Miami football should jump UGA and Iowa State in CFP with win over UNC

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA -(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA -(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Miami football team should be ahead of Georgia and Iowa State in the College Football Playoff rankings with a victory on Saturday over North Carolina.

The Miami football team being ranked behind Georgia and Iowa State who both have two losses has raised a lot of questions. If the number 10 Hurricanes defeat number 17 North Carolina at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday afternoon they should ascend ahead of the Bulldogs and Cyclones in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Like the Miami football team, Georgia squandered opportunities for a win over a top 10 team earlier this season. The Hurricanes lost 42-17 in their only game against a top 10 team at Clemson in October. Georgia was also blown out in their two games against top 10 teams in 41-24 loss to Alabama and 44-28 loss to Florida.

Miami lost to Clemson when the Tigers were ranked number one. Georgia lost to number one Alabama who ascended to the top ranking after Clemson lost to Notre Dame and Florida who was number six at the time the Bulldogs and Gators played. The most impressive win for Georgia in 2020 was 27-6 over Auburn in October.

Iowa State has climbed in the rankings behind their last two wins. The Cyclones won at then number 17 Texas last month and followed that up with a 41-6 victory over 5-4 West Virginia last weekend. CFP committee chair Gary Barta praised Iowa State for their latest victories. Iowa State has losses to Louisiana and Oklahoma State.

The Cyclones lost 31-14 in their season opener to the Rajun Cajuns who are 19th in the College Football Playoff Rankings. The only loss for 9-1 Louisiana this season was to number 13 and 10-0 Coastal Carolina. Oklahoma State who is 6-3 defeated Iowa State 24-21 in Stillwater in October.

Georgia is scheduled to play number 25 Missouri on Saturday and finishes the season against 0-8 Vanderbilt on December 19. Iowa State is off Saturday and plays in the Big XII championship game against Oklahoma on December 19. A win by the Cyclones over the Sooners would be their second this season.

A Big XII title for Iowa State would likely put them ahead of Miami in the final 2020 College Football Rankings heading into the Bowl Games and clinch a spot in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. A Miami win this weekend over North Carolina will impress the CFP committee. Miami defeated number 23 North Carolina State this season.

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The Wolfpack was not ranked at the time Miami won 44-41 in Raleigh last month. North Carolina State is 8-3 this season. A victory over 9-1 Liberty last month in their lone non-conference game of 2020 is the most impressive for North Carolina State in 2020. Beating UNC would nearly clinch a New Year’s Six Bowl game for Miami.

Although the Miami football team is two games in front of North Carolina in the ACC Standings, a win by the Tar Heels would likely move them in front of the Hurricanes in the CFP Playoff rankings. The highest-ranked team in the ACC after the champion determines the order and which bowl games teams are selected for.

If Clemson defeats Notre Dame in the ACC Championship game on December 19 both programs will likely be selected for the College Football Playoff. That would allow the highest-ranked remaining team in the ACC to earn a berth in the Orange Bowl. If Notre Dame defeats Clemson a second time the Tigers would go to the Orange Bowl.

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A Clemson loss to Notre Dame and a Miami win over UNC would still nearly guarantee a berth in a New Year’s Day Bowl Game for the Hurricanes. If Clemson loses the ACC Title game and Miami defeats UNC the Hurricanes would not be spending New Year’s at home and would likely play in the Cotton, Peach, or Fiesta Bowl.