Sports

CFP’s ranking fails to rankle focused Huskies

UW’s Dante Pettis, left, is all focus as he returns a punt 58 yards for the winning touchdown against Utah last weekend. He isn’t so focused on the first CFP ranking.
UW’s Dante Pettis, left, is all focus as he returns a punt 58 yards for the winning touchdown against Utah last weekend. He isn’t so focused on the first CFP ranking. The Associated Press

Dante Pettis needed a reminder as he discussed Washington’s placement at No. 5 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, a development that surprised many and outraged some.

“I was just like, ‘Oh, OK,’ ” the junior wide receiver said before asking: “Who jumped us?”

It was Texas A&M, he was told.

“Yeah,” Pettis said. “I didn’t know they were that close to us in the rankings or whatever. I don’t really pay much attention to that at all. I don’t know who is where. I was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know they were having that good of a season.’ I was a little shocked, (but) I can’t really pay that much attention to it.”

That was the general theme from other Washington players and coaches when asked about the rankings. While analysts and fans stew over the inclusion of one-loss Texas A&M in the top four ahead of unbeaten Washington – a decision made by the CFP committee based on the Aggies’ tougher schedule – the Huskies don’t seem to care all that much, at least outwardly.

Junior linebacker Keishawn Bierria said Tuesday morning he didn’t even plan to watch the CFP announcement show on ESPN. Offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith said Wednesday, “I wasn’t even aware of it. These guys, talking to a few of them, weren’t really aware of it.”

Surely, the players discuss their playoff chances behind closed doors. Bierria said as much Tuesday. But they say their focus remains on Saturday’s game at Cal.

“Honestly, right now, there’s what, five more weeks?” Pettis said. “And the rankings at the end of the season are what matter. If we handle our business and keep getting wins, that’s all we can do.”

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