Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the College Football Playoff Committee’s first rankings that were revealed on Tuesday, and debate if Cincinnati’s chances at the Playoff are already shot based on their ranking at No. 6.
DAN WETZEL: This is stupid, but we're going to do it. Georgia, one. 'Bama, two. Michigan State, three. Oregon Ducks, four. Ohio State, five. Cincinnati, six. You got Michigan, seven over Oklahoma and Wake Forest. Notre Dame is 10. Oklahoma State, Baylor are 11 and 12. They still have an outside path, perhaps. I don't know. Auburn, at 13, has games against Alabama and Georgia conceivably remaining. Could they come all the way from 13 to jump Cincinnati? I don't know. After that, I think we're done. Where the hell are Texas, San Antonio? Anyway. Pat, your thoughts?
PAT FORDE: I have thoughts.
DAN WETZEL: I bet you do.
PAT FORDE: I'm going to start with seven words that just came back like it was yesterday when I was hearing them before, the exact same seven words last year from Gary Barta. "The committee has tremendous respect for Cincinnati."
He didn't mean it last year, he doesn't mean it this year. The committee has no respect for Cincinnati. Just because you say it doesn't make it true. In fact, it makes it insulting because the rankings make it very clear that you have no respect for Cincinnati. It doesn't matter what they do. They'll find people to put in front of them, they did it this time.
Cincinnati, they go, well, yes, you did beat Notre Dame. Congratulations. But, but you kind of messed around with Navy and then a little bit with Tulane there, so we got to drop you behind Oregon and behind Ohio State. Oregon, by the way, which lost to 3 and 5 Stanford. We got to put you behind Alabama, which lost to a 2 loss Texas A&M team. So, this tremendous respect is a pile of kaka, just as it was last year.
PETE THAMEL: I am shocked that this happened. I am just stunned. Who could have possibly seen this coming? I mean, it is just mind-blowing that Cincinnati got screwed in the same exact way that they got screwed the year before using the same rhetoric and surrounded by the same biases that have kept them down.
The worst news for Cincinnati wasn't that they were ranked sixth, because that was not surprising. The worst news is that committee set them up to not even have a chance or a prayer to get any higher. I think we've all watched SMU at some point this season, 7 and 1 SMU, they are a good football team, all right?
They lost in overtime, I believe. Or they were about to go to overtime and then there was a kick return that they gave for a touchdown against 7 and 1 Houston. I don't know how you watched SMU play Houston and not come away with it thinking one of those teams should not be ranked.
So, the most dispiriting part for me-- and all we're rooting for is a good story, right? Cincinnati is a good story. It's interesting. Cincinnati is Butler. Cincinnati is Boise in football. Cincinnati is Butler in basketball. They're VCU, they're George Mason, they are something to break this sport out of a rut that is so drudgerous and predictable that they actually are changing the system because the rut is so bad.
DAN WETZEL: Listen, Cincinnati is in the friend zone. The committee puts Cincinnati in the friend zone. They're never going to date them, never happening.
All five of their boyfriends ahead of them can all die.
PAT FORDE: All die.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah. And they'll find five new ones.
It ain't ever happening for Cincinnati.
When they say, "We have great respect," that means it's not you, it's me.
PAT FORDE: You got a great personality. Got a great personality.
DAN WETZEL: Great personality.
PETE THAMEL: Mhm.
DAN WETZEL: You got no shots Cincinnati, you're in the friend zone. The committee is there. Same as coach AD is giving a vote of confidence to a coach. You're done. You got no shot.