We’re now one week away from the first official CFP rankings of the season, so for a preview, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has tried to think like the committee and preview what the rankings would look like if they came out today.
Right now, Palm thinks Michigan would be a strong No. 2 after Alabama, but Palm also drops Ohio State to only No. 5 despite losing to Penn State. As for the Nittany Lions? Though they’re unranked in the Coaches Poll and No. 24 in AP, Palm thinks the committee would slot Penn State all the way up at No. 13.
Well, when it comes to the weekly AP and Coaches Polls, it’s easy to predict where teams will go. If you win, it’s likely you move up. If you lose, you drop, especially if there are unbeaten teams right behind you.
But the College Football Playoff rankings don’t have to worry about moving around preseason rankings factoring into recent results. The committee won’t be afraid to make huge changes week-to-week if they think the results require it. Palm likely thinks the committee would want to reward Penn State for a big win more than punishing Ohio State for a tough loss on the road at night, especially when the Buckeyes already have wins against Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
13. Penn State: The Nittany Lions put a dent in the CFP chances of Ohio State this week, coming from behind late to beat the Buckeyes. They can win the Big Ten East, but need Michigan to lose twice.
Here’s where Palm ranks the Big Ten teams in a CFP projection:
5. Ohio State
13. Penn State
Nebraska’s ranking here doesn’t match with its AP or Coaches spots at Nos. 7 and 6 (tie). That has more to do with the schedule than anything else, so if the Huskers win at Wisconsin on Saturday, Nebraska shouldn’t have a problem moving close or into the Top 10 in the first CFP rankings.