3 Really Good Points about the College Football Playoff
As someone who is highly involved in sports, the playoff rankings each week is a huge fun mess. ESPN is quite smart as they release the rankings on Tuesdays, the slowest sports night of the week. That gives everyone something to talk about Wednesday and Thursday, until the games are ready to start for that weekend.
I like the idea, but I think 8 teams are needed. We will come back to that.
With the current system in place, I hope they pick the best 4 teams in college football. And, having said that, if Florida State goes undefeated, they need to be in. They are the defending champions and haven't lost in two years. I believe that until you lose in college football, you are the champion, and the champion is the champion until someone dethrones them. The rest of it is pretty muddled. There are some scenarios out there that can mess everything up. The first scenario is that every team in the top 7 win out. None of them play each other and therefore there could be 6 teams with 1 loss and one undefeated team. That means the committee will be picking the final four with no easy choices because everyone just kept winning.
And with that scenario in mind, lets look at Alabama and Miss St. They both have one loss, they both have an excellent resume, and the game they played against each other was close. Was it as close as the score, no, but it ended as a 5 point game. So now Alabama gets to play in the SEC championship game. What a treat. Alabama, who is in the top 4, get the privilege of playing an extra game against Georgia, the 10th ranked team in the country, just to keep their spot in the final four. Georgia is an excellent team and there is no benefit for Alabama to even play in this game. They are already in. And they are #1 which means not having to play would not knock them out of it. So a team like Miss St sits on the sideline and may sneak in as one of the teams ahead of them or more than one team may lose in a conference championship game. So if Alabama loses by a 2 pt conversion in the 4th overtime vs Georgia, they would have 2 losses. Does that mean they fall below Miss St. who didn't even qualify to play in that game? But how do u say that a 2 loss Alabama team gets in over a one loss Miss St, or one loss Ohio St. or a one loss TCU?
Seamless transition to TCU. They win vs Kansas on the road and they drop out of the top 4. Why? Because Kansas isn't that good. They WON. They WON on the road. And that isn't good enough for the committee. I have a couple really good points to make and this is one of them.
Really Good Point #1 Winning on the road in conference is hard. Really hard. Ask Ohio State. Ask Arizona State. Ask Miss. St. Ask Alabama at Tennessee or Arkansas. The coaches know the other coaches and their system. They know their players as they have played them every year and probably recruited them since early in high school. And the biggest factor....its their Superbowl or championship game. When a top ranked team comes into your home and you have nothing else to play for, your fans get geeked and the players give the best possible effort. Remember the atmosphere when Alabama visited Ole Miss. Or this weekend when Alabama hosted Miss. St. The crowd and the home stadium mean everything to 18-22 year olds. So what the committee has taught us this week is that you must win your games convincingly. You must try and run up the score on people so it looks like you are way better than them. Jimbo Fisher has said few things right this year but he did say that he will not try to run up the score. If the game is tight and he needs to play field position and kick field goals to win the game, he will do that and not take unnecessary risks to run up the score and impress the committee. And it seems now as if that is what they want.
Really Good Point #2 The committee is verbally telling us that scheduling and resume is important, but it is showing us that it is not. Ohio State comes to mind. They are one of the best teams in the country and and are playing very well right now. The score was not indicative of their game vs Minnesota. They had a 17 point lead and muffed a punt inside the 10 in the 4th quarter which changed the game. They were in control and could have punted their way to a double digit victory. And they moved up. And had they not lost to Virginia Tech in week 2, they would be in the top 4 right now. Their schedule is crap, they have beaten one good team, Mich St. and they are sitting at 7. They barely beat a couple of below average teams (yes on the road i know) and may sneak into the top 4 if they win the big 10 championship game. So had they played some small school in week 2 and won by 60, tell me how they wouldn't be only 3 spots higher being undefeated? We all know they would be. I believe if any of the teams in the top 10 were undefeated they would be in the top 4. Again look at Florida State. All anyone talks about is that if they lose they are out because their schedule is so weak. So by winning against weak teams they get a pass? That doesn't make sense. Granted, I said above they should be in because they are the reigning champs, but all it does is tell college football that if your schedule is ok, you play in a power 5 and go undefeated, you are in.
Really Good Point #3 Teams aren't that good BECAUSE you beat them. Every day I listen to sports talk and they say well you beat this team who was top 10 at the time, but now we see they aren't that good. That is because we beat them. The reason they aren't that good anymore is because we are good and we beat them, and we provided a game plan and a rubric on how to beat this team. And then they were less motivated because WE beat them. And then someone else beat them. And now two months later we think they aren't good. That doesn't mean that wasn't a hell of a win then. Two examples, from the reverse perspective. Opening game of the NFL season Seattle trounced Green Bay. Everyone went ok, Green Bay isn't that good. Just a win for Seattle. If you said now, "Wow Seattle beat Green Bay week 1 that is a great win on their resume." You would say no chance. Just because they are really good now, doesn't mean that was a win vs a quality opponent then. Same with the KC blowout over New England. You say wow KC must be good to blow out what people consider the best team in the NFL right now. Well they weren't the best team then. I think the same applies to the opposite. When people look at Miss. St.'s win over Auburn when they were ranked #3 (I believe) and say well now they aren't that good so its not that great of a win. Well yes it is. They were undefeated at the time, beat some quality opponents, and were ranked in the top 5. And had they beaten Miss St. they would have been 8-0 going into the A&M game, would probably have won it, and would have been sitting at #1. So the fact that Miss. St. beat them at the time they were playing their best football means it was a quality win, even if they aren't playing their best football now.
Finally. I think they should go to 8 teams. I know we aren't even through one season at 4 yet and I know then #9 will complain like Dick Vitale does about #68 or whatever number now doesn't make the basketball tournament. But there are so many teams that have a legitimate argument to be in it that someone who deserves to be in based on comparable data will not make it. And of those 8 teams who would make it, if we were talking this year, I think 1-7 could win the whole thing. As they sit now, I don't think Ole Miss could win it, but I think any of those other teams could. People have mentioned the winners of the power 5 and then the next 3 teams should get in an 8. I think that is stupid. The best 8 teams should get in. Just like the NBA playoffs where 5-8 in the East would be 10-13 in the West. Doesn't make any sense. So make it right.
And finally, what if Alabama , Oregon, and Florida State all lose in their conference championship. Baylor loses, TCU loses, and Ohio State loses to Michigan and then beats Wisconsin.
Lets see it would be #1 Miss St. #2. Ole Miss #3 UCLA and #4 K state. What a shit show. I really hope it happens.
PS. UCLA is the most overrated team in college football, and maybe in America.