In the initial CFP rankings, the committee rewarded Texas A&M for its more arduous schedule, but the Huskies will assuredly change minds if they complete an undefeated season as Pac-12 champions.

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Outrage. Absurdity.

An affront to justice and a middle digit to the Pac-12.

These were among the locals’ reactions when Washington was slotted fifth in the College Football Playoff Committee’s initial rankings Tuesday.

But before you break out the torches and pitchforks, consider the following points.

1. The committee was 100 percent right in its decision.

2. The Huskies have a 100 percent chance of making the playoff if they win out.

Here’s a quick recap in case you missed the news.

Tuesday afternoon, the selection committee deemed that, if the season ended today, Alabama (8-0) would be the top seed in the four-team CFP Playoff, Clemson (8-0) would be the second, and Michigan (8-0) would be the third. Pretty tough to argue considering Clemson and Michigan have two wins over top-25 opponents and ’Bama is, well, ’Bama.

However, chaos ensued when Texas A&M (7-1) was ranked fourth and Washington (8-0) fifth. How can an undefeated team from a Power 5 conference be leapfrogged? squawked the masses.

Actually, there’s a few reasons why.

The first is that A&M has proven more at this point. According to the Sagarin ratings, the Aggies — whose only loss is to Alabama — have had the 23rd toughest schedule in the nation. The Huskies, meanwhile, rank 69th in that department. For context, Boise State had the 67th hardest schedule — and there’s no way the Broncos would have cracked the top four had they stayed unbeaten Saturday.

You can argue that Washington can’t control the quality of its Pac-12 opponents, but its nonconference schedule was pure comedy. Which leads to the second reason the committee was justified in its ranking — it sends the message that teams must seek out high-quality foes.

Schools may not always know how good an opponent will be when they schedule one years in advance, but A&M had to think UCLA could be decent when it put the Bruins on its 2016 slate. However, it is unlikely that Washington thought too highly of Rutgers, which has finished in the AP Top 25 twice in the past 53 years.

Some writers have hypothesized that the selection committee was trying to grab attention with its rankings, and that might be true to a certain extent. But it wasn’t an attention-grab for the sake of reality-show-like intrigue — it was a grab that hammered home what it looked for in a team’s resume.

Had committee members rewarded the Huskies’ cupcake model (their nonconference schedule was ranked 91st in the country) it might have encouraged other programs to follow suit. By ranking UW fifth, however, it made clear that such an approach was frowned upon. It also alerted Washington to the fact that it had no margin for error. And it’s best to make it clear early that if the Dawgs lose a game, just about every quality one-loss team will jump them.

So with all that said, is there any good news to be found? Absolutely.

Going forward, the Huskies have the 14th toughest schedule in the country compared to Texas A&M’s 40th. UW also has a chance to play for a conference championship, which A&M does not.

The latter will carry weight with the committee if for no other reason than self-preservation. Could you imagine an undefeated Pac-12 champion being excluded from the Top 4? The committee would join the ranks of sports’ all-time laughingstocks if it did so, and its members know it.

No, what happened Tuesday was a friendly reminder to the public that teams that challenge themselves get rewarded. It was also a not-so-subtle warning to Washington that wiggle room is nonexistent from here until season’s end.

So while it might have been the cause for anger, frustration and disbelief, the committee’s ranking shouldn’t be cause for concern. The Huskies will be in the playoff if they win out.

One-hundred percent guaranteed.