Minnesota in Top 10 and Other Big Things We're Expecting From New Playoff Rankings

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Minnesota entered the College Football Playoff conversation after upsetting Penn State at home.

With LSU taking care of Alabama and Minnesota upsetting Penn State, Week 11 did its best to make sure the first set of College Football Playoff rankings needs to be thrown out.

LSU’s huge win over Bama will certainly be the type of data point that allows the Tigers to take over the top spot in the rankings from the Buckeyes. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide’s loss may be all Clemson needed to find itself in the top four as many of us expected them to be this time last week.

Here’s what else we’re thinking about as we head into tonight’s unveiling of the second College Football Playoff rankings of 2019.

How high will Minnesota soar?

There’s no denying the significance of Minnesota’s win against Penn State on Saturday. However, you also cannot ignore the unimpressive resume it brought into that game: three close wins in a non-conference slate that leaves a lot to be desired to go along with some blowout victories over the also-rans of the Big Ten.

The Gophers will likely enter the top 10, jumping the likes of undefeated Baylor (current P5 leader of the “ain’t played nobody” club) and two-loss SEC teams Florida and Auburn. After that...who knows? Will the committee put Minnesota ahead of an Oklahoma team with a similar so-so schedule? How about a pair of Pac-12 squads who didn’t play this weekend, Oregon and Utah? Wherever Minnesota lands, we expect it to be bunched up with Penn State as they take two of the 5 through 10 slots.

Will Alabama or Georgia take the No. 4 spot?

We don’t really expect the selection committee to dock Alabama too much after a close, 46–41 loss to the presumed No. 1 team in the country. Let’s lay out the case for Georgia over Alabama anyway.

The Bulldogs have quality wins against Notre Dame and Florida and an increasingly embarrassing loss to South Carolina. The Tide have a quality-ish win against Texas A&M, a single-digit loss in the Game of the Century, and a blowout win over that same South Carolina team. You can certainly make the argument for UGA to be ranked ahead of Bama, but we have a hard time seeing it Tuesday night. This, of course, can sort itself out cleanly: Georgia controls its own destiny and would guarantee an invite by winning out and securing an SEC crown.

Our best crack at the committee’s new top 10

  1. LSU
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Alabama
  5. Georgia
  6. Oregon
  7. Utah
  8. Minnesota
  9. Penn State
  10. Oklahoma