College Football Playoff Ladder Reactions: Alabama Overrated, USC Underrated in Final Top 25

The Week 12 college football action provided a wild slate as each of the country’s top four teams battled to pick up wins. Did that rock this week’s edition of the College football playoff rankings? Not really. The top 4 stayed the same with Georgia at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2, Michigan at No. 3 and TCU at No. 4 after their walk-off win over Baylor.

However, a shake-up ensued behind the teams in the top four. Notable moves included Tennessee, which fell from No. 5 to No. 10 after a blowout loss to South Carolina, and North Carolina fell from No. 13 to No. 17 after losing to Georgia Tech.

So which teams in the updated College Football Playoff Rankings are being overrated and underrated coming into the final weekend of the regular season? Let’s have a look.

The two-loss Crimson Tide interfered at No. 7, one spot ahead of Clemson with one loss and three spots ahead of a Tennessee team with the same record they lost to in October. Why? Because of the timeliness and the fact that Tennessee just got smoked by South Carolina without a rank? That’s not a reasonable excuse.

Alabama struggled to beat Texas, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. That’s on top of the “good losses” against LSU No. 5 and Tennessee No. 10 that CFP selection committee chairman Boo Corrigan referred to on the show. “Game control” is a metric often cited by the committee, and Alabama has been struggling to control multiple games this year, even when it comes to wins. The Crimson Tide are number 7 for brand recognition – nothing more, nothing less.

Underestimated: USC

The Trojans have wins at No. 21 Oregon State and No. 18 UCLA, the latter in Week 12. The only loss was a wild one-point loss en route to No. 14 Utah. Why exactly is it behind LSU with two losses? It seems like it’s either more of a nod to the SEC or, conversely, a penalty for the Pac-12.

The Tigers have two losses: a Week 1 loss to No. 16 Florida State and a blowout home loss to No. 10 Tennessee. Her signature wins are over No. 7 Alabama and No. 20 Ole Miss. Those are solid wins, but they are the much better than what USC posted? no USC should be rewarded for their 10 wins and not penalized based on conference perception even though they have a better resume than a team above.

The Ducks with two losses were ranked 9th after a 20-17 win over Utah in what, don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic win. However, they are two weeks away from a home loss to No. 13 Washington that broke a 23-game winning streak at Autzen Stadium.

Oregon benefits from the doubt because they suffered a “good” loss to top-ranked Georgia in Week 1, though it was a 49-3 blowout that the Dawgs could have fielded 70 if they wanted to. The point difference is said to matter…at least a little. It seems like Oregon is being rewarded for simply playing Georgia in Atlanta, rather than what they actually did on the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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Underestimated: Washington

The Huskies’ 13th place in the “underrated” section goes hand-in-hand with listing Oregon as “overrated.” Washington beat Oregon on the road and has a win over No. 21 Oregon State. That has to matter. The passing attack led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is one of the most dynamic in the country, and coach Kalen DeBoer has turned a once-proud program into a challenger in just one season.

Washington lost to UCLA, a team that defeated Oregon. It also has an inexplicable loss to Arizona State that clearly resonated more within the confines of the briefing room than the Huskies’ head-to-head victory over the Ducks. When all things are equal, or at least approximately equal, it is the head-to-head result that counts. Washington is close enough from a resume perspective to deserve a higher rank than Oregon.