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College Playoff Ranking Predictions: Michigan jumps to #2 as Notre Dame returns to top 5

For those of you who are tired of watching the same old teams in the College Soccer Round, you guys had a great weekend! Michigan eliminated Ohio State and Oklahoma lost Bedlam to Oklahoma State, all but the Buckeyes and certainly eliminated the Sooners. The only regular CFP participant still alive for a position is Alabama.

This week’s penultimate CFP rankings will go a long way in determining the New Year’s six as teams that are not playing this week rarely change positions relative to other teams that are also not competing.

As a reminder, here are the criteria CFP Selection Committee members consider when developing their weekly rankings:

  • The power of schedule
  • Conference Championship (when decided)
  • Confrontation
  • Results compared to the general opponent
  • Results against ranked opponents

Thankfully, the committee’s definition of “rated competitor” is different from what you’re used to seeing. The chart they use is last week’s CFP Ranking. They don’t consider where teams are ranked when matches are played in the CFP, AP Top 25, etc. Using a match-time ranking is the most useless way to determine “ranked opponents” class”. In fact, the committee specifically prohibits the use of any pre-season polls.

There are also criteria that are not specifically listed and may never be mentioned by anyone. These include things like win rates. Teams don’t always have their strengths in check on the schedule, but they can make strides to offset weaknesses by overwhelming the opponents they face.

Also, when it comes to game controls, the cat is no longer in the bag. Despite telling me at a mock selection meeting in October that control of the game was something the committee had never discussed, they are now openly talking about it again. Last week, chairman Gary Barta was asked how much the committee considers a team’s ability to control the game.

“Well, obviously each team has a slightly different style. Winning control, if you think about watching the games, it’s more important than a team that just runs on points in my opinion, ” I said. “And I think we talked in the committee, when a team has full control of the game, can defend, can attack, so it’s certainly something that we monitor. But each teams are all different in their style so it just depends on the team.”

So while it may not simply be a matter of points, it’s still better to build an early lead than a late lead, even if the outcome is the same. However, there are no actual game control statistics. It is purely an eye-check thing.

With that in mind, here’s how I expect the CFP Rankings to look upon Tuesday night’s release.

Note: This prediction is based solely on results to date. It does not reflect Final prediction for the playoff. Predictions are not complete and the end of the season may not be complete found here.

College Playoff Ranking Predictions

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