The primary version of the School Soccer Playoff Rankings for the 2022 season was launched on Tuesday evening, and for the primary time because the beginning of this present format, Tennessee was tabbed as the highest crew within the nation. The Volunteers, presently 8-0 and with a win over No. 6 Alabama below their belts, now stare down essential assembly with No. 3 Georgia on Saturday within the SEC on CBS Sport of the Week at 3:30 p.m. ET.
It was anticipated, nevertheless, that each the Vols and Bulldogs could be slotted inside the preliminary high 4. Coming into the discharge on Tuesday, many of the intrigue centered across the positioning of three different undefeated groups: Michigan, Clemson and TCU. Effectively, the Tigers and Wolverines chimed in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, whereas the Horned Frogs had been — controversially, to some — behind the Crimson Tide at No. 7.
So who’s overrated and who’s underrated within the first version of the CFP Rankings? Let’s take a look.
It has been exhausting to pin down the id of the Tigers this season. One sport, they seem like world-beaters. The subsequent, they seem like pretenders. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has considerably improved from final yr however continues to be nowhere close to the famous person he was touted to be when he got here out of highschool. Matter of reality, the final time we noticed the Tigers, Uiagalelei was benched in favor of heralded freshman Cade Klubnik.
They’ve wins over No. 20 Syracuse, No. 21 Wake Forest and No. 22 NC State, which is sweet however not terribly noteworthy. The out-of-conference schedule to date has been Furman and Louisiana Tech, which does not do a lot to bolster the Tigers’ case. Clemson bought within the high 4 due to its historical past of success within the CFP period. In actuality, it is unimaginable to belief this crew by means of the eight-game pattern.
What is the knock in opposition to Michigan? The straightforward schedule that features out-of-conference wins over Colorado State, Hawai’i and UConn? OK, but it surely has rolled by means of that slate with relative ease. It is necessary that groups do not play right down to their competitors, and the one one-score sport the Wolverines have performed is the 34-27 win over Maryland on Sept. 24. Oh, and it has a significantly better win than Clemson, too. The Wolverines dominated No. 15 Penn State 41-17 on Oct. 15, which is much extra spectacular than something that Clemson has executed.
Ultimately, it will not matter. Michigan has video games in opposition to No. 15 Illinois and No. 2 Ohio State to shut out the common season, which can actually inform the story on simply how good Jim Harbaugh’s crew actually is.
I’ve nothing however love for the Tigers and the job coach Brian Kelly has executed in Yr 1 on the helm, however they shouldn’t be the top-ranked two-loss crew at this level. The committee likes to harp on how full groups are, and LSU continues to be distant from being talked about in that dialogue. The particular groups have been atrocious and had been the first purpose the Tigers misplaced to Florida State in Week 1. The passing assault continues to be rounding into kind, however quarterback Jayden Daniels has to point out that he can mild up the stat sheet by means of the air a bit of bit extra earlier than this offense may be trusted.
The Tigers’ signature win is the 45-20 romp over No. 11 Ole Miss. Do not get me unsuitable, getting back from a 17-3 deficit to dominate the Rebels was spectacular, however that is the one factor on which LSU can dangle its hat.
The school soccer world seemingly wrote off the Tar Heels in Week 1 after they gave up 40 factors within the fourth quarter to Appalachian State but nonetheless discovered a option to win. That’s completely unfair. They’ve scored 35 or extra factors in seven of their eight video games, and coach Mack Brown has developed first-year beginning quarterback Drake Maye right into a legit Heisman Trophy candidate.
The 45-32 loss to unranked Notre Dame on Sept. 24 is the one blemish, and whereas that is not supreme, it is not like I am lobbying for the Tar Heels to be a top-10 crew. No. 17, nevertheless, is just too low for a one-loss, Energy 5 crew that dictates its fashion on its opponent just about each week.
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I had TCU at No. 7 in my CBS Sports activities 131 poll, and that is the place the committee ranked the Horned Frogs as properly. Sure, they’ve wins over No. 13 Kansas State and No. 18 Oklahoma State, whereas No. 6 Alabama’s signature win is over No. 24 Texas in Week 2. One might argue that the most effective bullet level on Alabama’s resume is its three-point, last-second loss to top-ranked Tennessee.
That is positive, however TCU dug itself large holes in opposition to the Wildcats and Cowboys, which is not any option to reside — a minimum of, not for championship-caliber groups. “Sport management” is one thing that the committee will contemplate, and TCU’s sport management over the past three weeks has been shaky at finest.
“We’re searching for a balanced crew, offense and protection, and [TCU] has gotten behind in some video games,” CFP choice committee chair Boo Corrigan mentioned. “They have been in a position to come again and win these video games. However whenever you take a look at Alabama — within the wins in opposition to Mississippi State, at Arkansas, at Texas and clearly the three-point loss at Tennessee — as a committee, we determined to go Alabama No. 6 and TCU No. 7.”
Ultimately, it would not matter. If TCU runs the desk, it’s going to get in.