Sports, Thrill of Victory

The Weekly 128

Dan Mullen has his Mississippi State Bulldogs sitting atop the college football world for another week.

Dan Mullen has his Mississippi State Bulldogs sitting atop the college football world for another week.

The College Football Playoff selection committee got a lot of attention with its Top 25 this week, and had a lot of things with which I disagreed. Here’s my full ranking of all 128 teams this week; see where I agreed with the committee and where I thought it got it wrong. Rankings are through Thursday night, which means it includes all weekday games played in the Mid-American and Pac-12 conferences as well as Conference USA.

  1. Mississippi State (9-0): MSU may not have the margin for error that its unblemished record suggests, but its overall W-L resume is, without much question, the best one going at the moment.
  2. TCU (8-1): If the Horned Frogs win out against Kansas, Texas and Iowa State, it’s almost impossible to keep them out of the playoff.
  3. Oregon (9-1): Like MSU, the Ducks are on shaky ground from week to week, but with six wins over teams in my top 50, I don’t see how you can keep them out if a playoff started today.
  4. Alabama (8-1): Yes, I have reservations about Alabama, too, but they’re the only team in America with six wins over teams in my top 40.
  5. Baylor (8-1): An terrific argument exists that Baylor should be ahead of TCU by virtue of a head-to-head win (I went with TCU on the strength of overall wins, as Baylor has five that don’t count for much of anything), and I could honestly argue for any of the top six teams in my rankings.
  6. Florida State (9-0): Is there anything that FSU won’t do to keep its stars on the football field?
  7. Auburn (7-2): I wouldn’t have given a nickel for Texas A&M’s chances of pulling an upset last weekend, but that’s what makes college football wonderful.
  8. Ole Miss (8-2): Imagine this, Ole Miss fans: the Rebels beat Arkansas and MSU, while Alabama beats MSU, Georgia beats Auburn and then Auburn beats Alabama. If that happens, there’s a three-way tie for the Southeastern Conference West between MSU and ‘Bama, which Ole Miss then wins by virtue of a 2-0 record against them, and then the Rebels win the SEC title game. That’s a lot of its, but should that happen, could you keep Ole Miss out of a playoff?
  9. Arizona State (8-1): It’s really hard to know what to do with that 35-point loss to UCLA, which was ASU’s only defeat.
  10. Ohio State (8-1): Yes, the Buckeyes have looked really, really impressive lately, but in this beauty pageant, that loss to 4-5 Virginia Tech has to be an almost certain disqualifier in the end.
  11. Georgia (7-2): Todd Gurley’s back, and the Bulldogs have a real shot against Auburn this weekend.
  12. UCLA (8-2): That’s a great record, but the Bruins’ margin of victory of just 6.8 points hardly screams greatness.
  13.  Kansas State (7-2): It’s hard to conceive of a scenario where any team from this point in the rankings down has even a remote shot at the playoff…
  14. LSU (7-3)
  15. Michigan State (7-2)
  16. Nebraska (8-1): … although the Cornhuskers, if they beat Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, and win the Big Ten title game, might have a snowball’s shot if everything else broke right.
  17. Oklahoma (6-3)
  18. Clemson (7-2)
  19. Marshall (9-0)
  20. Texas A&M (7-3)
  21. Duke (8-1)
  22. Utah (6-3)
  23. USC (7-3)
  24. Arizona (7-2): I know the committee had UA 10 spots higher, but after that Oregon win, there’s just not much else the Wildcats have done to impress anyone.
  25. Notre Dame (7-2)
  26. Georgia Tech (8-2)
  27. Wisconsin(7-2)
  28. West Virginia (6-4)
  29. Miami (6-3)
  30. Louisville (7-3)
  31. Stanford (5-4)
  32. Missouri (7-2)
  33. Florida (5-3)
  34. Boise State (7-2)
  35. Colorado State (9-1)
  36. Texas (5-5)
  37. Arkansas (4-5)
  38. Tennessee (4-5)
  39. Minnesota (7-2)
  40. Memphis (6-3)
  41. Boston College (6-4)
  42. South Carolina (4-5)
  43. Washington (6-4)
  44. East Carolina (6-3)
  45. Maryland (6-3)
  46. Oklahoma State (5-4)
  47. California (5-5)
  48. Kentucky (5-5)
  49. Utah State (7-3)
  50. Virginia Tech (4-5)
  51. Nevada (6-3)
  52. BYU (5-4)
  53. Iowa (6-3)
  54. Penn State (4-4)
  55. Georgia Southern (8-2)
  56. Virginia (4-6)
  57. Michigan (5-5)
  58. UCF (5-3)
  59. North Carolina (4-5)
  60. Washington State (3-7)
  61. North Carolina State (5-5)
  62. Louisiana Tech (7-3)
  63. Pitt (4-5)
  64. Arkansas State (6-3)
  65. Northern Illinois (6-2)
  66. Northwestern (3-6)
  67. Cincinnati (6-3)
  68. Temple (5-4)
  69. Air Force (7-2)
  70. Houston (5-4)
  71. Western Michigan (6-3)
  72. Navy (4-5)
  73. Oregon State (4-5)
  74. Rutgers (5-5)
  75. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-3)
  76. Toledo (6-4)
  77. MTSU (5-4)
  78. Syracuse (3-7)
  79. Indiana (3-5)
  80. Rice (5-3)
  81. Colorado (2-8)
  82. Texas Tech (3-6)
  83. Iowa State (2-7)
  84. Purdue (3-7)
  85. Illinois (4-5)
  86. Central Michigan (6-4)
  87. Bowling Green (7-3)
  88. Kansas (3-6)
  89. UAB (5-5)
  90. San Diego State (5-4)
  91. Western Kentucky (4-5)
  92. Vanderbilt (3-7)
  93. UTEP (5-4)
  94. Texas State (5-3)
  95. South Alabama (5-4)
  96. Wake Forest (2-7)
  97. San Jose State (3-6)
  98. Tulane (3-6)
  99. Ohio (5-5)
  100. Appalachian State (4-5)
  101. Ball State (3-7)
  102. Akron (4-6)
  103. Hawaii (2-8)
  104. UTSA (3-7)
  105. Wyoming (4-6)
  106. Louisiana-Monroe (3-6)
  107. Fresno State (4-6)
  108. South Florida (3-6)
  109. Connecticut (2-7)
  110. Old Dominion (4-6)
  111. FIU (3-7)
  112. Massachusetts (3-7)
  113. New Mexico (3-6)
  114. Buffalo (4-6)
  115. FAU (3-7)
  116. Miami (Ohio) (2-8)
  117. Southern Miss (3-8)
  118. North Texas (3-6)
  119. Army (3-6)
  120. Tulsa (2-7)
  121. Idaho (1-8)
  122. UNLV (2-8)
  123. Kent State (1-9)
  124. Troy (1-8)
  125. New Mexico State (2-8)
  126. Georgia State (1-9)
  127. Eastern Michigan (2-7)
  128. SMU (0-8)