By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor
After defeating Michigan State on Saturday, the Michigan Wolverines remain ranked No. 2 behind Alabama in the AP poll. They have been in the second spot for the past two weeks.
On Tuesday the first College Football Playoff rankings will be released – which at the end of the day are the only rankings that matter because they determine who makes the playoffs.
The CFP rankings are different from the AP poll. The CFP rankings are configured by a selection committee of 12 individuals, most of which have a football background. The black sheep is former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The AP poll is put together by members of the media.
While media members have been friendly to the Wolverines, I have my doubts the selection committee will do the same.
Michigan has two wins against ranked opponents, No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 21 Colorado, both of which were at home. Colorado doesn’t have a quality win on their résumé.
Clemson is undefeated like Michigan and has two impressive wins on the season. They defeated No. 5 Louisville earlier in the season and just beat No. 19 Florida State this weekend.
I think Clemson will be ranked No. 2 in the CFP rankings on Tuesday. I also believe timing will play a factor in Clemson being ranked higher than the Wolverines. Clemson had a close game against an inferior opponent a couple weeks ago when they barely got by North Carolina State. Michigan just got by Michigan State this past weekend which means it’ll be fresh in the committees mind.
With timing being the current topic let’s talk about another team that has a chance to be ranked ahead of Michigan come Tuesday. The Washington Huskies went to No. 17 Utah and defeated the Utes this weekend. Going on the road to Utah has proved to be a daunting task the past couple seasons.
Washington has steamrolled through most of its schedule and just defeated arguably the second best team in its own conference. I doubt Washington will be ranked higher than Michigan but there is a chance.
Michigan has had an easy schedule up to this point. The non-conference part of their schedule was weak and with Michigan State having a disappointing season the Wolverines have only played one quality conference game (Wisconsin) so far. And with Iowa not looking as good as they were predicted to have been the only impressive win Michigan could earn the rest of the regular season is when they travel to Columbus the last week of the season and play Ohio State.
Michigan has been impressive most of this season – they really have been – but Saturday wasn’t impressive at all. They looked sloppy at times and struggled defensively for one of the handful of times all season.
Michigan will certainly be ranked in the top-four on Tuesday, putting them in the playoffs for now. But I don’t believe they will be ranked second, like they are in the AP poll. If Michigan wins out none of this will matter because they will be in the playoffs but for now it’s fun to talk about. And as the CFP rankings come out this week, the intense debates on who should be ranked where will heat up as well.