CFP Top 25: Full rankings and analysis
The 12-person selection committee tasked with the challenge of putting together the inaugural College Football Playoff released a second edition of its Top 25 on Tuesday night, and the group remained behind Mississippi State as the best team thus far in the 2014 college football season.
The Bulldogs defeated Arkansas this past weekend in a close SEC contest. Meanwhile, Florida State remained at No. 2 after storming back from a big deficit to claim a road win over Louisville.
Here is the complete Top 25:
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
7. Kansas State
8. Michigan State
9. Arizona State
10. Notre Dame
11. Ole Miss
14. Ohio State
23. West Virginia
24. Georgia Tech
If the season ended today, the matchups for the first-ever College Football Playoff in FBS would be No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 4 Oregon in the Sugar Bowl and No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Auburn in the Rose Bowl. The winners of those two semifinal matchups would meet in Arlington on January 12 for the national championship.
The committee's final decision on which teams will comprise the four-team playoff will come at 12:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 7.
A few thoughts:
- The top three teams from last week's initial rankings — Mississippi State, Florida State and Auburn — held onto their spots, while Ole Miss fell from No. 4 after its home loss to Auburn. Oregon is now the No. 4 team after its win over Stanford, while Alabama and TCU check in at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. The Horned Frogs have an argument for that No. 5 spot, but the Crimson Tide have been playing very good football as of late.
- East Carolina and Louisville dropped out of the Top 25 this week after each suffered losses. Georgia Tech and Wisconsin replaced the two squads.
- Arizona State rose from No. 14 to No. 9 after beating Utah on Saturday. The Sun Devils actually jumped ahead of Notre Dame, which visits Tempe this week. This is the same ASU team that allowed 62 points to UCLA. However, with the exception of that loss to the Bruins, I have been impressed with the way the Sun Devils have played defense this year after breaking in so many new starters.
- Kansas State jumped ahead of Michigan State and now sits at No. 7. The Spartans have that road loss to Oregon and will look for a boost with a win over Ohio State and a win in a potential Big Ten title game. But will it be enough? In my latest bowl projections, I have the Spartans ultimately snagging the No. 4 seed.
- Baylor sits at No. 12, and one would think that the Bears are buried in that spot because of a weak nonconference schedule. How will the Bears' comeback win over TCU be viewed by the end of the year?
- There are no Group of Five teams in this week's CFP Top 25 rankings. That is nothing to worry about right now, but which conference champion from one of those leagues will get the call at the end of the year — if any? Will an undefeated Marshall get edged out for that automatic 'New Year's Six' berth? I have a hard time believing that the Thundering Herd would ultimately be left out as an unbeaten champ even with a weak slate.
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.