The College Football Playoff Committee releases its penultimate Top 25 rankings tonight. The top four – Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Washington – should match the AP and Coaches Poll. An interesting question is where Michigan falls after its narrow loss to Ohio State.
The AP Poll dropped Michigan to No. 5. The Coaches Poll, a bit lower on Michigan before the Ohio State loss, dropped Michigan below Wisconsin to No. 6. What the committee decides could make a huge difference.
Michigan at No. 5 does not mean much. Committee rankings have little continuity week-to-week. We saw No. 3 TCU beat a team 55-3 and drop out of the playoff in 2014. Wisconsin could be No. 6, beat Penn State and jump Michigan.
But, if Michigan drops below Wisconsin and/or Penn State, that’s a clear sign Michigan would not be in line to pip either of those teams for a playoff spot.
We’d bet Michigan ends up at No. 5. The Wolverines beat both Wisconsin and Penn State, the latter by 39 points. Neither has a schedule résumé to match with Michigan without the conference title game included.
If the committee were deliberately trolling everyone to get people “talking about the playoff,” they would leave Michigan at No. 4 ahead of Washington, with the intention of moving Washington up after the Top 10 Colorado win.