With the fourth edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings set to be released, the Campus Insiders team discusses who will be and who should be the highest-ranked two-loss team.
Will Be: After the projected Top 5 of Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson and Washington, it’s hard not to see Wisconsin at No. 6 and as the highest-ranked two-loss team in the CFP rankings. The Badgers did nothing this past week to cast doubt in the selection committee’s minds, and fellow Big Ten and two-loss member Penn State was blown out by common opponent Michigan earlier this year. Oklahoma and Colorado had CFP Top 25 wins last week, so there’s a chance those teams will put pressure on the Badgers. Even Oklahoma State has momentum. But Wisconsin was efficient on offense and strong on defense last week, so I can’t see the Badgers dropping on Tuesday night.
Should Be: I haven’t wavered from my pick of Wisconsin as the best two-loss team, and nothing has happened that would make me look back now. The Badgers scored 35 points in the final eight-plus minutes of the first half of a 49-20 victory over the Boilermakers last week, putting them at 9-2 as they prepare for a home game against Minnesota. Their two close losses are against Ohio State and Michigan, two teams that are fully entrenched in the CFP mix. In addition, Paul Chryst’s team has wins over LSU and Nebraska. They may not play a sexy brand of football, but it works for the Badgers.
Will Be: Wisconsin – The committee isn’t going to change this after the Badgers took care of business against Purdue. Their only losses are by seven points apiece to Michigan and Ohio State, two of the committee’s top three teams. Wisconsin will continue being rewarded for that unless another two-loss teams proves worthy to hop them.
Should Be: An argument could be made for Oklahoma, especially after the Sooner demolished West Virginia in Morgantown. But, the Mountaineers were overrated in the first place, and one of Oklahoma’s losses came against a Houston team that has lost to Navy and SMU and won’t even win the AAC. Sure, the loss to the Buckeyes is one of those “quality defeats” the committee likes, but it’s not enough for me to put them over Wisconsin at this point.
Will Be: Wisconsin – The Badgers were the highest-ranked two-loss team in last week’s College Football Playoff Rankings, and there’s no reason to move them from that position this week.
Should Be: Out of all the two-loss teams right now, I’d probably put my money on Oklahoma as the best, but that doesn’t mean the Sooners should be the highest-ranked. Wisconsin still deserves that, based on the body of work – two losses to No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan, by a combined 14 points.
Will Be: Wisconsin – The Badgers’ two losses, to Ohio State and Michigan, who happen to be the 2nd and 3rd-ranked teams in the country, are definitely understandable. They have the best resume of any team carrying two losses at this point in the season. Wisconsin’s defense has played lights, ranking No. 8 in the country in total D.
Should Be: Oklahoma – The Sooners two hiccups – opener against Houston and against Ohio State – came early in the season, and since then, the Sooners have been rolling. The offense is dynamic, with Baker Mayfield and Samaje Perine forming a quality backfield. Who would you trust going into a big game against Alabama or Clemson: Wisconsin with Paul Chryst and no quarterback or Oklahoma with Mayfield and Bob Stoops? Exactly.