CFP Committee Chairman details how Tagovailoa injury impacts rankings

CFP Committee Chairman details how Tagovailoa injury impacts rankings

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CFP Committee Chairman details how Tagovailoa injury impacts rankings

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Tuesday night the College Football Playoff Committee released its third top 25 rankings of the year with LSU ranked No. 1, Ohio State two, Clemson three and Georgia four.

Alabama, who lost All-American quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the year after having successful hip surgery on Monday, came in at No. 5 with Oregon at No. 6. Tagovailoa dislocated and fractured the wall of his hip in the Tide’s win at Mississippi State this past Saturday.

“Here’s what the committee was thinking: LSU remains impressive with its powerful offense. They have three wins against teams in the top 25,” CFP Chairman Rob Mullens said. “Ohio State is strong on both sides of the ball. They’ve made a statement all year long. Clemson, too, has been dominant all season. Georgia beat a tough Auburn team on the road, and they also have wins against both Florida and Notre Dame. They’re ranked No. 4.

“The committee spent a lot of time talking about Alabama and Oregon. Members talked about how dominant Alabama has been all season. They also said Oregon is explosive and they were impressed by Oregon’s quarterback, but Oregon’s only loss came to No. 15 Auburn at a neutral site, while Alabama’s only loss was to No. 1 LSU. Alabama is ranked No. 5 and Oregon No. 6.”

Many wondered if Bama might fall in the rankings due to Tagovailoa’s njury. Mullens said the conversation between Alabama and Oregon was a strong one, but the Crimson Tide got the higher ranking because it lost to No. 1 LSU and Oregon’s lone loss was to No. 15 Auburn.

Tagovailoa’s injury had nothing to do with its ranking this week.

“No, we do not project, we do not look forward. Our charge is to rank the teams based on their body of work through week 12, and that’s what we did,” Mullens said. “Obviously, we’ll watch the games moving forward and evaluate them after that.”

Mullens did indicate that Tagovailoa’s injury was a topic of conversation in the committee room.

“It was certainly a part of the discussion, obviously,” he said. “We are aware of how the games unfold and we are aware of all the injuries and key injuries in the game, but with this week we noticed that Alabama carried on with a convincing win.”

Alabama (9-1) was up 35-7 over Mississippi State when Tagovailoa left the game just before halftime. The Tide ended up winning the game 38-7. Later that day, Oregon rolled in its victory over Arizona, as well.

“There was a lot of discussion between 4-6. Looking at those teams, Georgia added to their resume with an impressive win at Auburn. Oregon won an easy one against Arizona,” Mullens said. “There is a lot of debate and a lot of discussions among all of those teams.”

Mullens indicated later on a conference call with the media that the committee did not project forward with Alabama and what it might be like without Tagovailoa in their discussions about the Crimson Tide and there is plenty of discussions between teams 4-8 and that all the teams are very close.

“What I can tell you is that 4-8 there is plenty of discussion and a lot of debate about each of those teams. Their strengths, their weaknesses and where they should be ranked,” he said. “This week you can see how the committee voted in the rankings.”

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