College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Committee Should Rank The Top 25, Week 2

The second College Football Playoff rankings of 2022 will come out Tuesday night, November 8th. How should the committee put together the top 25?

The College Football Playoff committee didn’t do a horrible job with the first round of rankings.

There might have been a misfire when it came to the Pac-12 teams – USC was too high, UCLA too low – and there are a few other minor tweaks, but putting Tennessee No. 1 was the right move at the time, and it all was relatively fine from there.

Remember, the College Football Playoff rankings are a snapshot of the moment until the final batch. The committee goes through each spot pick by pick debating the merits of all the teams available, and in the end the top 25 was at least thought out, even if it doesn’t always seem right.

And then it’s all wiped away and everything starts from scratch the next week.

Since the committee obviously doesn’t have the Pac-12 Network and hasn’t actually watched USC’s defense or most of the late night games – I’m joking, of course … sort of – I’ll give everyone a little bit of help.

Go here for what we expect the next round of rankings to be. Here’s how the College Football Playoff committee should put together the top 25.

College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, November 8

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win?
Ranking the 12 teams realistically in the CFP hunt

25. UCF Knights (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 25

The Case For This Spot: The 41-19 win over SMU looks better and better, the win over Cincinnati was great, and getting by Memphis on the road offsets an ugly 34-13 loss to East Carolina a little bit. Don’t worry about this ranking. Beat Tulane this week, go on to win the AAC championship, get a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl.

Win That Matters: UCF 25, Cincinnati 21

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: East Carolina 34, UCF 13

Up Next: at Tulane

24. Liberty Flames (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: Not Ranked

The Case For This Spot: This will be interesting. How much credit does Liberty get for beating Arkansas? Heck, Texas A&M did that, too. The 37-36 loss to Wake Forest is good, and the 41-14 win over BYU is great, but there’s a TON of fluff on the slate to get up to eight wins.

Win That Matters: Liberty 21, Arkansas 19

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Liberty 21, Gardner-Webb 20

Up Next: at UConn

23. Kansas State Wildcats (6-3)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 13

The Case For This Spot: The committee putting Kansas State six spots ahead of Tulane – the Green Wave won 17-10 in Manhattan – was sort of wrong, but that will be changed this week. Losing at TCU isn’t bad, and dropping a date to Texas is okay. Blowouts over Missouri and Oklahoma State are enough to keep the Wildcats from falling too far, but they shouldn’t be in the top 20.

Win That Matters: Kansas State 48, Oklahoma State 0

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Tulane 17, Kansas State 10

Up Next: at Baylor

22. Texas Longhorns (6-3)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 24

The Case For This Spot: Basically, the College Football Playoff committee watched the Alabama game, saw Texas beat Oklahoma 49-0, and it seems like it didn’t notice much else. The Oklahoma State loss a few weeks ago now looks really, really rough, and losing to Texas Tech isn’t okay. However, beating Kansas State should be enough to bump up closer to the top 20. Beat TCU this week, and Texas will prove to be as good as the CFP thinks it is.

Win That Matters: Texas 34, Kansas State 27

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Texas Tech 37, Texas 34

Up Next: TCU

21. Washington Huskies (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: Not Ranked

The Case For This Spot: Since the committee proved last week that it doesn’t watch the Pac-12, it might miss that the Huskies have been very, very shaky. However, the win over Oregon State – then ranked 23rd in the CFP – was a good one, losing at UCLA was fine, and beating Michigan State is okay. The loss to Arizona State hurts, but beat Oregon this week, and the ranking shoots up.

Win That Matters: Washington 39, Michigan State 28

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Arizona State 45, Washington 38

Up Next: at Oregon

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win?
Ranking the 12 teams realistically in the CFP hunt

NEXT: College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 20

College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 20

20. Tulane Green Wave (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 19

The Case For This Spot: Fiiiiiiine. It’s not like Tulane has been all that great against a mediocre slate, and it lost at home to Southern Miss. However, 8-1 overall and the road win over Kansas State are enough to be here. Now beat UCF.

Win That Matters: Tulane 17, Kansas State 10

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Southern Miss 27, Tulane 24

Up Next: UCF

19. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-3)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: Not Ranked

The Case For This Spot: So how do we do this? Do we just conveniently forget the home losses to Marshall and Stanford? There but for a few good offensive plays the Irish are 8-1 and deep in the playoff hunt, but that’s not how this works. However, three straight wins, handing North Carolina its only loss, and dropping Clemson by 24 should be enough to get into the top 20.

