So the second round of the College Football Playoff Rankings were released last night. Your Golden Gophers, on the heals of beating previously #4 Penn State, jumped from 17th all the way up to #8. A significant jump after being able to put to bed the argument that they haven’t played anybody.
Last week the undefeated Gophers sat behind six teams that had 2 losses. Seemed crazy and disrespectful. But the rebuttal to Gopher fans that this team really hasn’t played anybody was accurate and the team had an opportunity to change that narrative with #4 Penn State coming to town.
And the Gophers did what they had to do with a memorable win.
Week two of the rankings saw Minnesota leap up the standings, passing all of those 2-loss teams, passing 1-loss Oklahoma and Penn State as well as passing undefeated Baylor who struggled with an OT win over TCU.
Now the CFP Rankings debate centers around how the heck is Minnesota still behind 1-loss Utah or Oregon? Those guys haven’t beat anybody? Hell, what has Bama done to deserve to be ahead of the Gophers?
Rob Mullens specifically mentioned that Minnesota only played 1 conference team with a winning record prior to Penn State. The same is true of Alabama.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 13, 2019
I asked whether the committee compared Minnesota and Alabama H2H and he said he didn't know b/c he was out of the room.
Fair question but here is the thing...these rankings are irrelevant.
They are fun to see, it is cool to see Minnesota’s name in the top 10 and the discussion is part of the fun too. Yes, they matter...eventually. But on November 13th they are 100% meaningless. I am not the least bit offended by where the Gophers are currently ranked nor do I think their ranking is out of line.
First of all, until the Penn State game, we really didn’t play a challenging schedule. It truly is a weak schedule. This has actually been known for a couple of years and was often discussed this summer as a viable reason why the Gophers have a chance to be in the conversation about winning the West. It is not something we have to apologize for because we still have taken care of business against every one of those inferior opponents. For me, there is no need to go out of my way to try and prop up the schedule as being something tougher than it really is.
I do think the argument about how this team barely won in their first four games is a very lazy argument. Did they win those games in September? They did? Oh, OK. Cause they also beat their next four Big Ten opponents by an average of 42-10 before putting up the most points anybody has scored on Penn State. I’m going to suggest that the last 5 (or 6) games are significantly more relevant than the first 3.
Secondly, this current CFP ranking is meaningless because the results of the next three games are going to dictate the final poll. This poll isn’t a projection, it is a subjective snapshot of current state.
Beat Iowa on the road and they’ll move up, probably move up over any 1-loss team ahead of them (save Georgia). Take care of business at Northwestern and then beat Wisconsin at home and you will see a 12-0 Minnesota team sitting in that top 4. Lose any of those three games and you drop. It is simple and really being #8 shouldn’t be offensive.
Three more wins and they’ve absolutely earned the right to be in that conversation. Go 13-0 and get yourself into the College Football Playoff. But 9-0 just means that at worst you will finish the regular season 9-3. This ride isn’t over yet, more wins are there for the taking. But this team has to earn them.
As for me, I enjoy this CFP Ranking conversation. But I’m not the least bit worried about their current rank, nor am I the least bit offended. I want a win at Iowa and I want Floyd back.