Jay Bilas is one of ESPN’s top college basketball analysts, but he pays attention to the goings on throughout the rest of college football. During last night’s Indiana basketball game, he said he was very surprised by how Indiana football has been treated by the College Football Playoff selection committee.
The Hoosiers are 6-1 on the year, and were set to represent the Big Ten East in the conference title game until yesterday, when the league decided to remove the six-game requirement. That means Ohio State, the only team to beat the Hoosiers this year, will play instead.
Even so, one would think the second-best Big Ten team, with a win over Wisconsin and a one-score loss to the Buckeyes would rank higher than No. 12 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Bilas couldn’t believe that either.
“Really surprised that Iowa State was ranked above Cincinnati and that Indiana was 12th,” he said during the broadcast of IU basketball vs. Florida State. “That stunned me that Iowa State could lose to Louisiana, and they’re ahead of the Hoosiers. That was really surprising.”
— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) December 10, 2020
After the top four, which remains stable with Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Ohio State currently in line for the Playoff, you have Texas A&M and Florida as the first two teams out. Big 12 leader Iowa State is 7th, followed by Cincinnati, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma, and then Indiana.
Iowa State, as Bilas mentions, lost to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 31-14 to open the year, and Oklahoma State in late October. Oklahoma has losses to the Cyclones and Kansas State, in back-to-back weeks back around the start of the season. Those two being ahead of the Hoosiers is really surprising.
IU is without starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. for the rest of the year, but they just beat Wisconsin, which should help sell them a bit. In any case, they are very likely to receive the first Big Ten bowl bid if the Buckeyes make the College Football Playoff, so it will be a special year for the Hoosiers regardless. Bilas is right though, it does seem like they’re being underrated quite a bit here.