Burning questions earlier than tonight’s College Football Playoff rankings


Coach Kirby Smart and Georgia might be the primary staff to fall from No. 1 out of the highest 4 within the palyoff rankings, which might set a meaningless little file. (Brynn Anderson/Associated Press)

Here are the central questions — past the one about how these of us who comply with school soccer received so deranged — for the third weekly issuing of College Football Playoff rankings, set for Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. Eastern time:

● How far would possibly Georgia plummet from No. 1?

● How far would possibly Miami (Fla.) rise from No. 7?

● How a lot would possibly Badgers growl?

● Where’s Auburn?

Strangely, within the four-season historical past of the College Football Playoff, by way of 21 completely different rankings from the choice committees, just one staff has ever toppled out of the No. 1 spot. That staff, Mississippi State in 2014, fell to a decent No. four that Nov. 18 after it went to Alabama and misplaced commendably by 25-20. Clemson spent your complete 2015 rankings at No. 1; Alabama spent your complete 2016 rankings at No. 1. (The committee doesn’t difficulty postseason rankings.) This means Georgia (9-1) will set a meaningless little file ought to it fall from No. 1 all the best way out of the coveted high 4.

It figures to take action, as a result of it misplaced much less commendably final Saturday at Auburn, by 40-17, in a sport not as shut because the rating would possibly point out, and in a sport that wasn’t the one dour issue of Georgia’s Saturday. Its signature win from Sept. 10 at Notre Dame, the place Georgia received 20-19, additionally took a dent when Notre Dame’s journey to Miami wound up wanting like a visit to a shredder.

Miami received, 41-Eight, in a sport not as shut because the rating would possibly point out, and so Georgia and Notre Dame determine to go tumbling collectively.

[Auburn’s offense gets charge from Kerryon Johnson, but he’s not carrying it alone]

The introduction of the phrase “eye test” has been one of many College Football Playoff’s few calamities in its brief historical past, however it will likely be curious to see how a lot the 13-member committee applies any obvious eye check to Georgia’s loss to Auburn, and whether or not Auburn might hop forward of Georgia. Last week, they stood far aside at Nos. 10 and 1.

If Auburn (Eight-2) lands forward of Georgia (9-1), anticipate individuals in each locations to debate that matter, presumably even with one another and possibly even with profanity.

When the committee first met in late October and commenced evaluating the 9 weeks of season that had occurred as much as then, it positioned Miami (7-Zero) at No. 10, with Wisconsin (Eight-Zero) at No. 9. Six one-loss groups stood forward of them, in positions Nos. Three-Eight. The emotions for the schedules of Miami and Wisconsin at that time hinted at that almost all essential component in sport: disrespect.

From there, Wisconsin received at a decidedly unranked Indiana on Nov. four, whereas Miami received, 28-10, over visiting No. 13 Virginia Tech, so the committee reversed them final week and positioned Miami (Eight-Zero) at No. 7, with Wisconsin (9-Zero) at No. Eight. Four one-loss groups remained forward of them in positions Nos. Three-6.

While two of these one-loss groups — No. 6 TCU and No. Three Notre Dame — grew to become two-loss groups on Nov. 11, each Miami and Wisconsin thumped ranked opponents. Wisconsin crushed then-No. 20 Iowa and held it to roughly zero complete yards — technically 66 — one week after Iowa had splurged for 487 on Ohio State. Miami annihilated No. Three Notre Dame. All of this, plus Georgia, raised the likelihood that Miami might bolt from No. 7 all the best way to No. 2. It additionally might stay behind each Clemson (9-1) and Oklahoma (9-1), who have been Nos. four and 5 final week however might invert as a result of Oklahoma beat then-No. 6 TCU.

If Miami does stay behind these two, presumably at No. four, it might owe to the concept that simply as Georgia’s win over Notre Dame misplaced some worth with Notre Dame’s rout by Miami, Miami’s win over Notre Dame might take a slight hit from Georgia’s rout by Auburn. If Miami does wind up rating forward of Clemson and Oklahoma whereas Wisconsin winds up under these two, it might flip the Michigan-Wisconsin sport of this coming Saturday right into a competition of alleged disrespect.

In the realm of ironclad respect, Alabama figures to be No. 1. This signifies that of the 22 rankings that may have been issued throughout 4 seasons after tonight, a single program from Tuscaloosa could have been on high in half.

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