CFP Committee Concedes: Three-Peat Candidate Georgia Finally No. 1
Reigning national champion Georgia, undefeated and seeking a third consecutive title, finally overtook Ohio State at the No. 1 spot in the third version of the 2023–24 College Football Playoff rankings, released on ESPN.
The College Football Playoff selection committee acquiesced Tuesday night. Committee chairman Boo Corrigan explained the thought process in a conference call with reporters. Well, he sort of explained it.
Here is what he said (deep breath…):
"We talked about it early, we talked about it in the middle, we talked about it at the end and made sure that as we go through this and the voting process that there's healthy, strong debates, conversations around each one of the teams, and then in comparison to the other teams in making sure that we're tracking where the games are and who's in, who's playing again, who's out, all of those things."
Thanks, Boo. That is kinda, sorta what we thought the process was.
Here are the details behind Boo’s explanation of the process:
(Much deeper breath):
—Georgia (10-0) beat Mississippi, 52-17, on Saturday in Athens, Ga. That loss dropped the Rebels (8-2) from No. 8 to No. 13 in the rankings.
The Bulldogs face the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday in Knoxville. The Volunteers (7-3) lost to the Missouri Tigers, 36-7, on Saturday in Columbia, Mo., dropping the the Vols from No. 13 to No. 18.
The Tigers (8-2) jumped from No. 14 to No. 9 because of that victory. They will battle the unranked Florida Gators (5-5) on Saturday in Columbia.
—Ohio State (10-0) demolished unranked Michigan State (3-7), 38-3 ,on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. The No. 2 Buckeyes, who were the top team in the previous two editions of the rankings, will host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-5) on Saturday in Columbus.
—The Michigan Wolverines (10-0), who are playing without suspended coach Jim Harbaugh on the game sidelines, beat Penn State, 24-15, to stay at No. 3 in the rankings. The loss dropped the Nittany Lions (8-2) from No. 10 to No. 12.
The Wolverines will take on unranked Maryland (6-4) on Saturday in College Park, Md. The Nittany Lions will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-4) on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
—Florida State (10-0) stayed at No. 4 in the rankings. The Seminoles edged rival Miami, 27-20, on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. They will host North Alabama (3-7) on Saturday, at Doak Campbell Stadium.
—The No. 5 Washington Huskies (10-0), No. 6 Oregon Ducks (9-1), No. 7 Texas Longhorns (9-1) and No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1) all kept their spots in the rankings.
—The No. 10 Louisville Cardinals (9-1) beat unranked Virginia (2-8) to move from one spot from No. 11. They will face Miami (6-4) on Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla.
—Oregon State (8-2), half of the legally christened Pac-2, crushed Stanford, 62-17, to climb from No. 12 to No. 11 in the rankings. The Beavers will host the No. 5 Washington Huskies on Saturday in Corvallis, Ore.
—The Oklahoma Sooners (8-2), who were ranked No. 17 last week, beat West Virginia, 59-20, to climb to No. 14. They will face BYU (5-5) on Saturday in Provo, Utah.
—The LSU Tigers (7-3) beat Florida 52-35 on Saturday to jump from No. 19 to No. 15. They will host Georgia State (6-4) on Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.
—The Iowa Hawkeyes (8-2) were one of the biggest climbers in the rankings. They shut out Rutgers, 22-0, to move from No. 22 to No. 16. The Hawkeyes will host Illinois (5-5) Saturday in Iowa City.
—No. 17 Arizona (8-3) climbed from No. 21. The Wildcats beat Colorado on Saturday in Boulder, Colo. They will face Utah (7-3) on Saturday in Tucson. The Utes lost to Washington to drop from No. 18 to No. 22.
—The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-3), who were on bye, moved from No. 20 to No. 19. They will host Wake Forest (4-6) on Saturday in South Bend, Ind. which probably would be known as Notre Dame, Ind. but the school is actually north of the city. The Studebaker coach and car company was probably more impactful on South Bend, building transportation there beginning in 1852, long before Knute Rockne or the Gipper. We visited the last vestiges of Studebaker in the 1970s after workers took over the plant to build the Avanti II.
Mmm. Where were we? Oh, here we go:
—The North Carolina Tar Heels (8-2) edged Duke, 47-45, to climb from No. 25 to No. 20.
—The No. 21 Kansas State Wildcats (7-3), No. 23 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3), No. 24 Tulane Green Wave (9-1) and No. 25 Kansas Jayhawks (7-3) were the other teams inside the Top 25.
OK, exhale until next Tuesday, when the fourth version of the College Football Playoff rankings will be broadcast on ESPN. This weekly ritual will continue until Dec. 3, when the CFP committee reveals who will go bowling for a national championship.