Stanford ranked 11th in CFP rankings

Nov. 4, 2015, 3:19 a.m.

Stanford football was listed at No. 11 in the College Football Playoff Selection Committee’s first top-25 ranking of the season released Tuesday afternoon, marking the first time in program history that the Cardinal were named in the top 25 under the playoff system.

Head Coach David Shaw
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee came out with its first round of rankings on Tuesday. Stanford is ranked 11th compared to its No. 9 ranking in this week’s AP Poll. (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily)

Despite the Cardinal currently sitting at No. 9 in the AP Poll (as voted on by sports media) and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll (as voted on by college football head coaches), the 12-person committee left Stanford out of the top 10 of the rankings, leaving the Pac-12 as the lone Power Five conference without a team in the top 10.

Stanford was one of three Pac-12 teams that were listed in the initial top 25, along with No. 12 Utah and No. 23 UCLA. The Pac-12 ranked fourth among the Power Five conferences in team representation, behind the SEC (six teams), Big Ten (five teams) and Big 12 (four teams) and ahead of the ACC (two teams). Notre Dame also broke into the ranking at No. 5.

Among the “Group of Five” conferences, the American was represented by three teams (No. 13 Memphis, No. 22 Temple, No. 25 Houston) and the MAC was represented by No. 24 Toledo.

Stanford was the fourth-highest one-loss team in the ranking, behind No. 4 Alabama, No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 10 Florida.

The comparatively low rankings of the three Pac-12 teams, particularly Stanford, were cause for concern for many Pac-12 supporters.

Because the committee focuses intensely on strength of schedule and quality of victories, the fact that Stanford and Utah fell so far down the ladder among the one-loss teams seems to indicate that the committee holds Stanford’s bigger wins in the Pac-12 (UCLA and USC) in lesser regard than those of teams in other conferences.

However, with Stanford still likely to face a ranked Notre Dame team and a ranked Pac-12 South champion before the final playoff rankings are determined, Stanford still has the ability to move up the rankings, much like defending national champion Ohio State did last season (the Buckeyes debuted last year at No. 16).

With UCLA and USC steadily climbing the rankings after their early-season losses to Stanford, the Cardinal’s marquee victories could also start looking better as the season wears on.

Stanford will take on Colorado in Boulder on Saturday before the next iteration of the ranking is released next Tuesday afternoon.


Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’

Do-Hyoung Park '16, M.S. '17 is the Minnesota Twins beat reporter at, having somehow ensured that his endless hours sunk into The Daily became a shockingly viable career. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer and Business Manager at The Stanford Daily for FY17-18. He also covered Stanford football and baseball for five seasons as a student and served two terms as sports editor and four terms on the copy desk. He was also a color commentator for KZSU 90.1 FM's football broadcast team for the 2015-16 Rose Bowl season.

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