one to a TCU team that made a coaching change just six days before the game. Now, let’s compare that to Ole Miss, a team two spots behind them. Ole Miss’ two losses are to No. 2 Alabama and No. 17 Auburn. It has a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback in Matt Corral, an ultra-dynamic rushing attack and routinely forces teams to play out of their comfort zone due to the high-scoring, up-tempo scheme. No. 20 Iowa’s two losses are to No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 19 Purdue. Again, what’s the issue there? Sure, Baylor has to be ranked above No. 14 BYU because of the head-to-head, but wouldn’t it make sense to knock them both down a few spots?
Underrated — Oklahoma
Sooners coach Lincoln Riley has to apologize for winning every single week, and it’s time to get over the fact that they lacked style points. Riley made a quarterback change to Caleb Williams and, the last time they took the field, Williams looked like he should be in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race. Translation: They fixed a problem.
More importantly, they fixed a problem while remaining undefeated. Alabama didn’t do that. Neither did Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan or Michigan State. Simply put, Oklahoma is judged by a different standard, most likely because of its previous failures in the College Football Playoff. This is a different year, though. Even if this is another Oklahoma team that can make the playoff but not win it, the Sooners should be rewarded for surviving and advancing. The same can’t be said for other college football powers this year.