CFP Committee has Alabama Needing Help to Stay Alive for National Title
The second College Football Playoff rankings saw a major shakeup in the rankings Tuesday night, with a new No. 1 team and Alabama on target to be outside looking in on the semifinals for the first time.
The committee dropped the Crimson Tide to No. 5 after its 46-41 loss to LSU on Saturday. While that still has Alabama (8-1) in position to challenge for a semifinal, other teams behind it will have the opportunity to pad their resumes with a conference title.
Georgia, which is at No. 4, has brutal schedule remaining, at No. 12 Auburn, vs. Texas A&M and at Georgia Tech, followed by a likely showdown with No. 1 LSU in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
The big mover was Minnesota, jumping up from No. 17 to No. 8.
The CFP top 25:
1 LSU 9-0
2 Ohio State 9-0
3 Clemson 10-0
4 Georgia 8-1
5 Alabama 8-1
6 Oregon 8-1
7 Utah 8-1
8 Minnesota 9-0
9 Penn State 8-1
10 Oklahoma 8-1
11 Florida 8-2
12 Auburn 7-2
13 Baylor 9-0
14 Wisconsin 7-2
15 Michigan 7-2
16 Notre Dame 7-2
17 Cincinnati 8-1
18 Memphis 8-1
19 Texas 6-3
20 Iowa 6-3
21 Boise State 8-1
22 Oklahoma State 6-3
23 Navy 7-1
24 Kansas State 6-3
25 Appalachian State 8-1
Here what Rob Mullens, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee chair, had to say about Alabama and Georgia being No. 4 and 5:
"Georgia, with wins against both Florida and Notre Dame, put them at No. 4 in the rankings this week. The committee spent a lot of time comparing Georgia and Alabama. In the end, Georgia's two wins over ranked teams made the difference in the No. 4 spot. Alabama clearly is a strong team, but the committee gave the edge to Georgia."
On Georgia's loss to South Carolina: "It's certainly a part of the discussion, no doubt. We're aware of the South Carolina loss for Georgia and that Alabama's loss was against a team that was ranked No. 1, so that's clearly on the board when we're comparing them. But we're also looking at Georgia's wins against top-20 teams Florida and Notre Dame."
On feedback the committee gave about Alabama and Minnesota: "Not about those two teams in comparison to one another. I've shared about Minnesota, obviously. The non-conference was a concern. The win against Penn State was big. When you see Alabama, obviously their only loss was to the team that's now ranked No. 1 in the country, and prior to that they had been dominant against their schedule, and so we see a very, very good football team."
On the flow of games. Alabama was clearly different in the second half than it was in the first half. How much is that taken into consideration not just when ranking them this week but when ranking other teams? Oklahoma had a similar game against K-State.
"Again, we're watching the games, so we understand how they play out. That's a key piece of the committee's work is to make sure that we're watching all these games. We discuss how the games unfold as a part of the conversation.
Is that something, though, when you see mistakes like that from Alabama in the first half, is that something that contributes to them dropping to five, or do you guys say, well, they won the game and it was different in the second half so maybe it's not that bad? How does that conversation go?
"You know, obviously we're commenting on what we see on the game. The results do matter. So we're looking first and foremost at the outcome. But we're also discussing how they reached that outcome."