What the College Football Playoff committee got right and wrong in the second rankings

That No. 7 LSU remains ahead of No. 8 Washington State in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings is the latest referendum on the SEC’s hopes of again placing two teams in the national semifinals.

Washington State is the lone challenger from the Pac-12, which is otherwise a trash heap of would-be contenders, while two-loss LSU is the third SEC team in the ranking’s top seven, two spots behind No. 5 Georgia. LSU has no chance to win its own division, let alone securing a spot in a semifinal; still, the committee has reinforced its affection for the SEC by not strongly docking the Tigers for last weekend’s 29-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama.

It’s a statement about how the committee views the SEC – as not just the best conference in the country but the best conference by a wide swatch of space over its closest rival, whether that’s the Big Ten or the Big 12.

But it’s not the only example. Kentucky is down just two spots, to No. 11, after being revealed as a championship pretender in a loss to Georgia. Florida stuck in the top 15 despite an ugly loss Missouri, which was previously winless in SEC play.

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