For its first rankings of 2020 appearing this evening, the committee has met in Texas in recent days staring at an inscrutable puzzle with 17 unbeaten teams ranging from BYU at 9-0 to Washington and Colorado at 2-0, with Alabama and Notre Dame tucked in there at 7-0 and Ohio State at 4-0. That’s even though it’s three weeks later in the year.
The year has, of course, gone bent out of recognizable shape. Some conferences began in early September. Some began in late October. Some teams barely have begun at all. The usual appetizer buffet of nonconference games used for keener measurements hasn’t happened as conferences have played almost entirely themselves. The second-tier, so-called “Group of Five” brims with eight unbeaten teams partly because the nonconference games weren’t around to leave some of them beaten.
In a pandemic year of varying medical opinions, the usual unsolvable rankings questions of