College Football Playoff rankings: Half the Pac-12 makes the cut with Washington, Oregon leading the way

The Huskies were just outside the top-four after two wobbly performances

The Pac-12 had six teams in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday afternoon, but Washington did not make the top four.

The Huskies (8-0) were ranked fifth in the country, trailing four unbeaten teams: Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, and Florida State.

Boo Corrigan (North Carolina State) of the CFP selection committee told ESPN that Washington’s recent close calls against Arizona State and Stanford were “a little bit of a concern.” The Cardinal and Sun Devils have a combined record of 4-12, but both teams pushed the Huskies to the brink of defeat.

“The top four were in a group together,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock told reporters during a teleconference. “Washington, because of their play in the last couple of weeks, was a notch behind that group.”

As the highest-ranked one-loss team, Oregon (7-1) was ranked sixth, just behind Washington. The Huskies defeated the Cougars 36-33 in Seattle a few weeks ago.

“You can make an argument that (the Ducks) are playing as well as anybody in college football right now,” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said.

The Pac-12’s other ranked teams were in the bottom half of the committee’s top 25, with Oregon State at No. 16, Utah at No. 18, UCLA at No. 19, and USC at No. 20.

Oregon State has victories over both Utah and UCLA. (This season, the Beavers do not face USC.)

The SEC had six teams in the top 25, while the Big 12 had five and the Big Ten had three.

Not only was the Michigan sign-stealing scandal discussed on ESPN’s studio show, but also during a media teleconference with Corrigan and CFP executive director Bill Hancock.

The media questions, in particular, focused on:

— The presence on the selection committee of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel.

— The credibility of Michigan’s performance so far.

Corrigan and Hancock dismissed any concerns, claiming that the committee had not addressed the scandal.

“These are allegations, not facts,” said Hancock. “All the committee does is evaluate what happens on the field.”

Corrigan stated, “It’s an NCAA issue, not a CFP issue.”

The committee rankings will be released on Tuesdays throughout November, but the only edition that matters will be revealed on December 1st.

Since Washington in 2016, the Pac-12 has not sent a team to the playoffs.

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