Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

The College Football Playoff committee has released its first rankings and Oregon is No. 7.

It’s important to remember that today’s rankings are largely for entertainment value, considering how much football is yet to be played. While they do set the tone, the important playoff rankings will be released in a month.

The Ducks are the second highest ranked one-loss team, behind No.6 Georgia.

Fresh off a dominating 56-24 win at USC Saturday night, Oregon held its position at No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday and caught attention in the national picture. Since the Ducks (8-1, 6-0 Pac-12) lost their season opener to No. 11 Auburn in August, the Pac-12 was largely dismissed as a possible participant in the College Football Playoff.

However, the slight against the Ducks is their best wins are against Washington and USC, a pair of unranked 5-4 teams. Oregon’s saving grace could be a possible Top 10 showdown with No. 8 Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game. A one-loss Pac-12 champion would certainly be in the discussion for one of the four spots. If not chosen, the Pac-12 champion gets the conference’s automatic berth to the Rose Bowl.

“The way that we’ve played, the way our team is progressing, the betterment of our team, without question I feel we need to be in that conversation," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said after defeating USC. "I’m not going to shy away from that; that’s just a matter of fact. And we got to keep getting better. We got to keep playing better. There’s a lot of football to be played against a lot of really good football teams, so we’ll focus on them.”

 

[READ: "Best is yet to come" from Juwan Johnson and the Oregon Ducks]

The Ducks are one of five FBS teams (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State) to rank in the top 15 nationally in both scoring defense (15.8/10th) and scoring offense (38.2/15th). Oregon has won eight consecutive games and 11 of their last 12 under second-year head coach Cristobal.

The CFB Playoff committee’s protocol is mostly based on eye test and places an emphasis on four things if teams are comparable: 1. Championships won. 2. Strength of schedule. 3. Head-to-head competition (if it occurred). 4. Outcomes against common opponents.