Skip to main content

College Football Poll Watch: Louisville is Sitting Pretty, Western Michigan Gets No Love


The third edition of the 2016 College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday night. As I mentioned earlier in the week, this whole process is a mess — largely because there is no set roadmap in terms of how to get to the playoff. What we saw on Tuesday night only reinforced that.

Image placeholder title

Here is what stuck out to me in both the College Football Playoff rankings and the other major polls this weekend.

Louisville controls its own destiny

This may not be true in terms of the Cardinals' fate in the ACC, but as for the College Football Playoff, it is pretty much guaranteed. They sit at No. 5 in the rankings. As long as they win out, they'll slide into the top four on the back of the Michigan-Ohio State game. The loser of that one is done. Additionally, College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock is on record saying that conference titles will only be taken into consideration if two teams are close. I don't know many people that think Louisville isn't better than both Washington and Oklahoma — two probable conference champions. Las Vegas is on Louisville's side as well. According to the oddsmakers, the Cardinals would be favored against every team in the country not named Alabama or Ohio State if they played right now.

Image placeholder title

Western Michigan can't get any love

The Broncos are 10-0, but they can't seem to crack the selection committee's top 20. Additionally, they were leap-frogged by the other Broncos this week — Boise State. This despite Boise State having one loss. As of right now, Western Michigan still has the inside track on the New Year's Six bowl bid thanks to Boise State's loss to Wyoming, which is keeping those Broncos out of the Mountain West title game. That said, Wyoming could very well lose this weekend to San Diego State. If that were to happens and the committee keeps Boise State above Western Michigan, P.J. Fleck's team would be on the outside looking in at the New Year's Six bowls.

Image placeholder title

East Coast bias is alive and well

I've heard plenty of people say that Washington is done thanks to its loss to USC and a weak Pac-12 conference. Obviously, the committee disagrees with that narrative. The Huskies are sitting at No. 6 right now. Additionally, there are currently five other Pac-12 teams ranked in the selection committee's top 25. When the season ends, Washington will have played four of them. Should the Huskies win the Pac-12, they deserve a spot in the final four.

Image placeholder title

The Big Ten has a problem

The are only two ways that the Big Ten champion gets in the playoff with no questions asked. One is if Michigan beats Ohio State and then wins the Big Ten Championship Game. The other is if Ohio State beats Michigan and Penn State loses to either Rutgers or Michigan State — both highly unlikely.

We are now looking at a very realistic scenario where the champion from the nation's best conference does not get into the College Football Playoff.

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on,, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.