Longtime ESPN columnist and reporter Mark Schlabach shared his insights on the 2016 College Football Playoff picture earlier today.
Picking a Top 4
For the third season, the CFP selection committee will decide which teams qualify for the top four spots with a chance to compete for the National Championship. Overall, Schlabach says this season and the quality of the teams has been underwhelming.
Choosing the top four has been a difficult task this season, except for one spot. Schlabach echoes what most everyone knows: Alabama is undoubtedly the best team in the country. He says Saban has coached a dominant team, especially on defense. The real challenge is choosing spots two through four. The top four rankings before Selection Sunday are Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and Washington.
Fifth Rankings: The top four teams going into Selection Weekend.
2. Ohio State
4. Washington pic.twitter.com/hsrqT0eTrp
— CFBPlayoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 30, 2016
Schlabach is not confident in Washington’s position. He says based on their resume this season, Washington doesn’t compare to the remaining three teams. Although the Huskies are 11-1, many question their strength of schedule, especially in comparison to Michigan. They started the season with big wins but against the likes of teams such as Rutgers (2-10), Idaho (7-4), and Portland State (3-8). Shlabach believes it will be hard for the committee not to include the Pac 12 champion in the final playoff selection. However, he says that without a loss, Ohio State will most likely remain in the Playoff. This would exclude the Pac 12 winner with only one loss.
The biggest potential shakeup to the rankings would be if both Clemson and Washington get beat this weekend. That situation would leave the door open for three Big 10 teams in the final playoff selection: Ohio State, Michigan, and either Wisconsin or Penn State. Although choosing the best four teams in the main concern, Shlabach says the selection committee has many factors to consider, which could prevent a Big 10 takeover.
Tune in to Selection Sunday to find out the Semifinal Matchups and the final top 25 rankings this Sunday at noon.