Sports commentators are known for making hot takes. They want viewers to watch whatever television shows they star on, so they sometimes say pretty bizarre things. However, while they can typically justify their comments with reasonable arguments, ESPN’s Lee Corso may have recently made the most outrageous take of the entire college football season.
The CFP rankings are a highly-debated topic
Since one specific committee decides which four teams play in the College Football Playoff, the rankings are typically a highly-debated topic. That’s especially the case this year, as a Group of Five team, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, currently ranks in the top four and can become the first non-Power Five school to make the CFP.
Their weak conference schedule may cause some to be hesitant. But they have done enough so far to earn the selection committee’s respect, so here’s a look at what the top 10 looked like heading into this week.
- Georgia (11-0)
- Ohio State (10-1)
- Alabama (10-1)
- Cincinnati (11-0)
- Michigan (10-1)
- Notre Dame (10-1)
- Oklahoma State (10-1)
- Baylor (9-2)
- Ole Miss (10-2)
- Oklahoma (10-1)
Thanks to Saturday’s results, the rankings will change tremendously this upcoming week. The two teams Lee Corso recently discussed, though, shouldn’t move up or down too much: Cincinnati and Notre Dame.
On the Nov. 27 episode of ESPN’s College GameDay, a group of commentators including Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, David Pollack, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Chris “The Bear” Fallica were debating Cincinnati’s path to the CFP.
As shown above, the school currently ranks at No. 4. So, had the season ended last week, it would have made the playoff. The Bearcats also moved to 12-0 on Friday, the day before College GameDay aired, so it’s reasonable to assume that, with a win in its final game (the American Athletic Conference Championship Game), it will be in the top four when the final CFP rankings come out next weekend.
However, Corso isn’t sold on Cincy.
Lee Corso made bizarre comments about the Cincinnati Bearcats on ESPN
During the recent College GameDay segment, Kirk Herbstreit said he believes Cincinnati will finish at No. 3 if this is the scenario that ultimately plays out: UC wins out, Ohio State or Michigan wins the Big 10 Championship Game, Alabama loses to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State wins the Big 12 title game, and Notre Dame finishes 11-1.
But Corso doesn’t believe the non-Power Five school should be in the top four at all.
“Let me give you my opinion, when the smoke clears, that Notre Dame will be one of the top four,” he said. “Why? They beat Wisconsin and Purdue, two Big 10 teams. Since their Cincinnati loss, they have won seven in a row, and listen to this, they have beaten nine Power Five teams. Only Georgia and Ohio State can say that.”
OK. Well, Corso kind of hurt his own argument by saying, “since their Cincinnati loss.” Yes, Notre Dame’s one loss this season is to Cincinnati, as UC’s 24-13 road win over ND in October is arguably the best win out of any college football team this year.
And Herbstreit brought that game up to Corso, seemingly trying to help his colleague.
“Name a win better than Cincinnati beating Notre Dame; name a Notre Dame win that’s better than that,” he said to Corso.
“Any one of them.”
OK, so all of Notre Dame’s wins, which include eight over teams with at least six losses, are better than Cincinnati’s win over, yes, 11-1 Notre Dame. How does that make any sense?
Corso continued: “It’s like the major leagues and the minor leagues.”
His comments essentially left his fellow ESPN stars speechless, as all they could do was laugh. It appears that many of them know that head-to-head wins should matter, and 12-0 Cincinnati took care of business at Notre Dame when the teams faced off in October.
There could be a major shakeup in the CFP rankings this week
No matter what Corso believes, there will be a significant shakeup in the CFP rankings this week, and Cincinnati should be safe.
No. 2 Ohio State lost to No. 5 Michigan, meaning the latter will likely jump UC, and OSU will probably fall below the Bearcats. Alabama also had to go to four overtimes to beat a six-loss Auburn team, while No. 7 Oklahoma State beat No. 10 Oklahoma.
So, what will the top six look like this week? Here is what I believe it should be, but the committee is always tough to read.
- Oklahoma State
- Notre Dame
It will be interesting to see what the selection committee does, especially considering its (what seems like) lack of respect for Oklahoma State’s Big 12 conference this season.
Either way, it shouldn’t take Corso’s advice when making its selections.