College football rankings: Projected playoff rankings after Clemson loss to Pitt

Nov 12, 2016; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Dorian O
Nov 12, 2016; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Dorian O /

The No. 2-ranked Clemson Tigers were knocked off by the Pittsburgh Panthers. So what could the College Football Playoff rankings now look like?

Coming into Week 11 of the 2016 college football season, there were a few places you could look to for possible upsets. Maybe the Iowa Hawkeyes have the Michigan Wolverines’ number as the latter goes on the road. Perhaps the Washington Huskies still can’t hang with their Pac-12 “big brothers” in the USC Trojans. However, no one was looking at the two big upsets that occurred before those games ever began: Clemson and Auburn.

For starters, the Auburn Tigers were knocked off by the Georgia Bulldogs. Auburn looked like they’d turned their season around, but they looked more like the team from the start of the year than not on the road in Athens.

More shocking, though, was Clemson and their performance against the Pittsburgh Panthers. For a team known for having stout defenses, the Tigers showed none of it in a shootout. And when Deshaun Watson crumbled under pressure, it ultimately cost his team the game. Pitt kicked a field goal with under 10 seconds left to secure the upset win.

Following Clemson suffering their first loss of 2016, here’s a look at the projected College Football rankings:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Michigan Wolverines
3. Washington Huskies
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
5. Clemson Tigers
6. Louisville Cardinals
7. Wisconsin Badgers
8. Texas A&M Aggies
9. Penn State Nittany Lions
10. Oklahoma Sooners

Based on what they’ve done and how they’ve looked, I think you have to drop the Tigers out of the top-4 in favor of the Buckeyes here. Of course, that could likely be shaken up as Ohio State still has a date with the Wolverines looming that could be massive. Still, you have to keep them ahead of Louisville given the fact that they own the win in the head-to-head battle.

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Moreover, the College Football Playoff rankings may not be done getting shaken up either. Texas A&M and Washington both find themselves in tricky matchups in Week 11 in the evening that could result in losses. Michigan plays as well, but let’s not kid ourselves that Iowa is any good.

All that is to say that Clemson could still theoretically wind up in the top-4 before Week 11 is done, even after suffering their first loss of the season.