UNC Football Eyes New Years Six Eligibility

A week ago, we took a look at the one-loss and two-loss teams in college football and felt like UNC would be a lock for the top 12. Unfortunately, the College Football Playoff committee completely ignored nearly every important factor in ranking the Tar Heels and left them at 23rd, doomed to spend the next four weeks completely hopeless of moving into the money zone for a potential at-large bid to a New Years Six bowl game. Then Saturday happened, completely flipping college football upside down and making room for Carolina to move towards the spot they should have been ranked last week.

Undefeated Teams

College football is now down to five undefeated teams, four of which will absolutely be ranked ahead of North Carolina tomorrow night. Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma State are name-brand programs with perfect records, and Iowa sat at number five last week. Houston is the wild card after a win against 21st ranked Memphis, likely allowing them to leap-frog North Carolina in the polls.

One-Loss Teams

There are now 10 one-loss teams, including North Carolina, after the fallout from this weekend’s action. Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan State, and TCU will, and should, be ranked ahead of the Tar Heels. That leaves the following:

Toledo: unranked

Navy: 20th

Baylor: 6th

UNC: 23rd

The biggest question here is how far Baylor will fall after losing to Oklahoma. If the committee is consistent, they’ll reward a good loss by not dropping the Bears behind teams that did not earn their way up in the pecking order. Obviously, consistency is asking a lot from the committee, so who knows?

Two-Loss Teams Who Matter

There are 12 two-loss teams, and three of them were ranked ahead of North Carolina last week: Michigan, Florida State, and Northwestern, all three with ugly wins on Saturday. Utah, Stanford, LSU and Temple were all ranked head of North Carolina last week as one-loss teams, and should plummet this week.

Ranking Outlook

Just like last week, a simple count puts North Carolina in the range of 12 to 14. Factoring in the criteria likely used to justify last week’s ranking, expect the Heels to fall somewhere between 15th and 17th. With only the top 12 being eligible for an at-large bid, it still seems that UNC will need five or six more teams to drop a game in the next few weeks to move into that range of eligibility.