Losses by Alabama and Miami Make the Playoff Committee's Job Way More Difficult

November 26, 2017 by Dave Congrove

Alabama's 26-14 loss at Auburn on Saturday means the top 2 teams in the last College Football Playoff selection committee rankings went down to defeat over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Miami (FL) fell 24-14 at Pitt on Friday.

The losses by 'Bama and Miami put the committee in the interesting predicament of having to do a complete reset of everything they thought was right. We know 'Bama is no longer No. 1 and we know Miami is no longer No. 2.

We'll learn what the committee thinks on Tuesday night, but at this point I would have to believe that their top four teams will be Clemson, Oklahoma, Auburn and Wisconsin - not necessarily in that order. Alabama and Georgia will vie for the 5th- and 6th-place spots with Ohio State likely in 7th. That means Miami drops as far as 8th.

Clemson helped itself with a 34-10 clubbing of South Carolina, and Oklahoma certainly didn't hurt its cause by running away from West Virginia 59-31. Wisconsin did its best to impress the committee by stifling Minnesota 31-0, and Georgia also made a statement with a 38-7 destruction of Georgia Tech. Ohio State did all it could by disposing of Michigan 31-20.

Gone and forgotten now are Notre Dame, a 38-20 loser at Stanford, and Washington State, a 41-14 victim of Washington.

Some greater consideration has to be given as to how the committee is treating the only two remaining unbeaten teams - Wisconsin and UCF.  Running the table is difficult, period. I am not suggesting they should be ranked 1 and 2 just because they don't have a blemish on their resume. But the committee is running out of excuses where Wisconsin is concerned, and a No. 15 ranking for UCF is shamefully dismissive.

Keep in mind, the season isn't over. Another week of college football is still to come.

(This paragraph updated on Sunday, 11/26 at 1:58 pm ET) Among other games on Saturday, Fresno State knocked off Boise State 28-17 to leave both teams with over-all records of 9-3 and conference marks of 7-1. The teams will meet again in the Mountain West Championship game in Boise. The site was determined by composite computer rankings and announced on Sunday.

The PAC-12 title matchup was also determined when Washington crushed Washington State. The Cougars would have been in with a win, but their loss allowed Stanford to back into the championship game and serve as the opposition to USC.

Conference Championship Games

Conference Matchup
AAC Memphis at UCF
ACC Miami (Fla.) vs. Clemson (at Charlotte)
Big Ten Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (at Indianapolis)
Big 12 TCU vs. Oklahoma (at Arlington)
CUSA North Texas at FAU
MAC Akron vs. Toledo (at Detroit)
MWC Fresno State at Boise State
PAC-12 USC vs. Stanford (at Santa Clara)
SEC Georgia vs. Auburn (at Atlanta)

Worth Noting

Vanderbilt's 42-24 win at Tennessee is the second straight in the series for the Commodores, and fourth in the last 6 meetings. Vanderbilt was 1-28 versus Tennessee from 1983-2011.

Kevin Sumlin was reportedly going to be fired after the LSU game, regardless of the result. Those rumors didn't help propel the Aggies to victory as they fell to 7-5 with a 45-21 loss in Baton Rouge. Sumlin is 51-26 in 6 seasons in College Station, and 25-23 in the SEC. His first team finished 2nd in the Western division in 2012, but has finished 4th or worse in every season since then. The Congrove Compute Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com gave Texas A&M a preseason prediction of an 8-4 finish, 4-4 in the SEC. They went 7-5 overall, and 4-4 in the SEC.


98 FBS teams played 98 games vs. FCS members this year, down substantially from the 110 FBS schools that played 113 games vs. FCS squads last year. FBS teams finished 89-9 (.908) vs. the FCS this season, and are now 1,219-117 (.912) since 2003.

These are the FCS victories in 2017:
September 23: Western Illinois 52, Coastal Carolina 10
September 16: North Carolina A&T 35, Charlotte 31
September 16: Idaho State 30, Nevada 28
September 9: South Dakota 35. Bowling Green 27
September 9: New Hampshire 22, Georgia Southern 12
September 2: Liberty 48, Baylor 45
September 2: Howard 43, UNLV 40
September 2: James Madison 34, East Carolina 14
August 31: Tennessee State 17, Georgia State 10.


Wisconsin - Won 13 straight overall (FBS longest). Won 9 straight conference games (FBS longest). Won 31-0 vs. Minnesota on Saturday.

Alabama - Two streaks came to an end with the Tide's 26-14 loss at Auburn - their FBS leading streak of 24 straight conference wins and their FBS second-best streak of 14 straight road wins. Still intact are streaks of 39 straight regular season nonconference wins (FBS longest), and 19 straight home wins (FBS longest).

Oklahoma - Won 16 straight road games (FBS longest). Won 59-31 vs. West Virginia on Saturday.

Miami (Fla.) - Had won 15 straight overall (FBS longest) before 24-14 loss at Pittsburgh on Friday.

UTEP - Lost 12 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 28-7 at UAB on Saturday.

Ball State - Lost 13 straight conference games (FBS longest). Lost 28-7 vs. Miami (O.) on Tuesday.

Kansas - Lost 46 straight road games (FBS longest). Lost 58-17 at Oklahoma State on Saturday.