The College Football Playoff committee won't have rankings to unveil until mid-November, but we can go ahead and start thinking about how it will process things down the road.
We only have AP Poll rankings to go by at this point, but we can also think about things the committee has stressed it cares about: playing other teams it ranks, playing teams with records of .500 or better, and winning comfortably. It also cares about a bunch of stuff it struggles to articulate, but life is all about mystery.
Here's a look at Week 3's games involving teams currently ranked by the AP, which is a fair enough starting point even though the poll and the committee won't exactly agree each week.
- No. 1 Alabama: 48-34 W at No. 19 Ole Miss
You can't go up from No. 1, no, but remember we're looking big-picture. At the end of the year, this will likely count as a great road win for the Tide, assuming Ole Miss stops collapsing in big games.
- No. 3 Ohio State: 45-24 W at No. 14 Oklahoma
A blowout win in the biggest non-conference game of the year, and a road win at that, should be a jewel for OSU and the Big Ten.
- No. 7 Stanford: 27-10 W vs. USC
A comfortable win against a team that could still become a division contender, at some point.
- No. 10 Louisville: 63-20 W vs. No. 2 Florida State
The Cardinals handed Florida State one of the worst losses in FSU history, making the Seminoles look like the Charlotte 49ers. This was a season-changing beatdown.
- No. 12 Michigan State: 36-28 W at Notre Dame
The Irish will likely still end up an eight- or nine-win team, so this win will mean something.
- No. 25 Miami: 45-10 W at Appalachian State
If App State comes back and, say, wins the Sun Belt, this will reflect nicely on the Canes and the ACC.
- No. 2 Florida State: 63-20 L at No. 10 Louisville
This also ends up making the SEC West, whose Ole Miss lost to FSU, look even less majestic this year.
- No. 9 Wisconsin: 23-17 W vs. Georgia State
Winning is fine. GSU is not. This won't hurt the Badgers badly in the long run, but any momentary suspicious about UW as a top-10 team were confirmed.
- No. 11 Texas: 50-43 L at Cal
The Longhorns should've gotten one last shot, but that won't matter a whole lot to the committee at the end of the year.
- No. 13 Iowa: 23-21 L vs. North Dakota State
We literally told you two years ago to not play NDSU, and you did it anyway.
- No. 14 Oklahoma: 45-24 L vs. Ohio State
The preseason Big 12 favorite is already 1-2. That's against a brutal opening stretch, but still, 1-2.
- No. 18 Notre Dame: 36-28 L vs. Michigan State
The Irish are hereby out of the Playoff.
- No. 19 Ole Miss: 48-43 L vs. No. 1 Alabama
If ever there were a case for keeping a 1-2 team in the polls ... no, don't quote me on that.
- No. 22 Oregon: 35-32 L at Nebraska
Losing like THIS won't end the Ducks' season. And for now, the Huskers will join the polls.
- No. 4 Michigan: 45-28 W vs. Colorado
- No. 5 Clemson: 59-0 W vs. South Carolina State
- No. 6 Houston 40, Cincinnati 16
- No. 8 Washington: 41-3 W vs. Portland State
- No. 15 Tennessee: 28-19 W vs. Ohio
- No. 16 Georgia: 28-27 W at Missouri
- No. 17 Texas A&M: 29-16 W at Auburn
- No. 20 LSU: 23-20 W vs. Mississippi State
- No. 21 Baylor 38, Rice 10
- No. 23 Florida: 32-0 W vs. North Texas
- No. 24 Arkansas: 42-3 W vs. Texas State
No offense to any of these defeated teams; I'm just not entirely certain they'll count as noteworthy wins by season's end, as far as records go.
Houston's win should look pretty good by season's end. OU getting blasted, however, flattens Houston's resume.