The first College Football Playoff rankings of 2020 were revealed Tuesday night on ESPN, and while the order can be debated, there weren’t any notable surprises at the top. Alabama is ranked No. 1, followed by Notre Dame at No. 2, Clemson at No. 3, and Ohio State at No. 4. Texas A&M (No. 5) and Florida (No. 6) are just outside the current four CFP representatives.

The big surprise of the night came with the team ranked No. 14: the BYU Cougars.

BYU is 9-0, and is No. 8 in the AP poll. They annihilated Boise State 51-17 in Boise (granted, against the Broncos’ third-string quarterback). They’ve outscored opponents 428-125 (that’s a +303 point differential). Quarterback Zach Wilson is a potential top-five pick in the NFL Draft after seeing his stock skyrocket with a season that has produced 26 passing touchdowns (compared to just two interceptions) and eight rushing touchdowns.

This is a legitimately very good team that most evaluators thought would be ranked in the top 10. At No. 14, their CFP chances would depend on a miracle (basically losses from nine teams ranked ahead of them). And this comes after a potential matchup — and résumé changer — with Washington fell through on Monday. There were reports BYU was “ducking” Washington, but Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake said that’s “a false narrative.”

BYU may feel much more motivated to try to schedule a game vs a highly regarded program after these CFP rankings. Cincinnati — No. 7 in the CFP rankings — has been a suggested potential opponent in the coming weeks.

Whatever the case, BYU’s ranking drew a lot of reaction- and mostly criticism. Here’s a sampling of the reaction on Twitter:

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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