The initial 2022 college football playoff rankings were released Tuesday night and it provided insight into what the committee is thinking.
Tennessee being No. 1 was assumed but beyond that any combination of Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State and Michigan as the next four teams was reasonable.
The committee landed them in the order of No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Clemson and No. 5 Michigan.
If the committee went the process of elimination route to rank these teams, Michigan is the easiest team to remove first and put fifth.
The Wolverines have one mildly impressive win which was a 41-17 beat down at home against Penn State. Outside of that win against the Nittany Lions, Michigan has only played one other team with a winning record.
All of that on top of the fact they had the easiest non-conference slate in the country. Not the best first impression for Michigan.
The Wolverines will have a tough time sticking their chest farther out for another couple weeks. Michigan plays Rutgers and then Nebraska the next two weeks. Not exactly super teams. But then, No. 16 Illinois comes to town before the annual showdown with Ohio State.
That might not sound very optimistic but there is another month worth of games left. Michigan plays one of the teams ranked ahead of them. Tennessee and Georgia play this weekend. It’ll all work itself out in the end.
Too Much OSU Love?
The one part I’m struggling with these rankings on is Ohio State being second. Last week’s road win at Penn State is more impressive than people think. But outside of that the only other notable win was the first game of the year when Notre Dame traveled to Columbus. And now that we’ve had 8 weeks of games we now know that Notre Dame is, checks notes, not that good.
Based off of what these teams have done so far, Clemson should be second behind Tennessee. The Tigers have beaten three ranked teams – the most out of this group of teams. They have a road win at Florida State. Not the scariest team out there, but not an easy atmosphere to play in.
I might have the least confidence in Clemson moving forward due to their quarterback situation. But looking in the rearview mirror I like what they have done the most.
You can make an argument for Georgia being second but I like their resume a little less. Auburn is down this year. Florida isn’t great. And they looked mediocre two weeks in a row against Kent State and Missouri.
The one thing Georgia has going for them is they absolutely curb stomped Oregon the first week of the season. That game was over at the coin toss.
Here Come the Trojans?
A team to be on the lookout for is Southern California. The Trojans are currently ranked ninth but still has a “road” game against UCLA in three weeks and then the Pac-12 Championship game if they make it. That conference title game could come against Oregon who would likely be ranked higher than USC when that game is played. The Trojans lone blemish on the season is a one-point road loss to a good Utah team.
USC has the talent on offense to hang with anybody. Not to mention a well-regarded offensive coach in Lincoln Riley. The biggest problem is their defense. Yikes would be an accurate description of it.
No matter what team you root for, the key thing to remember is there is plenty of time left in the season. A lot will happen to shake up the rankings. There is no need to panic at the moment.
Unless you’re Clemson and you aren’t sure who your quarterback is. Then you might want to freak out a little.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)