Does Georgia’s and Michigan’s Softer Schedule Undermine Their Top Rankings in the CFP?

As the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings are unveiled, the spotlight intensifies on Georgia and Michigan. Despite their top positions, critics argue their weaker schedules compared to Florida State, Washington, and Ohio State, may not justify their rankings. Should strength of schedule weigh more in the CFP rankings?

Uncovering the Ranking Criteria

CFP rankings are more than just numbers. Behind them is a meticulous process undertaken by the CFP Selection Committee. The criteria include championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, and comparative outcomes of common opponents, with an emphasis on winning conference championships​1​.

Evaluating Georgia and Michigan’s Journey

Georgia and Michigan have sailed through relatively calmer waters. Their schedules lack the rigor faced by Florida State, Washington, or Ohio State. It’s not about discrediting their triumphs, but about evaluating the path they traversed.

The Seminoles, Huskies, and Buckeyes’ Testimony

On the flip side, the Seminoles, Huskies, and Buckeyes have carved their way through more challenging adversaries. Their journeys resonate with battles fought and won, rendering a stronger testimony to their capabilities.

The Balancing Act

The debate boils down to a balancing act between recognizing a team’s achievements and the strength of the adversities they overcame. Should a softer schedule overshadow stellar performance? Or should the ferocity of the competition faced play a pivotal role in the rankings?

The Verdict

Every team’s journey to the CFP is unique, laden with individual challenges and triumphs. The CFP Selection Committee has a daunting task of sifting through these narratives, ensuring the rankings are a true reflection of a team’s mettle. It’s a realm where strength of schedule and a team’s stellar performance are on a perpetual seesaw.


The discourse around Georgia and Michigan’s ranking vis-a-vis their schedule strength is a testament to the complexities involved in college football rankings. As the season unfolds and the teams brace themselves for the upcoming challenges, the narrative around the rankings is bound to evolve. The essence of college football lies in its unpredictability, and as the teams march towards the coveted playoff spots, may the best teams rise to the occasion!