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College Football Playoff Rankings: Minnesota Gophers Are Playing A Role...Kind Of

SPOILER ALERT: The role the Gophers play doesn't involve being ranked.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The initial College Football Playoff Rankings were released last night. Depending on your particular rooting interest or conference bias, the rankings are predictably awful or look exactly the way Jobu intended. Why the divided opinions about the rankings? Because a single conference placed three teams into the Top 4. I'll give you negative 1 guesses who that conference is.

Rank Team Conference Toughest opponent left (per F/+) If the season ended today ...
1 Mississippi State SEC Ole Miss Sugar Bowl vs. Ole Miss
2 Florida State ACC Louisville Rose Bowl vs. Auburn
3 Auburn SEC Ole Miss Rose Bowl vs. Florida State
4 Ole Miss SEC Auburn Sugar Bowl vs. Mississippi State
5 Oregon Pac-12 Stanford New Year's bowl
6 Alabama SEC Auburn Orange Bowl*
7 TCU Big 12 Kansas State New Year's bowl
8 Michigan State Big Ten Ohio State New Year's bowl
9 Kansas State Big 12 TCU New Year's bowl
10 Notre Dame Independent Louisville New Year's bowl
11 Georgia SEC Auburn
12 Arizona Pac-12 Arizona State
13 Baylor Big 12 Oklahoma
14 Arizona State Pac-12 Notre Dame
15 Nebraska Big Ten Wisconsin
16 Ohio State Big Ten Michigan State
17 Utah Pac-12 Oregon
18 Oklahoma Big 12 Baylor
19 LSU SEC Alabama
20 West Virginia Big 12 TCU
21 Clemson ACC Georgia Tech Orange Bowl*
22 UCLA Pac-12 Stanford
23 East Carolina American UCF New Year's bowl*
24 Duke ACC Virginia Tech
25 Louisville ACC Florida State


Valid, not valid, whatever. Let's get to the part where Minnesota has a role in this 3 ring circus. Notice anything special about the Top 10?

TCU Pony

/waves at Frogs O' War

You might not believe it, but despite the Thing That Happened In Central Illinois last weekend, Minnesota is still considered a good win for TCU:

1. Scheduling tough OOC matters


On the other side of the coin, there's Baylor. The Bears have a prolific offense, a win over No. 7 TCU and a lone loss at No. 20 West Virginia. And yet, the Bears are ranked 13th. Why? Their out-of-conference competition: SMU, Northwestern State, and Buffalo. That's two low-end non-power teams and an FCS team, with a combined record of 7-16. It's a lineup that's killing the Bears right now.

Compare them to TCU, a similar conference foe. Baylor won that matchup, but the Horned Frogs have a win over Minnesota, a 6-2 team out of the Big Ten, and they're six spots ahead of the Bears.

That's right. Our friends at the Mothership are listing TCU's win over Minnesota as one of the key reasons they are several spots ahead of Baylor. Are the Gophers a great team? We know that's not true. But to outsiders they are clearly still a team worth paying attention to, despite the recent loss.

Is this as good as actually being on the waaaaaaaaaay tail end of the CFB Playoff discussion like Duke? Nope. Does this in any way make up for the disappointment of losing to a Timmy B. coached team? Nuh uh. Does this move the Iowa kickoff to 2:30 pm? Not even close.

What this should do is give everyone another chance to take stock and reflect on what GN was saying yesterday. The book is not written on this season. The Gophers have a chance to keep being a quality non-con win for TCU, which would coincidentally mean they would be making us all happy and positioning themselves for a decent bowl game while (ideally) continuing to fill their trophy case. So let's enjoy the bye week, cheer for TCU, and start stoking the HATE fires in preparation for 11/8.