Well Mid-American Conference fans, it was a familiar narrative when the College Football Playoff committee released its newest rankings on Tuesday night. Cowardice again prevailed as the committee took substantial measures to ensure that undefeated #21 Western Michigan (11-0, 7-0) was left out of the conversation to determine college football’s top team.
Not all teams were so unlucky though. Many were ranked laughably high, a clear message that the NCAA’s top brands will be well represented when the College Football Playoff gets underway on December 31st. We’ll likely be deprived of a satisfying conclusion to the college football season, but you’ll be treated to familiar faces before you nod off in front of the television or flip to a Shark Tank marathon. Here are three teams that are ranked entirely too high in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.
#7 Penn State (9-2, 7-1)
There is hope for you yet, Baylor. The 2016 Penn State Nittany Lions are evidence that decades worth of some of the most heinous criminal acts this Earth has ever seen is not enough to keep a prestigious college football brand out of the national consciousness. I don’t need the NCAA’s greatest failure to argue my point though, the resume simply doesn’t add up. Penn State has two losses, including a 39 point destruction at Michigan in which they gave up 326 yards rushing. The other was a 42-39 loss to a Pittsburgh team with four losses on its schedule. Isn’t it enough that Penn State football is permitted to exist at all? Do we also have to forget these two major blemishes on their CFP resume? I won’t, and I like to think DeAndre Levy agrees with me. Penn State. Overrated.
#10 Oklahoma State (9-2, 7-1)
I didn’t think when I woke up on Monday morning I would be appointed SB Nation’s resident Oklahoma State Cowboys football hater, but life comes at you fast. The copious hate mail I received after bringing you so much truth makes it easier to point out how absurdly high OSU is ranked. If we’re able to forget the Cowboys’ loss to Central Michigan in September, which I promised you Coach Mike Gundy we will not, Oklahoma State’s body of work does not warrant its current place in the CFP poll. OK State’s other loss was to a Baylor team that’s lost 4 straight, including a 62-22 annihilation at the hands of TCU on November 5th. It’s shocking that so much is made of the loss to Central Michigan, when really it shouldn’t matter. Oklahoma State. Overrated.
#12 USC (8-3, 7-2)
The fact that a three-loss USC team is even in the CFP discussion while undefeated Western Michigan is so actively ignored, tells you all you need to know about the legitimacy of this playoff format. That said, as long as the format exists, no team that gets beat 52-6 at any point throughout the season should be considered for inclusion in college football’s final four. I don’t care that it happened in the opening week of the season, I don’t care that it was against Alabama. The college football establishment wants nothing more than to put USC on your television on New Year’s Eve. It’s a joke, and while the Trojans can certainly be considered among the Top 25 teams in the nation, talk of breaking into the CFP is based on name recognition alone. USC. Overrated.
I don’t know that there’s a combination of circumstances that could lead to the Western Michigan Broncos getting a shot at a National Championship. Beat Toledo 100-0 in the MAC West championship later this week? Even that wouldn’t do it. The reality is that these decisions are made before the season even begins. Since a one-point victory over Northwestern to open the season, WMU has beaten opponents by a margin of victory better than four touchdowns. My question for the College Football Playoff committee that is clearly not watching of these games would be, “What else would you have them do?”