College Football Playoff Ladder Reactions: Clemson overrated, North Carolina underrated in new top 25

The 2022 season is drawing to a close and the race for the college football playoffs is coming into focus. The third edition of the CFP rankings was released Tuesday night, and there were no changes among the top 5. Georgia chimed in at No. 1, Ohio State stayed at No. 2, Michigan is solid at No. 3, climbers TCU stayed after one Victory over Texas at No. 4, and Tennessee is the first team to sit at No. 1. 5 with their only loss against UGA.

However, there were some movers. Washington jumped eight spots to No. 17 after beating No. 12 Oregon in Eugene, Oregon last weekend. That broke a 23-game winning streak for the Ducks. North Carolina also moved up to 13th, moving up two places after their wild win over Wake Forest. Meanwhile, the teams that rank right behind the volunteers (well, the ones that didn’t lose) all moved up a spot.

Here’s a look at the overrated and underrated teams in the latest edition of the CFP Rankings.

Overrated: #9 Clemson

The eye test is part of the criteria for the CFP selection committee, and it’s hard to justify Clemson passing it — at least from an offensive perspective. His quarterback, DJ Uiagalelei, was benched twice for ineffective play, and the Tigers’ offense has stuttered more times than a beat-up truck with an engine on the verge of giving up.

What’s Clemson’s signature win other than now-no. 19 state of Florida? A win over a remarkably average now no. 24 NC state? These are remarkably boring, especially considering where ACC foes North Carolina fit in the rankings (more on that in a moment).

Here’s the truth: Clemson is in the top 10 based on brand awareness alone. That’s it.

Underrated: No. 13 North Carolina

OK, so Clemson is four places ahead of UNC and the only loss for both is Notre Dame? The Tar Heels fell 45-32 to the Fighting Irish while the Tigers dropped a 35-14 decision in South Bend, Indiana, a game in which they never had the slightest bit of control. It was a blowout that, frankly, wasn’t nearly as close as the 35-14 record suggests.

Yes, North Carolina’s loss came at home with the Clemsons on the road. Apparently that’s worth four points in the committee’s opinion? The committee tells us that the Tigers’ two semi-decent wins are worth four spots, even though the Tar Heels looked a lot better in the relative loss? I do not get it.

Overrated: #12 Oregon

The Ducks are ahead of One-Loss UNC (see above) and No. 14 Ole Miss. We’ve already discussed the heels, so let’s talk about the Ducks versus the Rebels.

Oregon’s two losses go to teams #1 (Georgia) and #17 (Washington). Ole Miss’ two losses go to No. 6 (LSU) and No. 8 (Alabama). Also, Ole Miss stars in the SEC, which the committee has already established as a factor in its decision-making. The Rebels have a victory over a ranked opponent, No. 16 UCLA. Is that worth two spots in the leaderboard? I do not think so.

It’s almost as if the committee fell in love with the Ducks last week and wasn’t about to give up that stance this week, even though there are more worthy teams with two losses in the world of college football.