Win That Matters: Notre Dame 35, Clemson 14

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Marshall 26, Notre Dame 21

Up Next: Navy

18. Illinois Fighting Illini (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 16

The Case For This Spot: This is so tough. The Illini have looked much, much better than Tulane and Florida State – the wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin were dominant – but the two losses to Indiana and Michigan State aren’t okay. And then there’s the bigger problem – is Iowa the biggest win so far? That’s hardly anything amazing.

Win That Matters: Illinois 34, Wisconsin 10

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Indiana 23, Illinois 20

Up Next: Purdue

17. Florida State Seminoles (6-3)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: Not Ranked

The Case For This Spot: Arguably the biggest whiff in the first round of the College Football Playoff rankings, three-loss Texas got in for doing a whole lot of nothing, and Florida State was left out. It’s time to remedy that, committee. The three losses Wake Forest, Clemson, and NC State are all okay, and the win over LSU now looks fantastic.

Win That Matters: Florida State 24, LSU 23

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Wake Forest 31, Florida State 21

Up Next: at Syracuse

16. NC State Wolfpack (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 22

The Case For This Spot: The College Football Playoff committee underhanded the Wolfpack the first time around, and now they should make up for it. The win over Wake Forest should help, and beating Florida State and Texas Tech isn’t bad. The road losses to Clemson and Syracuse are acceptable enough to keep them from falling much lower than this.

Win That Matters: NC State 19, Florida State 17

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Syracuse 24, NC State 9

Up Next: Boston College

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win?
Ranking the 12 teams realistically in the CFP hunt

NEXT: College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 15

College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 15

15. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 17

The Case For This Spot: 8-1 is still 8-1. Don’t be shocked if the Tar Heels have the puck on their stick at 11-1 going into the ACC Championship with a shot at becoming a one-loss Power Five conference champ. Do that, and they’ll be deep in the College Football Playoff consideration. For now, though, the best win is against Duke. There needs to be more meat on the resumé bone.

Win That Matters: North Carolina 42, Pitt 24

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Notre Dame 45, North Carolina 32

Up Next: at Wake Forest

14.  Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 15

The Case For This Spot: Knowing how the College Football Playoff committee rolls, big wins mean more than acceptable losses. Penn State has two more than acceptable losses – Ohio State and Michigan – but there aren’t any big wins. No, Minnesota doesn’t really count.

Win That Matters: Penn State 41, Auburn 12

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Michigan 41, Penn State 17

Up Next: Maryland

13. Clemson Tigers (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 14

The Case For This Spot: The loss at Notre Dame was UGLY – no, that’s not how everyone tries to pronounce Uiagalelei – but don’t overreact quite yet. The win over Wake Forest, NC State, Florida State, and Syracuse are all good enough to keep the Tigers in this. The belief still holds – go 12-1, win your Power Five conference championship, and get in. Clemson can still do that.

Win That Matters: Clemson 51, Wake Forest 45

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Notre Dame 35, Clemson 14

Up Next: Louisville

12. Utah Utes (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 14

The Case For This Spot: A very reasonable case could be made that Utah deserves to be ranked in the top ten. The loss on the road at Florida was every bit as strong as LSU losing to Florida State, and giving USC its first and only loss might actually be better right now than beating Alabama. The loss at UCLA is better than LSU getting rocked by Tennessee, but for now, moving up a few spots is fine.

Win That Matters: Utah 43, USC 42

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Florida 29, Utah 26

Up Next: Arizona

11. Ole Miss Tigers (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 11

The Case For This Spot: There’s no reason to mess around with the No. 11 spot for now. The 45-20 loss to LSU was a problem, and there isn’t a strong enough win on the resumé – maybe Kentucky – to go any higher. Beat Alabama this week, and then this gets fun.

Win That Matters: Ole Miss 22, Kentucky 19

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: LSU 45, Ole Miss 20

Up Next: at Alabama

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win?
Ranking the 12 teams realistically in the CFP hunt

NEXT: College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 10

College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 10

10. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 6

The Case For This Spot: It took two walk off plays on the road in epic battles for the Tide to lose twice – and LSU and Tennessee are and will be rewarded for it. There isn’t a great win of any sort – Texas is okay – and the team has been shaky, but sliding in behind LSU is about right.

Win That Matters: Alabama 20, Texas 19

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: LSU 32, Alabama 31

Up Next: at Ole Miss

9. LSU Tigers (7-2)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 10

The Case For This Spot: The College Football Playoff committee loves, loves, LOVES Alabama. Beat the Tide, get rewarded. LSU got a nice ranking in the first round thanks to the blowout win over Ole Miss, but that was a bit high – getting rocked at home by Tennessee and losing to Florida State matters. The FSU loss is enough to keep the Tigers from needing to move up higher.

