The wait is over. Following conference championship weekend in college football, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee let their voices be heard and announced the final four…
1- Clemson (12-1)
2- Oklahoma (12-1)
3- Georgia (12-1)
4- Alabama (11-1)
Just missed the cut…
5- Ohio State (11-2)
6- Wisconsin (12-1)
7- Auburn (10-3)
8- USC (11-2)
The committee was going to be in a lose/lose situation no matter what after Ohio State captured the Big 10 title. Had Wisconsin won, no controversy or debate. This is clear cut and dry. This makes two years in a row where a power five school that did not win their conference got an invitation to the biggest party of the year. Except last year, no one was too concerned that it was Penn State who was left out.
This ultimately boiled down to the reputation of Alabama. If this was an Ole Miss or Florida coming out of the SEC with the same resume and record, we wouldn’t be having this conversation because I don’t think the committee would have put anyone else in with the same resume. Hell, look at Wisconsin. The only loss was Ohio State. Meanwhile, Alabama lost to Auburn who finished 7th.
The whole reason for the committee was to evaluate schedules and who EARNED a birth into the College Football Playoff. According the playoff website, the committee is asked to evaluate based on four things…
- Championships won
- Strength of Schedule
- Head to Head Competition (If occurred)
- Comparative outcome of common opponents
Now during the selection show, the spokesperson for the committee kept repeating “we felt Alabama was the best team that deserved to be there.” However, no facts or claims as to why were ever really made. When asked if it had to do with past seasons and reputation, we heard the same answer. Meaning, it is exactly because of reputation.
Alabama Tale of the Tape
- No Conference Title
vs Florida State (6-6) W 24-10 *Neutral Site
vs Fresno State (9-4) W 41-10
vs Colorado State (7-5) W 41-23
@ Vanderbilt (5-7) W 59-0
vs Ole Miss (6-6) W 66-3
@ Texas A&M (7-5) W 27-19
vs Arkansas (4-8) W 41-9
vs Tennessee (4-8) W 45-7
vs LSU (9-3) W 24-10
@ Mississippi State (8-4) W 31-24
vs Mercer (5-6) W 56-0
@ Auburn (10-3) L 26-14
Alabama finishes the season competing against only three ranked opponents. LSU (17) who has three losses including one to Troy and they had them at home. Mississippi State (23) who finished with four losses including Ole Miss and clobberings by Auburn and Georgia. Auburn (7) is the last of the ranked teams and they won by two scores. So in reality, the only real tough game Bama had, they blew it. The strength of the schedule just wasn’t there. Alabama’s opponents had a combined a record of 80-65. Their opponents averaged a 6-5 record.
Ohio State Tale of the Tape
- Conference Champions
@ Indiana (5-7) W 49-21
vs Oklahoma (12-1) L 31-16
vs Army (8-3) W 38-7
vs UNLV (5-7) W 54-21
@ Rutgers (4-8) W 56-0
vs Maryland (4-8) W 62-14
@ Nebraska (4-8) W 56-14
vs Penn State (10-2) W 39-38
@ Iowa (7-5) L 55-24
vs Michigan State (9-3) W 48-3
vs Illinois (2-10) W 52-14
vs Michigan (8-4) W 31-20
vs Wisconsin (12-1) W 27-21 *Neutral Site
Obviously, the big knock on Ohio State was the massive loss to mediocre Iowa on the road. The other loss came to Oklahoma who is in the playoff, which most people aren’t knocking them for that one. I get that in college football, we like to think every week matters. But you can’t possibly tell me this team isn’t good because of a slip up. On the flip side, the biggest wins include Wisconsin (6), Penn State (9) and Michigan State (16). All of Michigan State’s losses came to top 25 opponents. That gives Ohio State two wins against top 10 opponents and three against top 25. The combined record of their opponents are 90-67. I understand that can be skewed because of Ohio State playing one more game. Even so, take away Wisconsin and you still have 78-66, which still averages out to 6-5. The same as Alabama.
Again, there is no other way to describe what happened with the committee other than emotion and clinging on to the past. They don’t have the quality wins nor the conference championship. Ultimately, I think Ohio State got screwed this year because it is Nick Saban and Alabama. Based on the criteria listed on the website of the College Football Playoff, all signs point to Ohio State.
Now, I know everyone will scream that Ohio State made it in last year over Penn State. In that case, they actually deserved it based on resume. They were left out of the Big 10 Championship despite having a better overall record than Penn State and same conference record, but lost the head to head. Penn State had a loss to (24) Pittsburgh and (6) Michigan. The quality wins came against Ohio State and Wisconsin in title game.
Meanwhile, Ohio State did not win the conference. However, they went to Norman and kicked the tires off (7) Oklahoma 45-24. They beat (8) Wisconsin on the road in OT 30-24. They took down (6) Michigan at home 30-27 in two OTs. That gave them three wins against top 10 opponents. Two of which were on the road.
Not the same as Alabama’s resume’ this year. I am not saying Alabama is not good. They are and they have Nick Saban. As long as he is around, they will always be in the hunt and good. But this was a golden opportunity to punish them for scheduling shit and the committee refused to do it. Ultimately, the committee set the precedent that the guidelines don’t matter and that emotions trumps all, which is what skeptics were worried about to begin with.
Here is What Needs To Happen
GAG ORDER ON COMMITTEE – First of all, just like courts sometimes rule. A gag order on the committee needs to happen in the weeks leading up to conference championship weekend. Stay off social media. Stay away from coverage so you can make a decision based on logic and not emotion. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that coaches can make their case for their team to the committee whether directly or indirectly.
NO PRESEASON RANKINGS – I hate that college football rankings come out before the season based on last year and recruiting. This has always been a big beef with me even though I think it is less of an issue now that computers aren’t deciding the title games. Nonetheless, people will still point to games like Florida State this year for Alabama and say they didn’t know Florida State was going to be bad. Sorry, that’s just the roll of the dice. Start the rankings during week 6. This gets the non-conference games out the way and also gives you a small taste of conference.
NO MORE NEUTRAL SITES – I like seeing one and one splits each year between the power five conferences. Oklahoma and Ohio State have both been relevant the past two years and I think it shows guts to say “you know, we will play on your turf if you play on ours.” That is the right way to do it.
CUT THE SHIT AND GO TO 8 TEAMS – I know I am taking the “controversy” out and “watering down” the regular season. Fuck it, I don’t care. Cut two games out the regular season which gives every team 10 games and an 11th for conference championship competitors. You take your winners of the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and Pac 12 and those are your seeds 1-5. Then you take three at large bids. Real fucking simple.
- (1) Clemson v (8) USC
- (4) Ohio State v (5) Alabama
- (3) Georgia v (6) Wisconsin
- (2) Oklahoma v (7) Auburn
This isn’t rocket science. Make it happen. We all know the NCAA is a bunch of scumbags who only care about making money. Here is how you do it. If you have a 9th team who is bitching, yeah sorry. Fuck off.