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REACTION: Final College Football Playoff rankings

Courtesy of Max Crisalli
Michigan Wolverines logo

In the last ever release of the four-team College Football Playoff rankings, the committee gave America one final inconsistency.

Things started off pretty easily for the ranking committee, as they put the Michigan Wolverines at the top spot. They are the first Big Ten team to enter the College Football Playoff as the top-ranked team. 

The Wolverines completed their second straight 13-0 start with a 26-0 win over Iowa for their third straight Big Ten championship. 

The Maize and Blue have made the playoffs each of the last two years; however, they lost both games.

Coming in at second are the 13-0 Washington Huskies, who are the first PAC-12 team to make the playoffs since the Huskies made it in 2016. 

In the final PAC-12 championship, Washington beat Oregon for the second time this season. The first game ended with a score of 36-33 in Oct., and the conference championship ended with a final score of 34-31.

In the conference’s final year, the Huskies will be looking to be the first PAC-12 team to win the national championship since the 2004 USC Trojans.

The last two spots became an issue for the ranking committee, as there were four teams who made a case for a spot. 

The committee gave the third spot to the Texas Longhorns, who will make their playoff debut against Washington. 

The Burnt Orange took a Week 2 trip to Tuscaloosa and picked up a signature win, taking down Alabama by a score of 34-24. 

The Longhorns suffered a four-point loss to their rivals to the north, the Oklahoma Sooners, when they faced off in the Red River Rivalry.

They struggled at times, but almost everyone would say Texas is a top-four team.

One of the most difficult decisions the committee has ever had to make was who to put in as the final team. 

The Georgia Bulldogs had a case, being 12-1, winning 29 straight games prior to their 27-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC championship. 

However, Alabama was also 12-1, won the SEC, and beat Georgia, so logic says they would knock out Georgia. 

The Florida State Seminoles were the last team with a case to make the playoffs. 

They are 13-0 and winners of 19 straight games. Their schedule is weak but consists of three wins over ranked teams and an ACC championship.

FSU lost its star quarterback, Jordan Travis, to a season-ending leg injury against North Alabama, which was taken into account, according to committee chairman Boo Corrigan.

With all of this information to account for, and after watching all of those games, the College Football Playoff Ranking Committee gave the nod to the Alabama Crimson Tide to go play the Michigan Wolverines, leaving out Florida State.

Florida State sits at five, and the Georgia Bulldogs, who are sixth, will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

Putting Alabama in over Florida State isn’t necessarily a terrible decision, but after telling the country for years that record and conference championships are valued, it just wasn’t consistent with what the committee has told us.

If you think about it, though, when have they ever been consistent with what they say? 

Never in the previous nine years of the playoffs’ existence has there been an undefeated Power 5 team that didn’t make the playoffs, which includes a 2014 Florida State team that was very similar to this team in terms of their weak schedule. 

Never has a team moved from 8th to 4th in the final week of the rankings until Alabama did. 

Most fans probably know only an SEC team would have that privilege. If a team from another conference were in Alabama’s position, it seems unlikely they would have been put into the playoffs. 

Yes, Alabama is probably the better team, but it’s very frustrating to watch this committee tell us one thing and then rank the teams differently.

The playoffs will occur on Monday, Jan. 1, when Michigan takes on Alabama at 5:00 in the Rose Bowl, and later that night, Washington and Texas meet in a rematch of last year’s Alamo Bowl in the Sugar Bowl at 8:45. 

The winners play in the national championship on Monday, Jan. 8 at 7:30.

As for Florida State, they will look to finish their season 14-0 when they take on Georgia in the Orange Bowl. 

The Bulldogs will not be able to capture three consecutive championships, but they can extend their bowl winning streak to seven if they beat the Seminoles.

Demetri Manousos is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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