Win That Matters: LSU 32, Alabama 31

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Florida State 24, LSU 23

Up Next: at Arkansas

8. USC Trojans (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 9

The Case For This Spot: For now, the defense hasn’t been impressive enough to deserve anything higher than this, but it doesn’t matter. It’s all there for the taking. Even more than Oregon  or anyone else in the Pac-12, USC actually has the easiest path to get into the College Football Playoff. If it goes 12-1 with a Pac-12 title and the lone loss a 43-42 fight at Utah, that’s just fine. However, the best win is against … Washington State? Oregon State?

Win That Matters: USC 17, Oregon State 14

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Utah 43, USC 42

Up Next: Cal

7. UCLA Bruins (7-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 12

The Case For This Spot: The Bruins should slide right in behind wherever Oregon is ranked. The win over Washington was good, the double-digit victory over Utah was great, and the lone loss coming at Oregon is totally acceptable.

Win That Matters: UCLA 42, Utah 32

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Oregon 45, UCLA 30

Up Next: Arizona

6. Oregon Ducks (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 8

The Case For This Spot: The Ducks have been as impressive as anyone in America after the Week 1 debacle against Georgia. That includes handing UCLA its only loss. There’s been one competitive game – 44-41 over Washington State – and even that’s a bit misleading with a late score making it relatively close. The offense put up 41 points or more in eight straight games.

Win That Matters: Oregon 45, UCLA 30

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Georgia 49, Oregon 3

Up Next: Washington

5. TCU Horned Frogs (9-0)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 7

The Case For This Spot: It’ll be assumed that TCU ends up in the No. 4 spot as one of the four unbeaten teams remaining, but the overall resumé isn’t as good as Tennessee’s. The Horned Frogs have been good, but the best win so far was against … Kansas State? Kansas? Oklahoma? All good, but nothing special. However, before fretting about where TCU might be ranked, it’s this simple – it’s absolutely 100% in the College Football Playoff if it goes unbeaten.

Win That Matters: TCU 38, Kansas Stat e28

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: TCU 42, SMU 34

Up Next: at Texas

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win?
Ranking the 12 teams realistically in the CFP hunt

NEXT: College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done. The Top 4

College Football Playoff Rankings: How The Top 25 Should Be Done, Top 4

4. Tennessee (8-1)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 1

The Case For This Spot: This should be the big talking point spot from the second round of rankings. Yes, Tennessee now has a loss, but losing at Georgia is as acceptable as it gets. The 40-13 win at LSU looks even better now, with wins over Florida and Kentucky are great, and beating Bama is still beating Bama. The Vols have much, much stronger wins than TCU can boast.

Win That Matters: Tennessee 52, Alabama 49

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Georgia 27, Tennessee 13

Up Next: Missouri

3. Michigan Wolverines (9-0)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 5

The Case For This Spot: Michigan has been as predictable as they come. It takes about a half to get up to speed, and then the lines take over and dominate. It happened in the 52-17 win over Rutgers – an avalanche of second half points got it done – and following the blueprint of how the Wolverines have rolled all season long. There isn’t a great win so far, but there hasn’t been any real drama.

Win That Matters: Michigan 41, Penn State 17

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Michigan 34, Maryland 27

Up Next: Nebraska

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 2

The Case For This Spot: Almost literally, blow off the rough performance against a miserable Northwestern team – the game was played in a wild wind storm. Even though it wasn’t pretty, it was still a double-digit road win – no one has come closer than 11 against the Buckeyes. There might not be an amazing win so far, but there are a whole lot of very good ones.

Win That Matters: Ohio State 44, Penn State 31

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Ohio State 21, Northwestern 7

Up Next: Indiana

1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-0)

College Football Playoff Ranking, Week 1: 3

The Case For This Spot: This one is easy. A case could’ve been made for Georgia as the top team in the first round of rankings based on the 49-3 blowout win over Oregon and double-digit wins over everyone but Missouri. Taking down the CFP No. 1 team by 13 will boost the Dawgs up two spots.

Win That Matters: Georgia 27, Tennessee 13

Loss (or bad performance) That Matters: Georgia 26, Missouri 22

Up Next: at Mississippi State

College Football Playoff: Helping The Committee With The Top 25
Top 4 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Bowl Projections | CFN Rankings 1-131 | Rankings by Conference
AP Poll | Coaches Poll | Predicting CFP Top 25
Bowl Bubble: Bowl eligible teams, who needs a win?
Ranking the 12 teams realistically in the CFP hunt

Story originally appeared on College Football News