Thoughts on AP Top 25 ahead of the first CFP Rankings

Thoughts on AP Top 25 ahead of the first CFP Rankings

Drew Thirion
3 years ago
4 min read
Thoughts on AP Top 25 ahead of the first CFP Rankings

The AP rankings have sucked this year. There’s no consistency and a heavy, yet well-deserved SEC bias. I’m an Ohio State fan, so I wanted my prejudices to be known before you read my rankings. However, I think I did a very fair job of leaving bias mostly out of my rankings. Here’s how I would vote if I were on the CFP committee.

Top 10:

1. Georgia (8-0) AP No. 1

No team in the country is in the ballpark of this Georgia team. They have a historically great defense and have been dominating their competition with QB Stetson Bennett at the helm. JT Daniels should return this year and if he’s behind center, I don’t see any other team on this list beating the Bulldogs. 

2. Michigan State (8-0) AP No. 5

The difference between second and third is a toss-up between resumes. I happen to like Michigan State’s resume a little more with their win over “big brother”, but I also love how well they can move it on the ground. Kenneth Walker III might just win the Heisman this year, and if they can sneak out a late-season win over Ohio State, he might just pull it off.

3. Oklahoma (9-0) AP No. 4

I don’t think Oklahoma is the third-best team in the country. They certainly haven’t passed any eye test, but they’ve managed to stay unbeaten. Their win over Texas doesn’t earn them enough respect, as Caleb Williams was phenomenal. If the Sooners don’t trip up in one of their last four games, book them a ticket to the playoffs.

4. Alabama (7-1) AP No. 3

When making these rankings, it feels like there are different brackets for groups of teams, and Alabama is in bracket number two. Besides a rough outing against Florida and a bad loss to Texas A&M, this Bama team has passed the eye test; however, Alabama only has one decent win over a streaky Ole Miss team, and their only chance to improve their resume in the regular season will come against an Auburn team with lots of question marks surrounding them. If they beat Georgia in the SEC championship they’re in, but I don’t see that happening.

5. Oregon (7-1) AP No. 7

Oregon has the best win in the country, but the worst loss in the top ten. If the Ducks didn’t beat Ohio State, they might be outside of the top 25 right now, as the PAC-12 is hardly a power five conference. Without CJ Verdell at running back, Oregon’s offense has looked pedestrian at best, and they can’t keep sneaking past bad PAC-12 competition. I won’t do it, but if Oregon doesn’t close out the year with a statement win, the committee might rank Ohio State over them.

6. Ohio State (7-1) AP No. 6

So, what has Ohio State done this year? I find them very similar to Alabama this season, where their names are carrying them more than their production. Ohio State should be better than they have played. Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba make up the best wide receiver core in the country, and TreyVeon Henderson is the most exciting freshman in Ohio State history. By year’s end, this might be the second-best team in the nation, but I need to see them earn a higher ranking. 

7. Cincinnati (8-0) AP No. 3

At what point do we stop caring about how Cincinnati did last year, and judge them off this season. They’re a really good group of five team, with a solid win over an overrated Notre Dame unit. Desmond Ridder is not a good enough QB to pull this team past any of the teams ranked above them. Unless the Bearcats look great against SMU and Houston, I won’t be shocked if the committee leaves them out one more time.

8. Michigan (7-1) AP No. 9

Congratulations Michigan, not only did you lose to “little brother” but you lost with actual playoff expectations. The Wolverines are now 10-4 since Mike Hart’s comment towards MSU back in 2007. Michigan doesn’t take rivalries seriously. MSU and Ohio State live and breathe beating Michigan football, and Jim Harbaugh has not instilled that in any of his teams. He needs to be out of Ann Arbor yesterday.

9. Wake Forest (8-0) AP No. 10

Everyone has seen the old QB1 clip of Spencer Rattler bullying his teammates, but in the season prior, we met Wake Forrest’s current starting QB, Sam Hartman. Unlike Rattler, Hartman came across as a hard-working kid, who wouldn’t quit on his guys. Over halfway through the college football season, Hartman finds himself as a dark horse Heisman candidate, primed to take the Demon Deacons to ACC Championship. Unfortunately, that’s probably the only chance they have at winning any sort of championship this year. As much as I dislike Cincy, there’s no way the committee leaves out an undefeated Cincy over an undefeated Wake Forrest. Still, a very fun team to watch. 

10. Notre Dame (7-1) AP No. 8

Kyren Williams deserves so much credit for carrying the Fighting Irish to 7-1 so far. He has to deal with Jack Coan at quarterback and I wouldn’t put that sort of punishment on my worst enemy. Notre Dame doesn’t have a stereotypical bad loss at this point in the season, but they don’t really have any solid wins either. Hot take, watch out for their matchup with Virginia in two weeks, that game will be very close.

The Rest of the Top 25:

11. Auburn (6-2)

12. Texas A&M (6-2)

13. Oklahoma State (7-1)

14. Baylor (7-1)

15. Ole Miss (6-2)

16. Kentucky (6-2)

17. Houston (7-1)

18. Iowa (6-2)

19. BYU (7-2)

20. Louisiana (7-1)

21. UTSA (8-0)

22. Pittsburgh (6-2)

23. SMU (7-1)

24. Coastal Carolina (7-1)

25. Penn State (5-3)

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