Why UW Huskies were at risk of being snubbed by CFP rankings again

Nov 21, 2023, 11:49 AM | Updated: 4:24 pm

UW Huskies Kalen DeBoer...

UW Huskies football coach Kalen DeBoer reacts during a a Nov. 4, 2023 game against USC. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Update 4:24 p.m.: The UW Huskies are the new No. 4 team in the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday afternoon. The story below was published earlier Tuesday morning. Click here to read the story on Washington making the top four of the rankings.

The UW Huskies should be at least the No. 4 team in the new College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday afternoon – right?

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Washington picked up its fourth win over a ranked opponent in the last six weeks, including three straight this month alone, with Saturday’s 22-20 victory over Oregon State, which was No. 11 in last week’s CFP rankings. That was enough to get the Huskies in front of Florida State in the eyes of voters for the weekly Associated Press poll that was published Sunday.

That doesn’t mean the CFP will follow suit, though. In a CFP rankings prediction article Sunday, ESPN college football senior writer Heather Dinich had the 11-0 Huskies again as the lowest ranked of the five remaining undefeated teams in the country. That’s not her personal opinion on how the rankings should be, mind you, but rather her read on what she expects the CFP committee to do.

On Monday, Dinich explained her reasoning to Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy.

“Last week, I projected (No. 5 Washington and No. 4 Florida State) to flip and they didn’t, and that led me to believe that this selection committee simply thinks Florida State is a better football team than Washington in spite of résumé,” Dinich said. “Because last week, Washington had a better résumé than Florida State. This week, Washington has an even better résumé.”

There’s one particular statistic that Dinich thinks should carry extra weight for the UW Huskies.

“If it were my own personal top four, I would have Washington in there,” she said. “Washington right now is No. 1 in ESPN’s strength of record metric, which measures how difficult it would be for the average top 25 team to achieve this same record as Washington against the same opponents. And right now, that’s a 3% chance that anyone else in the top 25 could do what Washington did. That is significant.”


“But in the selection committee meeting room, they have been hung up on how Washington played in wins against Arizona State and Stanford,” she continued. “Now I could be totally wrong. They could flip them this week. They have every reason to, they could absolutely justify it, but sometimes it could be as simple as, ‘You know what? We think Florida State’s better than Washington.'”

So what’s the case for Florida State being better than Washington?

“Well, it had been a more complete team on defense, but Washington played a great defensive game this past weekend against a great Oregon State team,” Dinich said. “I want to say that they held them to their fewest points, total yards, passing yards. But last week, (Washington) shut out Utah in the second half, and I thought that was enough. But what they had been talking about – the committee – was they wanted to see two things. One, some convincing wins, and two, better defense. I think they answered the question about the defense, at least from my perspective, but it wasn’t a convincing win (against Oregon State). It was a close win against a really good team.”

All this being said, following Dinich’s appearance on Bump and Stacy, she changed her tune on social media.

The plot thickens…

The new CFP rankings are scheduled to be released at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Listen to the entire Bump and Stacy conversation with ESPN college football senior writer Heather Dinich in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the UW Huskies

Apple Cup Lives On: UW, WSU agree to play through 2028
Caple’s Takeaways: No. 4 UW Huskies get important win over OSU
Recap: Washington hangs on to beat No. 10 Oregon State 22-20, stay unbeaten
Undefeated UW Huskies clinch spot in Pac-12 Championship game

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