College Football Playoff: Michigan could crack Top 25

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan will find out Tuesday night if it is among the nation’s top 25 teams.

The College Football Playoff releases its second rankings at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, and while Michigan isn’t among the top four teams in the nation, it is in position to be in the top 25 after the 33-10 win against Minnesota on Saturday.

FiveThirtyEight.com placed Michigan at No. 21 in its playoff rankings projection on Monday. In the national polls, the Wolverines are No. 21 in the AP Top 25 and No. 22 in the Amway Coaches Poll.

The CFP committee ranks the top 25 teams each Tuesday through Nov. 28. On Dec. 3, the committee selects the top four teams that will play for the national championship.

The committee considers a team’s wins and losses, its strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, outcomes against common opponents and factors such as injuries that could affect a team’s performance.

If Michigan (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) enters the rankings this week, it will be on account of its seven wins and it strength of schedule.

Michigan’s strength of schedule is No. 48 in the latest Sagarin Ratings; by comparison, undefeated Wisconsin is No. 68, Alabama No. 56, Georgia No. 52 and Miami No. 31.

Both of Michigan’s losses are to opponents in the initial CFP rankings — No. 7 Penn State and No. 24 Michigan State. (Following Michigan State’s win Saturday against Penn State, anticipate that Penn State will move down in the rankings and that Michigan State will move up.)

If Michigan is not ranked, it will be primarily on account of its lack of quality wins.

What has hurt Michigan’s case was its only win against a ranked opponent came Sept. 2 against Florida, a team that has since dropped out of the national rankings.

Being taken to overtime by Indiana (3-6, 0-6 in the Big Ten) on Oct. 14 also didn’t help Michigan. It would have been helpful had Michigan simply converted a first-down play in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter to wrap up a win in regulation.

Michigan is one game out of the lead in the Big Ten East Division entering the 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Maryland on Saturday. If Michigan is ranked, a win at Maryland will help Michigan move up in the rankings, but wins in the final two weeks in the regular season at Wisconsin (Nov. 18) and against Ohio State (Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor), will be valuable in making a significant move in the rankings.

The post College Football Playoff: Michigan could crack Top 25 appeared first on Land of 10.

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