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CFP chair: Michigan 'a more complete team' than Michigan State

The College Football Playoff committee still thinks the Wolverines are better than the Spartans

For the second consecutive week, the College Football Playoff committee determined that No. 6 Michigan deserved to be ranked ahead of No. 7 Michigan State.

CFP chairman Gary Barta came on ESPN’s CFP Top 25 rankings show, and tried to explain why the Spartans are ranked behind the Wolverines, despite MSU’s 37-33 win when the two teams met.

“With Michigan-Michigan State, the committee – when we met a week ago – talked about Michigan being a more complete team,” Barta said.

“If you look at it statistically – set aside watching the games, that’s certainly a part of it – but statistically, in just about every category, offensely and defensively, Michigan comes out on top over Michigan State.”

ESPN’s Rece Davis also asked Barta how much the committee values head-to-head results, and why the Spartans are ranked behind the Wolverines, while Oregon’s win over Ohio State results in the Ducks being ranked ahead of the Buckeyes.

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“Head to head is certainly one of the criteria we use, one of the things we evaluate,” Barta said. “In Oregon-Ohio State’s case, Oregon has been playing terrific football as of late. They won the other day against Washington State. Ohio State is playing some of the best offense in the country. They had a nice win against Purdue, a convincing win against Purdue. When it comes down to those two, the fact that Oregon went to Ohio State and beat them in the Horseshoe – when the vote came down again this week, that’s where the vote came out.”

Barta reminded the panel of ESPN’s ranking show, that new ballots are submitted by every member of the committee each week.

“Another game has been played. Michigan State looked good against Maryland. Michigan came from behind and won on the road against Penn State. Every week 13 people recast their votes, so when the votes were cast this week, that’s the way it came out – Michigan ahead of Michigan State, and Oregon ahead of Ohio State.”

In a week in which the Top 7 remained unchanged in the CFP rankings, the debate between the Spartans and the Wolverines continues to take center stage.

“Again, it certainly is understood and considered that Michigan State beat Michigan, but at the end of the day, the committee added another game this week, and the committee decided that Michigan still needed to be ranked ahead of Michigan State,” Barta said. “Next week we’ll come back and we’ll look at it again.”