The Hurricanes Move Up Four Spots In The College Football Playoff Rankings
The Committee ranked Alabama and Clemson ahead of Miami again this week. It seems, the College Football Playoff Committee values reputation and win-loss margin over an undefeated record, strength of record and strength of schedule. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson, played in the last two National Championship Games.
The Clemson Tigers (9-1, 7-1 ACC), are ahead of the Canes despite Clemson’s loss to Syracuse, a team that Miami beat. In fact, two years in a row the Hurricanes have beaten a team that Clemson has lost to (Pittsburgh in 2016).
So why is Clemson ahead? Committee Chair Kirby Hocutt said it was because of the Tigers didn’t have their starting quarterback Kelly Bryant for the whole game. Who knew quarterbacks played defense as the Tigers gave up 27 points and 440 yards to the Orange.
However, Clemson does have two top-25 wins against No. 19 N.C. State, and possibly the best win out of the top four; No. 6 Auburn. The Tigers have the second-ranked strength of schedule and fourth-ranked strength of record amongst Power-five teams.
On ESPN’s broadcast, host Rece Davis said Clemson would be an early 5.5-point favorite over Miami.
But all shall be settled, as Miami and Clemson have a date in Charlotte, North Carolina for the ACC Championship, on December 2nd, at 8 pm on ABC.
Alabama, on the other hand, does not have comparable metrics with Miami. The Crimson Tide has wins against two currently ranked teams(Mississippi State and LSU) but Miami has the better win, Notre Dame. Alabama has the 38th ranked strength of schedule and the second-ranked strength of record; Miami has the 21st ranked strength of schedule and first-ranked strength of record in all of college football.
So why is Alabama ahead of Miami? Reputation mostly, also, the Crimson Tide have a much larger win-loss margin. Alabama beats their opponents by an average of four touchdowns; Miami has a 16 point win-loss margin.
Alabama has a much more difficult path to the playoff, their matchup with Auburn in the Iron Bowl. If Auburn wins, they will represent the SEC West in the SEC Championship Game. But Alabama’s has a few hurt linebackers so they might get into the playoff anyway.
At the end of the day, if Miami wins out they will be in the playoff. They might even make it into the playoff with a loss, as long as they beat Clemson. But being No. 1 is crucial because the CFP is regional, meaning the No. 1 team gets to play in the closest playoff site. This year the playoff sites are the Sugar Bowl, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, California.