The Louisville Cardinals are no longer the No. 5 team in the country. The College Football Playoff Committee has bumped the Cardinals to No. 7 in their debut rankings.
The four-team playoff system is in its third year and still remains biased towards the SEC and Big 10. The AP and Coaches Polls are now meaningless at this point in the season. The AP Poll considered an undefeated Washington team as fourth and placed Louisville in the No. 5 spot. The new top 10 has rearranged teams without a game even being played between the old polls and the new.
The new top 10:
- Texas A&M
- Ohio State
The explanation for Louisville dropping to No. 7 is that they have not been beating opponents as impressively as they were, referencing the lower score of the Duke game and the last-minute rally in Virginia.
However, Texas A&M and Ohio State have jumped Louisville as that argument does not apply to them.
Texas A&M lost to Alabama by 19 points in their only loss and have played a few close games. They have played four games that were decided by less than two touchdowns. This means that their close games do not matter in the eyes of the committee, but Louisville’s do. The loss to Alabama by three possessions apparently looks better to the committee than Louisville’s nail-biter at Clemson that was decided by three yards and only six points.
For the top 25 click here: http://www.espn.com/college-football/rankings
Ohio State is similar in that they have played multiple close games in the past three weeks but that also doesn’t seem to matter. The Buckeyes also have one loss. But, their loss was to an unranked Penn State team. Media claims that Louisville dropped because they lost to Clemson and that their style points have declined due to close games in Virginia and against Duke. The standard held to Louisville is not fairly applied across the board.
For more controversy, check out these articles: http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17946545/texas-aggies-ranked-ahead-washington-huskies-college-football-playoff-rankings-surprise
However, Washington may have received the brunt of all bad news. The undefeated Huskies have looked impressive all season. They do not have any losses, they have beaten two ranked teams, and they have played well on the road. Louisville fans have been pulling against Washington for the past few weeks. The committee’s bias has unjustly pushed the Huskies out of the top 4 to make room for another SEC team.
For the Cardinals to have any hope of entering the College Football Playoffs, they must win every remaining game, and win big. Winning alone will not be enough for their admission. They will need the help of some big losses by those ahead of them.