College Football Playoff: Predicting the Selection Committee’s First Rankings

College Football Playoff Helmet Press Conference Stage | Image Credit: NY Post
College Football Playoff Helmet Press Conference Stage | Image Credit: NY Post

Blake Biscardi takes you inside the mind of the Selection Committee and predicts the first College Football Playoff rankings for the 2023 season. 

Getting a glimpse inside the mind of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee has been every person in college football’s goal since the new format began in 2014. The first rankings of the 2023 season are set to release LIVE on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 31. 

Through nine weeks, Georgia and Michigan have held steady at No. 1 and No. 2. Whether those spots are reserved for the two best teams in the last two seasons is based on roster makeup, past success, current wins, or the eye test remains to be seen. Truth be told, it’s likely a mixture of all those categories. 

However, when the initial rankings debut on Tuesday night, I have a hunch neither of those teams will sit atop the poll. 

If history is an indicator, the Committee will value Strength of Schedule, Strength of Record, Game Control, and the Eye Test in that order. Amid other factors, the members start fresh each week with blind resume comparisons. 

Using that logic, one team’s resume is comparable to its competitors: Ohio State. The Buckeyes boast road victories over Notre Dame and Wisconsin and a home win against Penn State. Ryan Day’s team also checks in at No. 1 in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) and Strength of Record (SOR). Ohio State’s Strength of Schedule (SOS) is 15th in the country, while its Game Control is No. 2. 

It’s a popular opinion to say Ohio State does not “look the part” because we are accustomed to the Buckeyes scoring 45ppg under Ryan Day. However, that’s not the case this year. Jim Knowles is pioneering an elite defense, ranking No. 2 in scoring defense and No. 4 in total defense. Ohio State can win games close, ugly, or with offense. 

Continuing with this approach, the initial College Football Playoff rankings should look at follows: 

  1. Ohio State
  2. Florida State
  3. Georgia
  4. Michigan 
  5. Washington 
  6. Oregon 
  7. Texas 
  8. Alabama
  9. Penn State
  10. Ole Miss 

Stay tuned to The Silver Bulletin and the Saturday Cadence Podcast for continuing coverage of the College Football Playoff race as it heats up in November.