The Parthenon

COLUMN: New rankings leave Marshall in the dark

James Collier, WMUL-FM Sports Director

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The latest College Football Rankings have been released, and the results are as clear as mud, literally. While the teams within the top 10 all have stated their cases with the play on the field, the lower level of the rankings (20-25) have the consistency of water and oil.

Should the playoffs play today, the four teams in would be Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Oregon, with Alabama on the outside looking in.

But what is really considered looking in? In a system that has the appearance of a Power Five bias, the transparency of the system became even more clouded when the committee of 12 failed to place a member of a Group of Five school in the rankings, leaving many with more questions than when the system began.

New to the rankings this week is Georgia Tech at No. 24 and Wisconsin at No. 25, with East Carolina and Louisville falling out after losses to Temple and No. 2 Florida State, respectively.

With the additions of GT and Wisconsin leaves 8-0 Marshall and 8-1 Colorado State on the outside looking in. But the biggest issue is there is not a window to look through for the G5 schools, and the committee does not plan on telling anyone where those teams stand until one makes enough of a case to get inside the top 25.

So we wait, possibly until December, when the conference champions have been crowned, before we find out who is truly in the driver’s seat for the College Football Access Bowl that is awarded to the top ranked G5 school.

Is it Marshall leading the way, since the Herd is ranked in both the Amway Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25, or has Colorado State taken control of the race to join with the “Big Boys” of college football New Year’s Eve?

Perhaps we should flip a coin. At least there’s a 50 percent chance of getting a true answer by that method, and I’m not sure we will ever get to that point with the system as it operates.

So we wait while the words “transparency” and “equality” are tossed around like a dog’s favorite chew toy in reference to the College Football Playoff Rankings.

I don’t know how well the G5 schools and fans can fetch, but I seriously doubt they will just sit and wait to have a bone tossed their way.

But who really knows? After all, the G5 really is irrelevant in the discussion and cannot see inside to let the committee know they are scratching at the door, trying to get in, so they can run with the big dogs.

Unfortunately, all the G5 schools and fans can do is sit and wait and hope to claw their way in sometime throughout this season, or perhaps just wait until the parting gift is handed out, aka, the “Golden Ticket” to the College Football Access Bowl.

James Collier can be contacted at collier [email protected]

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