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College Hotline - College Football Playoff: Committee rankings, the Pac-12 teams and what...

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Nov 4, 2015.

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    Initial thoughts on the initial selection committee rankings, in which Stanford was No. 11 and Utah No. 12 — both a bit lower than I expected given the strength of schedule for each team …

    One obvious question is whether Pat Haden’s resignation from the committee, which left the Pac-12 with no official representation, was and will be a factor.

    It’s too early to know, but let’s not forget that committee members Tyrone Willingham and Condi Rice are both based in the Bay Area, both aware of the strength of the conference, and both friendly with many involved in the league. They’re prohibited from participating in discussions specific to Stanford but can when it comes to Utah and everyone else in the league.

    The point of this Hotline post, however, is focused on the field of play, not discussions in the committee room:

    Stanford fans should start rooting for Utah, and Utah fans should start rooting for Stanford. Those teams need each other.

    Given where they are and what’s ahead, the higher each is ranked entering the Pac-12 title game, the better for the other. (I’ve focused on the Cardinal and Utes because they’re the only teams with a chance to make the semifinals.)


    Consider:

    There isn’t one team from each of the other Power 5 leagues ahead of the Pac-12 pair. There are three SEC teams, three Big Ten teams and two Big 12 teams ahead of them, plus Notre Dame.

    That reduces the amount of eat-you-own carnage needed in those league in order for at least one team to stay ahead of the Pac-12 representatives.

    It creates the distinct potential for a box-out.

    From Stanford’s perspective:

    It has three unranked teams upcoming, then Notre Dame, then the Pac-12 title game. If the South champ has multiple losses and is near the bottom of the committee’s rankings, that would leave Stanford with only one game against a high-value opponent, Notre Dame (currently No. 5).

    Would beating the Irish and four unranked/low-ranked teams be enough to vault Stanford into the top four?

    That depends to a certain extent on what happens elsewhere. But the Cardinal’s case would be stronger if it had wins over two top-10 teams down the stretch (Notre Dame and Utah).

    The schedule is double-edged, right? The softer it is, the better chance for running the table but the fewer chances to impress.

    The Utes are in a slightly more problematic position with regard to the upcoming schedule. They, too, have one game remaining against a ranked team, but it’s No. 23 UCLA.

    Their resume would look a lot better on selection day if they defeat a Stanford team ranked No. 6-7-8 as opposed to a Stanford team ranked 15-16-17.

    Anyhow, just something to chew on as we head down the stretch with only one guarantee: There will be some form of chaos.

    xxxxxxx

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    by Jon Wilner
     

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