College Football Playoff Rankings Reactions: Alabama Overrated, USC Underrated in Latest Top 25

The college football action in Week 12 was a wild slate with each of the country’s top four teams struggling to earn wins. Does that have this week’s edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings? Not really. The top four remained the same with Georgia at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2, Michigan at No. 3 and TCU at No. 4 after the walk-off win over Baylor.

However, there was a shake-up behind the teams that placed in the top four. One of the most notable moves saw Tennessee drop from No. 5 to No. 10 after a blowout loss to unranked South Carolina and North Carolina, which dropped from No. 13 to No. 17 after losing to Georgia Tech.

So which teams in the updated College Football Playoff Rankings are overrated and underrated as we head into the final weekend of the regular season? Let’s see.

The two-loss Crimson Tide entered at No. 7, one spot ahead of Clemson with one loss and three spots ahead of a Tennessee team with the same record it lost in October. Why? Due to recent bias and the fact that Tennessee just got smoked by unranked South Carolina? That’s not a reasonable excuse.

Alabama struggled to beat Texas, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. That’s in addition to the “good losses” against No. 5 LSU and No. 10 Tennessee, which CFP Selection Committee Chairman Boo Corrigan referred to on the air. “Game mastery” is a metric often cited by the committee, and Alabama has struggled to control several games this year, even with wins. The Crimson Tide is No. 7 for brand recognition – nothing more, nothing less.

Underrated: USC

The Trojans have had victories over No. 21 Oregon State and No. 18 UCLA, the latter of which came in Week 12. The lone loss was a wild one-point loss en route to No. 14 Utah. Why is it right behind LSU with two losses? It seems like it’s more of a nod to the SEC or, conversely, a penalty to the Pac-12.

The Tigers are down two losses: a Week 1 loss to No. 16 Florida State and a blowout loss at home to No. 10 Tennessee. Their signature wins are over No. 7 Alabama and No. 20 Ole Miss. Those are solid wins, but are they That much better than what USC posted? No. USC should be rewarded for its 10 wins, not penalized for conference perception, despite having a better resume than any team above it.

The two lost Ducks were ranked No. 9 after a 20-17 victory over Utah, which, don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic win. However, they are two weeks away from a home loss to No. 13 Washington, snapping a 23-game winning streak at Autzen Stadium.

Oregon gets the benefit of the doubt for having a “good” loss to Georgia in Week 1, even though it was a 49-3 blowout in which the Dawgs could have scored 70 if they wanted to. The point difference should matter… at least a little bit. It appears that Oregon is being rewarded for simply playing Georgia in Atlanta instead of what it actually did on the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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Underrated: Washington

The 13th ranked Huskies in the “underrated” section goes hand in hand with Oregon being listed as “overrated”. Washington defeated Oregon on the road and has a win over No. 21 Oregon State. That should matter. The passing offense led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is one of the most dynamic in the country, and coach Kalen DeBoer has revived a once proud program into a contender in just one season.

Washington lost at UCLA, a team that defeated Oregon. It also has an inexplicable loss to Arizona State, which clearly resonated more within the confines of the conference room than the head-to-head victory the Huskies have over the Ducks. If all things are equal, or at least close to equal, then the head-to-head result must matter. Washington is close enough from a resume standpoint to earn a higher ranking than Oregon.

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