Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Cincinnati’s place in the first College Football Playoff Rankings, and debate if Oregon or Ohio State should be ranked higher when they are released.
DAN WETZEL: All right, let's get back to it. The other undefeated team, Cincinnati. In the top four and should they be, Pat?
PAT FORDE: Yes and yes. Boy, but I mean, I am fascinated to see what the committee does and where they start with them will matter. You know, the first one, where do they-- what's their view of them up to this point at 8-0? You know, have they done enough to be in the top four to begin with, which is terra incognita for a group of five schools. I think they absolutely should be, but I've seen people already start to, like, throw tomatoes at Cincinnati.
DAN WETZEL: I don't know. Are they a top four team? I probably wouldn't put them in. I don't know.
I'll say this though. Their win at Notre Dame, which is a top 10 team, is, other than Oregon at Ohio State, might be the best win of the year. Man, it's on the road against a top 10 team. How many of those are out there? So, there's that.
All right, let's get to the other ones. Let's get to Ohio State and Oregon, because this is already turning into Ohio State deserves in and wait, who are the Ducks? Ohio State, are they going to be in the top four and should they be?
PETE THAMEL: They should not be in the top four to start. But I do think one of the defining debates of this next couple of weeks is going to be one loss Ohio State versus one loss Oregon. And it would be very difficult for the committee with a straight face to put in Ohio State over Oregon, but I wouldn't discount that happening either. Now--
DAN WETZEL: If only there was a way to tell which team was better.
PETE THAMEL: Yeah, and don't forget. Kayvon Thibodeaux and Justin Flowe did not play in that game.
DAN WETZEL: And in it was the Horseshoe.
PETE THAMEL: --starters missing too.
DAN WETZEL: And it was in the Horseshoe. And it wasn't close.
PETE THAMEL: No.
DAN WETZEL: It was a 7-point game that Oregon never trailed and pretty well had in hand for a lot of the game. They had to withstand-- things got a little bit tight late, but that was a game that Oregon was the better team, period.
PAT FORDE: This is the hard part.
PETE THAMEL: So, let me play the foil here. Ohio State has demoted its defensive coordinator, improved pretty significantly on that side of the ball. And they've made TreVeyon Henderson their featured running back, and he is going to be a defining running back of the next 10 years in college football. I think he's tremendously talented and showed it yesterday with a couple of big bursts after struggling in the first 1/2.
So, like, Ohio State has grown and evolved, and are different, and have performed fairly well, and remarkably well in three or four games, and decent in a couple of others, since that game. So, that is what you're going to have, like, you're going to have that moment in time, and then what Ohio State becomes since that moment in time that's going to define this debate, because it is going to be a loud and raucous debate, because really, Oregon doesn't have much of a chance to give any kind of signature win from here on out.
Whereas, Ohio State is going to have to go to Michigan, who should still be ranked in the top 25, and their going to have a top five Michigan State team come beat them at home. So, the head-to-head argument is there, and it is what it is. But there is going to-- Ohio State could build a pretty compelling argument on the other side, for that [INAUDIBLE]
DAN WETZEL: Ohio State will win the argument. They'll get in over Oregon, even though they play--
PETE THAMEL: I think so too.
DAN WETZEL: This is why you need a bigger playoff. Teams do get better. I'm not even disputing the Buckeyes' thing. Teams improve across the year, and that's good. And you do-- you also want to reward, as a sport, non-conference scheduling. And so, like, what was the point for Oregon?
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Like, you go win that game. The whole thing-- you can't defy logic to an illogical system. And that's what they try to do on this committee. And that's why this playoff just is terribly designed. It was designed by people who didn't want to design a playoff.
They didn't study it and do what they did on the other thing. And they came up with this crap. And so, you sit there and go, wait, they played each other, and one team was on the road, and they didn't have all their best players, and they won handily. Yeah, that doesn't count.