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COLUMN: CFP rankings are like a rigged game show

James Collier, WMUL-FM Sports Director

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After seeing this week’s latest College Football Playoff rankings, one could be left with a sense of how certain teams got in while others are on the outside looking in. I think I have the answer. Remember the game show “Press Your Luck” with host Peter Tomarken? The game where players take big risks for big bucks.

Welcome to the modern day game show where college football rankings are the prize, the committee of 12 as the players, commit-tee chair Jeff Long as the host and any loss to a Group of Five school will take any form of credibility from the Power Five program.

The object of the game is to stop the flashing box on teams within the P5 conferences while avoiding the G5 teams known as the “Whammy” which could crumble the foundation of the football powerhouse country club.

Paints an interesting picture doesn’t it.

After seeing the latest Top 25 rankings released Tuesday eve-ning, this was the picture that came to mind. Especially for teams ranked from 21-25.

For the second week in a row, teams from the G5 were left

out of the latest ranking. So again, the question is which team is in the lead for that coveted “Golden Ticket” which provides the highest ranked G5 team a spot in a New Year’s Eve College Access Bowl against an At-Large Power 5 team.

This is the agony for teams such as Marshall University (9-0), Colorado State University (9-1) and Boise State University (7-2) as they are left in the dark wondering what waits in the future for their programs, while every week they must play at near perfection for any hope of cracking into the rankings.

Unfortunately, the committee slammed the stopper safely to avoid that dreaded “Whammy” from stealing away all the goods. I cannot get past the image of hearing the members of the committee saying “Power 5, Power 5 and no G5, I mean Wham-mies…STOP!,” followed by Jeff Long saying stop on Southeastern Conference Texas A&M University Aggies and it will be our No. 24 team in the ranking. This process is once again followed with the flashing box stopping on University of Minnesota at No. 25.

Comical huh? So are the latest rankings.

Fresh off a 41-38 upset over No. 3 Auburn University, the committee felt compelled to include the Aggies even though it

had three losses in the SEC and a narrow 21-16 win over Uni-versity of Louisiana-Monroe. Let’s not forget about Minnesota that darkened the doorstep at No. 25 after a 51-14 win over Iowa.

Certainly seems that something was forgotten by the commit-tee, the Gophers’ two losses to Texas Christian University and a 4-5 University of Illinois two weeks ago. What happened to the entire body of work?

At this point, I don’t think the committee cares about the body of work just as long as no one stops on a “Whammy,” ev-eryone at the country club will be uber happy while enjoying the view from inside.

Unfortunately for the G5 schools, the committee knows the pattern of the flashing box. Although the “Whammy” was en-tertaining on the television show as it danced across the screen while taking all the players money, there will be no dancing Whammies anytime soon by the G5, only Jeff Long saying stop on another P5 school that joins this week’s ranking.

James Collier can be contacted at [email protected] edu.

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