College Football Playoff rankings reaction: BYU disrespect, an SEC lovefest and more

  • College football reporter
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2007
  • Graduate of Indiana University

The first of five College Football Playoff rankings were announced Tuesday, and yes — there were some surprises, even in the top four, where No. 1 Alabama, No. 2. Notre Dame, No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Ohio State set a somewhat predictable stage for an otherwise historically unpredictable season.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the first ranking:

That was the door slamming on BYU

Not only is No. 14 BYU out of reach of the playoff, the undefeated Cougars aren’t even starting in a position to reach a New Year’s Six bowl. (Teams that are slotted into the most prestigious bowls typically fall within the first 12 spots.) This is quite the indictment on BYU’s weak schedule, which doesn’t include any Power 5 opponents, and boasts only three wins by the Cougars against FBS teams above .500 (Boise State, Louisiana Tech and UTSA). BYU also has a win against FCS North Alabama (0-4).

So it raises the question: Does it even matter if BYU is able to add a Pac-12 opponent to its schedule? The Cougars don’t play again until Dec. 12 in their regular-season finale against San Diego State, so the program has been searching for a worthy opponent during the long break.

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