Very little. It means very little at this point. Remember in 2014 when the first Playoff rankings came out? Mississippi State was #1, Florida State was #2, we were #3, and Ole Miss was #4. Only one of those teams made it in the end (FSU), and they got whipped by Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
Obviously, things can and will change between now and the end of the season. We’ve got a few weeks left to go, and the most pivotal games are still sitting on the table, ready to be examined after they’re played.
Here’s your top six as of right now:
The College Football Playoff selection committee's top 6 on Halloween: pic.twitter.com/G7mUsq0qSg— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 31, 2017
Scary, no? Our two biggest rivals are right at the top and we still have to play them. Thoughts coming in a second, but here are the others in the rankings.
First Rankings: Top 2️⃣5️⃣ pic.twitter.com/2nefOfDhyV— CFBPlayoff (@CFBPlayoff) October 31, 2017
After Georgia and Alabama, Auburn’s the highest-ranked SEC team at #14. The Tigers are also the highest-ranked two-loss team. Like many have said, if Auburn wins, they’re likely in to the playoff at 11-2 with a conference championship. Now that Georgia is #1, the Tigers will have a chance to play the top team in the country twice in the span of three weekends.
What’s more, we’ve got a ton of matchups coming with teams ahead of Auburn. Miami and Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and Miami are just a few off the top of my head over the next couple of weeks. Basically, if Auburn takes care of business (tall order, yes), they’ll be in good shape.
We shouldn’t pay any mind to the fact that Alabama got dropped to #2 either. Nick Saban surely considers that to be rat poison as well, but it at least gives his team some false sense of disrespect heading into November. To be honest, Georgia and Bama ain’t played nobody, Pawl. Georgia beat Notre Dame, yes, but that was a long time ago and not the same Irish team that we’ve seen roll the past couple of weeks. Alabama’s opponent record is well under .500 at this point, and they haven’t beaten a single ranked team.
One thing Auburn’s been good at is getting out in front, and with Georgia barely even throwing the ball, they might not have any clue of what to do if they find themselves down two scores and the Auburn defensive front slowing down the run game. Alabama just looks bored. It’s leading up to what we saw in 2013, where Auburn rolled in to the Iron Bowl battle-tested, and Alabama had loafed through the season relying on talent more than anything else and never playing a truly close game.
Gotta beat Texas A&M first though. November’s here, and it’s going to be unavoidably tense and wild.