You got us, Jeff Long.
You can put away your bootleg copy of the 2025 Grays Sports Almanac. We believe you and the College Football Playoff selection committee now.
One-loss Alabama in the top 4 ahead of unbeaten Texas Christian and Michigan State? Good call.
One-loss Notre Dame ahead of one-loss Florida and unbeaten Memphis? You, fine sir, are a man ahead of your time.
Long, the Arkansas athletic director and the playoff group’s chair’s, got the juices flowing in the great debate that fuels college football’s annual beauty contest last Tuesday when their initial rankings were favorable to a pair of traditional heavyweights in Alabama and Notre Dame.
Long and the committee gave the Crimson Tide credit for, well, being the Crimson Tide. There was nothing wrong, per se, with Alabama’s resume last week, just that it did include a blemish – a 43-37 home loss to Ole Miss.
That’s the same Ole Miss team that lost by four touchdowns at Florida, six spots behind Alabama in the rankings, and by 13 points at Memphis, nine spots behind the Tide.
This is not to suggest that Ole Miss should be the bell cow for college football but that common results should at least be taken into consideration.
Alabama went out and made last week’s consternation moot with a 30-16 win over No. 2 LSU. The Crimson Tide dominated the previously unbeaten Tigers and held the spectacular Leonard Fournette to 31 yards on 19 carries.
Michigan State and TCU made the committee look even smarter by losing their first games of the season. Michigan State, No. 7 in last week’s poll, dropped a curious 39-38 decision to unranked Nebraska on the road. TCU, No. 8 last week, got smoked on the road, 49-29, by No. 14 Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, Memphis got smashed on its home field, 45-20 by Navy.
Of the teams the committee did wrong last week, only Baylor (6) managed to win its game, 31-24 at Kansas State.
No. 5 Notre Dame handled Pitt on the road, 42-30, while Florida struggled to survive against Vanderbilt.
Maybe Long and his crew really can see into the future? If he can, he needs to find an answer for the mother of all college football problems: What happens when the SEC gets two of the playoff spots?
Maybe Long can find a way around that problem. In only Year 2, the CFP committee has already proven it has the ability to move the goal posts when it suits their needs. Just ask TCU and Baylor.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio
Who’s trending this week in college football:
↑ UNC: Speaking of teams ignored by the CFP rankings, the Tar Heels made their case with an emphatic 66-31 win over Duke. That’s eight in a row for the Heels, who are on a collision course with Clemson in the ACC title game and for a shot at redemption in the stadium where their season started.
↑ Navy: Temple, Houston and Memphis have gotten all the love in the American Athletic Conference this season while the Midshipmen have quietly beaten every team on their schedule but Notre Dame. The Mids (7-1) improved to 5-0 in the American with a 45-20 road win over Memphis. They can spoil Houston’s season, and win their division, with a road win at Houston on Nov. 27.
↑ Crazy finishes: Arkansas carried the banner this week with a 4th-and-25 conversion at the end of regulation, on another wild lateral play. The Razorbacks emerged victorious over Ole Miss, 53-52 in overtime. That’s four wacky finishes – Michigan State on the blocked punt, Georgia Tech on the returned block field goal, Miami on the eight-lateral kickoff – in as many weeks.
↓ Duke: Duke (DOWN): It’s not polite to pile on but suffice it to say, that was not the response the Blue Devils were looking for after the controversial loss to Miami a week earlier.