College football playoff standings reactions: LSU overrated, Tennessee underrated in second-to-bottom top 25

The penultimate edition of 2022 college football playoff standings were released on Tuesday, and the intrigue ahead of the Conference Championship weekend has been heightened significantly as multiple teams vie for the last spot in the four-team field.

Georgia held tight in the No. 1 spot, Michigan jumped to #2 after passing ohio state last weekend and TOS stepped in at No. 3 after finishing the regular season 12-0. A loss USC slipped into the No. 4 spot, but the Trojans are in a perilous position knowing they can’t slip into the Pac-12 Championship game. If USC drops to No. 11 Utah, it will be skipped by either the Buckeyes at No. 5 or No. 6 Alabama.

The discussions will heat up by Sunday selection.

Let’s see who is overrated and underrated in the penultimate edition of the ranking.

Why the hell is Tennessee ranked below #6 Alabama? ‘Cause he’s got a nasty loss to No. 19 Caroline from the south? It looks a lot better now than it did two weeks ago when the world thought South Carolina was an SEC East middle team with no advantage. Conversely, Alabama’s loss at No. 14 USL – a Tennessee team strangled in Baton Rouge – looks worse after Tigers loss to Texas A&M Last weekend.

Oh, and there’s that pesky little head-to-head game on Oct. 15 when the Volunteers outscored the Crimson Tide 52-49. It should matter, but apparently it doesn’t. Why? Is it because the Volunteers’ star quarterback Hendon Hooker tore his ACL against South Carolina and Joe Milton is now at the helm? It’s been considered by the committee, but it’s not enough to convince me.

Tennessee has a signature win over Alabama and a road win over LSU. What is Alabama’s iconic victory? A Week 2 win at No. 20 Texas? A home victory at the end of October against No. 24 Mississippi State? Tennessee is unfairly punished for not being a traditional power. It proved he deserved to be in line for a CFP berth if chaos ensues and, at the very least, to win the SEC Sugar Bowl berth if he is left out.

Overrated: No. 14 LSU

The LSU analysis is integrated into the Tennessee and Alabama analysis above, but it really shouldn’t be such a big talking point. There’s no way the Tigers are ranked No. 14 after that debacle in College Station, Texas, last weekend. They were smoked 38-23 by an Aggies team that hadn’t scored more than 31 points against an opponent this year, was decimated by injuries and looked unmotivated during its 6-game losing streak consecutive. If Texas A&M can set LSU’s defense on fire, what would No. 15 be? Oregon StateNo. 16 Oregon or no. 17 UCLA do? It would get very, very ugly.

A nine-win regular season in coach Brian Kelly’s freshman year is a tremendous accomplishment, and something very few outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana saw coming. But he struggled against Arkansas then lost to Texas A&M when the target on its back grew. It must count.

There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to assuming that all Pac-12 teams are overrated and undeserving of national recognition, and Washington’s No. 12 ranking proves it. The Huskies have the best passer in the country Michael Penix of the top 10 receivers Rome Odunzea top-five offense (40.8 points per game) and second-best defense in the Pac-12 in yards per play (5.52).

The loss to UCLA No. 17 is understandable, but the loss the following week to Arizona State is what holds them back. But Utah – which is a place ahead of Washington – has three losses, including one against one Florida team that went 6-6. Kansas State has three pretty solid losses (No. 18 Tulane, No. 3 TCU and No. 20 Texas), but it’s still three losses. An argument could even be made that Washington’s resume with wins over No. 15 Oregon State and No. 16 Oregon is more impressive than by Clemson signature win over No. 13 state of florida.

Washington deserves to be in the top 10.

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