On the heels of dropping 69 points on a conference opponent in a six-touchdown win, the College Football Playoff committee remained unimpressed with the Washington State Cougars’ resume, leaving them No. 8 in their rankings for the fourth consecutive week, released tonight.
The LSU Tigers, with their two losses, remained ranked ahead of the Cougars at No. 7. This, despite a ho-hum win over the Rice Owls, which followed a pedestrian win over a terrible Arkansas Razorbacks team.
The Oklahoma Sooners, meanwhile, sits tight at No. 6 despite a pair of extremely close victories over the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Oklahoma State Cowboys, followed by an uninspiring win over the Kansas Jayhawks.
The message seems to be ... well, not sure.
Committee chair Rob Mullens said there was considerable discussion about the Cougars, Tigers and Sooners, and said they did notice that WSU had scored 55 points in the first half against Arizona. He then went on to defend Oklahoma’s slot at No. 6 by saying that Oklahoma has a dynamic offense that continues to carry the day despite its limitations on defense. He didn’t talk at all about LSU.
Personally, that just sounds to me like a guy representing a committee that just believes Oklahoma is better because it has always believed Oklahoma was better — “we’re keeping them where we’ve had them because they haven’t lost.” Which is a weird way to look at rankings that are supposed to be fluid.
LSU at least makes some sense, sorta, given wins over five opponents who were ranked at the time, including Georgia, which remains ranked No. 5 by the committee. It’s not crazy to think that LSU might be a better team than WSU.
Oklahoma, though ... the Sooners haven’t beaten a team when it was ranked all season; in fact, it lost its only matchup with a ranked opponent, against the Texas Longhorns. The Sooners did beat the Iowa State Cyclones back in September, and they’re now ranked (barely, at No. 25). They also beat the UCLA Bruins, which ... I mean, a very good case can be made that neither of those teams were then what they are now.
There’s really nothing in Oklahoma’s resume that suggests the Sooners are better than WSU, which has beaten two teams who were ranked at the time. The Cougars’ loss is worse, I guess. But those comments from Mullen simply suggest that only a quality win that gets their attention is going to cause them to move WSU past Oklahoma.
So, it’ll be No. 8 WSU against No. 16 Washington in the Apple Cup. Go Cougs.