Don’t sweat the small stuff with early CFP rankings, and it’s all small stuff

Don’t be shocked that half of the teams in the College Football Playoff’s top four already have a loss.

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 12: Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, TX – Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20 in the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Or that the Florida Gators and several other one-loss teams way out on the fringes of this discussion still think they have a shot.

Or that close calls against lame opponents don’t hurt a team in the rankings half as much as you would think.

[A Veterans Day story about Yogi Berra and D-Day]

[Mike Leach interviewed for UM job in 2006 and lobbied hard for it in 2010]

[Dan Campbell has luxury that Todd Bowles didn’t have as Dolphins’ interim coach]

Only four of the last 10 national champions finished unbeaten. It’s a fairly unrealistic expectation that any particular team would roll through a season without so much as a serious scare. That’s what makes this so fun, and why growing anxious over rankings with so many games to play is such a waste of energy.

Oh, by the way, eventual champion Ohio State was 7-1 and No. 14 in the CFP rankings at this same time last season.

The following chart shows the records and losses and significant close calls of recent champions. Bottom line, it ain’t over until it’s over.

 

Year   Champion          Record       Loss                       Close calls

2014   Ohio State         14-1           Va. Tech               2 OT’s at Penn State

2013   FSU                     14-0           None                     34-31 over Auburn

2012   Alabama             13-1           Texas A&M         By 4 over Tenn and Ga

2011   Alabama             12-1           LSU                       None

2010   Auburn               14-0           None                     28-27 over Bama

2009   Alabama             14-0           None                     12-10 over Tennessee

2008   Florida               13-1           Ole Miss                None

2007   LSU                     12-2           Ky, Ark                  28-24 over Florida

2006   Florida               13-1           Auburn                 By 1 over Tenn & SC

2005   Texas                 13-0           None                       25-22 over Ohio St.