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Friday, November 6, 2015


By now you've probably had it "up to here" with the College Football Playoff rankings, right? We can see that Michigan State tends to be under-ranked no matter what the "system", so it's all a bunch of phoney-baloney, and we always knew that, right?

Nevertheless, these rankings serve as direct determinators of the two highest-profile post-season Bowl games to be played for the still-somewhat-mythical National Title. So it's hard to totally ignore them, especially as we move through November.

Mark Dantonio pointed out that a lot of things the UM folks do are amusing, and it's proven to be true upon examination over the last eight years. For example, the Bluebloods have cooked up a way their team can - - - brace yourself here - - - play for the National Title in January. Even though they are a two-loss team!

Wolverine Nation likes to think of their team as 6-2*, and we know what the asterisk is for, even if they actually gave an asterisk to Minnesota last week. I personally think of UM as being 5-1 in the first half of the season, and 1-1 in the (tougher) second half of the season. But two is still two, and traditionally, when a team hits two losses, they leave the conversation.

But not Michigan, the fifth-most overrated college football team over the last quarter-century:

  • Michigan is the highest-ranked team with a 6-2 record
  • Michigan is the highest-ranked team with 6 wins
  • Michigan is the highest-ranked team with 2 losses

The six teams UM has defeated have
combined season record of 22-26.

By comparison, MSU has won eight games against teams with a combined season record of 35-30, including five teams with a winning record. Since there seems to be some question about whether or not the undefeated Spartans will qualify for the CFP, why in the blue blazes would anyone seriously consider a team with two losses?

Here are the teams UM defeated, with their current records:

  • 2-6 Oregon State
  • 2-6 UNLV
  • 6-2 BYU
  • 2-6 Maryland
  • 6-2 Northwestern
  • 4-4 Minnesota
  • 22-26 combined season record

Again, by comparison, here are the teams MSU defeated, with their current records:

  • 5-3 Western Michigan
  • 5-3 Oregon
  • 5-3 Air Force
  • 5-4 Central Michigan
  • 2-6 Purdue
  • 3-5 Rutgers
  • 6-2 Michigan
  • 4-4 Indiana
  • 35-30 combined season record

You can see that three of the six teams Michigan beat have basically "tanked" and will be going nowhere this season. But four of the teams Michigan State defeated have viable seasons in progress, with another two teams pushing for post-season play. A much different schedule for MSU and UM, with different results as well.

But still, Michigan is voted into a position where they are sort of "hanging around" in case a crazy sequence of game-outcomes leaves them close to contention heading to Columbus. If nothing else, the CFP poll is certainly trying to make good television ratings on behalf of their network partners.

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