This time last year everyone was anxiously awaiting the first College Football Playoff Poll which came out earlier in the season, remember. Take a look back at our comment section from that time and, hoo boy, did a lot of folks not understand what was going on. Hopefully, things go a little more smoothly this year.
Here's the initial committee rankings for November 3rd, 2015:
(Current AP Poll ranking and difference in parentheses)
|3||OHIO STATE||8-0||1 (+2)|
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Alabama
Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Ohio State
If this final four were to hold (and of course it won't) Clemson would play in the Orange bowl as it's the closer bowl to their campus. Alabama would be their opponent.
|5||NOTRE DAME||7-1||8 (-3)|
|7||MICHIGAN STATE||8-0||6 (+1)|
|14||OKLAHOMA ST||8-0||12 (+2)|
|16||FLORIDA STATE||7-1||17 (-1)|
|18||OLE MISS||7-2||19 (-1)|
|19||TEXAS A&M||6-2||25 (-6)|
|20||MISS STATE||6-2||24 (-4)|
Projected New Year's 6 Bowls:
Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford
Sugar Bowl: Baylor vs. Florida
Fiesta Bowl: TCU vs. Iowa
Peach Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Memphis
First things first, debuting at No. 5 for Notre Dame isn't the be-all-end-all as these rankings can change so much in the coming weeks but it's a sign that right now the committee really respects Notre Dame's schedule and what the Irish have achieved so far this season.
To finish at No. 5 would hurt a lot but for Notre Dame it's basically playoffs or either the Fiesta or Peach bowl due to conference tie-ins with the Rose and Sugar Bowls. Memphis gets into one of the NY6 bowls as the highest rated Group of 5 conference teams.
The committee made a strong statement letting the Big 12 know that their schedules are full of dog poop. They can point to the upcoming battle royale between all their top teams but in reality these programs simply cannot afford a loss with so little on their resume from September and October. This could be very good news for Notre Dame if they finish 11-1 and at least every team in the Big 12 has 1-loss, as well.
Clemson as the top team right now probably helps Notre Dame. We likely want the Tigers to finish the season undefeated.
The rest of the poll isn't too controversial. Northwestern was the only program not in the AP Poll but featured by the committee while North Carolina is ranked at No. 21 in the AP Poll but unranked by the committee.