The 2022 season is winding down, and the race for the College Football Playoff is coming into focus. The third edition of the CFP Rankings were released on Tuesday night, and there were no changes among the top five. Georgia chimed in at No. 1, Ohio State stayed at No. 2, Michigan is firmly in the No. 3 spot, upstart TCU remained at No. 4 after a win over Texas, and Tennessee sits as the first team out at No. 5 with its lone loss to UGA.
There were some movers, though. Washington jumped up eight spots to No. 17 after its win over no. 12 Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, last weekend. That broke a 23-game home winning streak for the Ducks. North Carolina also moved to No. 13, jumping two spots after its wild win over Wake Forest. Meanwhile, the teams ranked immediately behind the volunteers (well, those who did not lose) all inched up a spot.
Here is a look at the overrated and underrated teams in the latest edition of the CFP Rankings.
Overrated: No. 9 Clemson
Eye test is part of the criteria for the CFP Selection Committee, and it’s hard to justify Clemson passing it — at least from an offensive perspective. His quarterback, DJ Uiagalelei, has been benched twice for ineffective play, and the Tigers offense has sputtered more times than run down truck with an engine about to give out.
What’s Clemson’s signature win other than now-No. 19 Florida States? A victory over a remarkably average now-No. 24 NC States? Those are remarkably bland, especially considering where fellow ACC foe North Carolina chimes into the rankings (more on that in a second).
Here’s the truth: Clemson is in the top 10 solely due to brand recognition. That’s it.
Underrated: No. 13 North Carolina
OK, so Clemson is four spots ahead of UNC and the only loss for each is to Notre Dame? The Tar Heels fell to the Fighting Irish 45-32, while the Tigers dropped a 35-14 decision in South Bend, Indiana, a game in which they never had a shred of control. It was a blowout that, quite frankly, was nowhere near as close as that 35-14 score indicates.
Yes, North Carolina’s loss came at home with Clemson’s on the road. Apparently that’s worth four spots in the committee’s mind? The committee is telling us the Tigers’ two halfway-decent wins are worth four spots despite the fact that the Tar Heels looked much better in the comparative loss? I don’t get it.
Overrated: No. 12 Oregon
The Ducks are ahead of one-loss UNC (see above) and No. 14 Ole Miss. We’ve already discussed the Heels, so let’s talk about the Ducks in comparison to the Rebels.
Oregon’s two losses are to the No. 1 (Georgia) and No. 17 (Washington) teams. Ole Miss’ two losses are to No. 6 (LSU) and no. 8 (Alabama). Plus, Ole Miss plays in the SEC, which the committee has already established as a factor in its decision-making. The Rebels do have a win over a ranked opponent, No. 16UCLA. Is that worth two spots in the rankings? I don’t think so.
It’s almost as if the committee fell in love with the Ducks last week and didn’t want to come off that stance this week even though there are more worthy two-loss teams in the world of college football.