The First Playoff rankings are out. At such an early point does it matter at this point? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean we can completely ignore the first rankings
— CFBPlayoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 1, 2016
Positions 1,2 and 3 being Alabama, Clemson, and Michigan were expected and correct at this point in the season. Alabama will remain 1 if they win out. Clemson and Michigan could flip-flop back and forth, but that’s splitting hairs. It won’t matter either, because if Alabama is 1, the Clemson/Michigan is getting sent out to Arizona so the order of 2 and 3 doesn’t matter.
Here’s where it gets a little weird. 1 loss Texas A&M was ranked ahead of undefeated Washington. In the end if Washington wins out, as Pac 12 Champions they will leap frog Texas A&M. The Huskies still control their own destiny. The problem is if the Huskies lose a game. They could potentially drop from from 5 to 7 or 8. The current rankings have left Washington less margin of error. At 5 as well, they probably can’t into top 3, if teams 1-3 win out. That’s means they are headed east to Atlanta, Georgia rather than play closer to home in Arizona.
Texas A&M is the highest ranked of the 1 loss teams and they still have a high profile game with LSU to play. They are in great position to fill a playoff spot if a non power 5 champion were to be selected.
Louisville at 7, really put the Cardinals in a bad position. That left Louisville behind 2 other 1 loss teams, Texas A&M and Ohio State.
Texas A&M has a road win at Auburn, beat UCLA out of the Pac 12. Ohio State has beat Wisconsin and won at Oklahoma even though the Buckeyes have struggled recently they are ahead of the Cardinals. Louisville also had the mis-fortune of playing poorly and nearly losing to a mediocre Virginia team right before the playoff selection. Their best win is 3 loss Florida State. It wouldn’t matter so much if Louisville could match resumes, which they may have had Houston not started to struggle. At 7 is it not impossible for Louisville to make the playoffs, but they need more help than expected.
Louisville really needs to start playing like they are capable of, and blow inferior teams away. They need to hope FSU wins out, which would include a win over Florida. Kentucky getting to at least 7-4 would help too, and if they are the SEC East Champion which is shockingly not impossible then even better.
Those are my biggest takeaways from the 1st set of rankings.