The recent rankings have so many people freaking out. Take a breath. Calm down. Sloppy Joe is here to tell you everything is all right and that nasty second SEC team will be long gone by the time the final rankings roll around.
Here’s the deal. Mississippi State does not have a good resume. Non-conference schedule was a joke. Good wins include Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M. Those three have a combined 11 losses. They looked shaky against Kentucky and Arkansas. This isn’t a top four team. That will either manifest itself in the Egg Bowl or in the final rankings when they aren’t a conference champion.
Remember, the committee has one more criteria we haven’t seen yet, and that’s conference championships. We won’t see how they impact the rankings until the final time we see them. But let’s run some hypothetical situations.
Suppose every team in the top 7 wins out. Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State and TCU/Baylor would be conference champions. For all of you counting, that’s six teams out of seven. Who is the odd man out? Mississippi State. See when there are narrow differences between teams, you have to look at tie-breakers. Conference championships won would be an excellent one. If Mississippi State isn’t the best team in their own conference, why not put them behind the best teams from other conferences when all other factors are so darn close?
That’s how this will play out. Either they lose the Egg Bowl and it doesn’t matter or the drop behind both Ohio State and Baylor. You’ll see.
The really compelling thing would be if Ole Miss wins the Egg Bowl and Auburn wins the Iron Bowl. Should that happen, Ole Miss plays in the SEC championship game. Suppose they meet Missouri there and the Tigers win that game. Does Missouri get in the playoff? Does a non-champion from the SEC get in? Does any SEC team get in if they all have two or more losses? I would love to see how that one plays out.
I think it is pretty safe to say that four of the following six teams are in the playoff: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State, TCU and Baylor. This is college football and anything can happen. I fully expect one of those six to lose a game before the end of the season. But I’m not sure who. All I know is your four playoff teams will come from that group. If I were putting money on it I would say #1 Alabama vs #4 Baylor in the Sugar Bowl and #2 Oregon vs #3 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Florida State will lose the ACC Championship. I just feel it. And TCU will just end up left out because those other four have better resumes and Baylor beat TCU.
Just wait, you’ll see. All I know is there certainly won’t be two SEC teams in there.