Pac-12 Playoff snub is ... no big deal, yet

The College Football Playoffs initial rankings hit the world Tuesday, and the No. 9 Oregon Ducks (AP Media Poll) were only No. 15 to the big guns getting ready to make the four-team call in just a few weeks.

Oregon, 3-0, got a fairly dismal ranking likely mimicking the sentiment of a lot of its own fans following the 38-35 win over UCLA Saturday - maybe the Ducks aren't that good. And, they were just three spots ahead of USC (3-0) at No. 18, having moved up from 19 in the AP Poll.

Only BYU really got snubbed more in the first rankings, dropping from No. 8 to No. 14 despite having a 9-0 record.

The CFP rankings feature three teams with two losses ranked ahead of the Ducks (and Cougars), according to the selection team of mostly athletic directors.

Only four teams will qualify for the playoffs, which Oregon did following the 2014 season. 

Oregon is already in something of a similar situation to last year when it was on the outside of the playoff bracket in spite of having won the Pac-12 title. The other four Big 5 conference champions were involved, so the Ducks really didn't have much to complain about in that they had two losses.

Actually, for all the chatter about a second-place team from a conference being added to the CFP, it's only happened once in six tries. And, the team that did get added: Alabama, which lost to SEC champ Georgia in division play; won both of its playoff games to become national champion.

The big question for Duck fans already is that if Oregon is 7-0 and Pac-12 Champion, are we going to get squeezed out of a spot in the semis in favor of a one-loss Texas A&M, which sits at No. 5 in the CFP rankings having lost only to No. 1 Alabama.

No. 7 Cincinnati is another interesting team in that it's likely to win the All-American Conference without having really played anyone. A lot of people might say that about Oregon.

Having looked over the rankings, it's pretty clear that without some huge upsets, and a number of them, the Ducks simply do not have a chance to make the CFP. Except maybe they do. It comes in the form of the Big 12, which is led by No. 11 Oklahoma at 6-2. No. 13 Iowa State is 6-2 as well. Those teams are likely to play for their conference title with the winner having nine wins.

If the Ducks can continue to improve and win impressively, then they'd be heading to the CFP voters with the whole Pacific Coast on their side, sorta just like last year until the disasterous loss at Arizona State.