FOX Sports activities school soccer analyst Joel Klatt has a easy message for many who imagine Clemson deserved to be ranked forward of Michigan within the preliminary School Soccer Playoff rankings.
“Simply activate the movie,” Klatt mentioned on a current episode of his podcast, “The Joel Klatt Present.” “You will notice that Michigan is a significantly better crew.”
Michigan disrespected in CFP rankings
Joel Klatt mentioned the Michigan Wolverines being ranked No. 5 within the CFP playoff rankings and in contrast them to the Clemson Tigers.
The 13-member CFP committee ranked undefeated Michigan No. 5 within the first set of rankings, one spot behind the Tigers. As compared, Klatt — who releases his personal top-10 rankings each week — had the Wolverines slotted at No. 4, with Dabo Swinney’s crew at No. 7.
The committee does take a number of components under consideration in its rankings, together with energy of schedule. The Wolverines did face a comparatively simple non-conference schedule, enjoying Colorado State, UConn and Hawaii, who’ve a mixed file of 8-18 heading into Week 10. In the meantime, Clemson’s non-conference schedule has to this point included Furman and Louisiana Tech (mixed file of 10-7), with a 3rd coming towards Notre Dame (5-3) on Saturday.
Schedule apart, although, Jim Harbaugh’s crew has dominated each opponent by means of the primary two months of the season, together with a powerful 41-17 rout of then-No. 10 Penn State.
One other issue that may very well be hurting Michigan is the variety of underperforming groups within the Huge Ten this season. The Wolverines have wins over each Iowa and Michigan State, two groups which have endured uncharacteristic struggles.
The Spartans entered the 2022 marketing campaign ranked No. 15 within the Preseason AP Prime 25 Ballot, however Mel Tucker’s crew has struggled mightily on either side of the ball this season and finds itself in jeopardy of lacking a bowl recreation. The Hawkeyes (4-4) additionally got here into the season with excessive expectations however have did not generate consistency on offense, averaging a measly 16.4 factors per recreation.
“I do suppose the dearth of high quality mid-tier Huge Ten groups is hurting Michigan on this sense, however they’ll have an opportunity towards two extra CFP-ranked groups in Illinois and Ohio State,” Klatt mentioned.
Clemson, however, does have three wins over top-25 groups on its résumé, however all three contests have been shut. The Tigers have received half of their video games by 10 factors or fewer and shouldn’t have any video games remaining on their schedule towards groups at present within the CFP rankings.
Klatt believes that Clemson being ranked forward of Michigan is a case of recency bias, given the very fact the Tigers have appeared within the School Soccer Playoff six instances in eight years.
“Clemson being within the high 4 is a nod to not this Clemson crew, however to what previous Clemson groups have finished,” Klatt mentioned. “This can be a rating that’s born out of the ghost of Trevor Lawrence, Deshaun Watson and Hunter Renfrow.”
By way of the primary eight years of the CFP period, 19 of the 32 groups (59%) ranked within the high 4 within the preliminary CFP rankings ended up within the playoffs. Whereas the Wolverines would like to be slotted within the high 4, it’s removed from a lock that the 4 groups ranked above them keep there. In reality, solely as soon as have the preliminary groups within the high 4 all ended up within the playoffs. That was in 2020, when No. 1 LSU was joined by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Oklahoma within the semifinals.
“The excellent news for Michigan is that they clearly management their very own future,” Klatt mentioned. “You’re not going to beat Ohio State, go undefeated, and never go to the playoff.”
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