The latest College Football Playoff rankings are out and there are two major moves, one of which is a terrible sign for defending champions Florida State.
The top four is now: 1. Mississippi State, 2. Oregon, 3. Florida State, and 4. TCU.
The first big move was TCU jumping from No. 6 to No. 4, taking a playoff spot from Auburn after their loss to Texas A&M.
TCU gets one of the all-important top-four spots while Baylor is at No. 7, even though the two teams both have one loss, have similar schedules, and Baylor beat TCU head-to-head.
But maybe the more telling move was Oregon moving from No. 4 to No. 2 and leap-frogging undefeated Florida State, which fell to No. 3.
If nothing changes down the stretch, there is almost no difference between being No. 2 or No. 3 in the final ranking since the two teams will play each other at a neutral site.
But there are a couple of ways Florida State could get screwed by having Oregon above them in the rankings.
1. Top-ranked Mississippi State loses to Alabama.
Mississippi State will play Alabama this weekend in Tuscaloosa. If Mississippi State loses, Oregon would probably move to the No. 1 top spot and get to play the No. 4 team in the playoff. Florida State would still be stuck in the No. 2 spot, where they may have to play third-ranked TCU or Mississippi State.
But that’s the best-case scenario.
It’s also conceivable, and even likely, that Alabama would move up to the No. 2 or No. 3 spot with a win, which means Florida State would be on pace to face the Crimson Tide — a team many feel is the best in the country — in the semifinals.
2. Any loss by Florida State and they are done.
The playoff committee has already shown that they are not afraid to put a one-loss team (Oregon) ahead of undefeated Florida State. However, an undefeated Florida State is probably not going to fall below other one-loss teams like TCU, Arizona State (No. 6), or Ohio State (No. 8).
But things chance dramatically if FSU loses a game. They would almost certainly be out of the title hunt.
The Seminoles have four games remaining, including a tough matchup on the road against an improved Miami squad, a game at home against a Florida team that looked great against Georgia, and then a likely matchup against a one-loss Duke team in the ACC title game.
Florida State will be favoured to win all those games. But the committee’s message to Florida State this week is clear: lose one and you are done.
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