The College Football Playoff Committee Got it Wrong, and Not Because of Florida State

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NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

The College Football Playoff Committee Got it Wrong, and Not Because of Florida State

Let’s start off with the obvious.

You might be asking yourself, “Hey, why is a senior wrestling writer for a Penn State website offering his take on the final College Football Playoff rankings?”

The answer is simple; because the committee completely whiffed on this year’s selection and their final outcome is egregious at best, and plain idiotic at worst, and I feel the need to say something about it.

Throughout the history of college football, the NCAA has never had a great way of determining its national champion.

Actually, let me back that up.

They’ve never even had a “good” way of determining its national champion.

The pre-BCS era was garbage because the top two teams rarely met in their respective bowl games due to conference tie-ins.

Then, the BCS tried to pick a whopping two teams out of 120+ teams to set up the championship game.

The next step in the evolution was the College Football Playoff, which would have a four-team playoff. What could go wrong when you have five power conferences and only four spots?

I mean, who could have foreseen an issue in this?

Cue some wise words from Spencer Hall:
“Let me teach you a lesson about America, in general. It’s always been stupid. We’ve always done the dumb, wrong thing. We do the dumb, wrong thing until there are no other options and then we do a slightly less dumb option and a slightly less wrong one. College football is America.”

Which now brings us back to the most recent selection by the omniscient CFP committee.

From the way I looked at things, there were only two possible outcomes that would make sense. And these outcomes would derive from whether or not you were looking through the “most deserving” lens or the “best football teams” lens.

Starting with the “most deserving” lens, the teams based on what they did on the field this season would be the following:

1. Michigan
2. Washington
3. Texas
4. Florida State

5. Alabama
6. Georgia

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This is exactly how the top three times played out in real-time during the selection show.

But, then the words “Alabama” flashed on the screen sitting at number four, and the loud groans from Michigan’s team during their watch party told you everything you needed to know.

This is where I have a massive issue with the selection, because if you were going to select one SEC team to make the playoff, then you had to select the other one.

Because in the end, the only job the CFP committee has is to select the four best teams in the country. And if you’re going to say a three-point win from the No. 8 team against the No. 1 team means they proved their worth to be in the Playoff (Alabama moved up four spots), then it makes zero sense to drop Georgia down five slots.

Let me get this straight, a team that was ranked No. 8 for all five weeks in the playoff rankings narrowly beats a team that was ranked No. 2 for two weeks and No. 1 for the remaining three weeks, and the No. 8 team moves up four spots and the No. 1 team drops five spots? In what world does this have any logic to it? Because you can’t prop one team up for a win and then simultaneously punish the team they beat for losing. That’s not how that works.

How College Football Playoff Should have Looked

So, now let’s look at what the rankings should have been based on looking through the “best teams” lens:

1. Michigan
2. Washington
3. Alabama
4. Georgia

5. Texas
6. Florida State

As I just said, the only job the CFP committee has is to select the best teams.

So, which of the above teams would be favored against either Alabama or Georgia on a neutral field?

Michigan, and that’s probably it.

Yes, I realize Texas did beat Alabama by 10 points earlier in the year, but this a completely different Crimson Tide team than the one who took the field in week two.

Here’s another factor to look at too. Do you remember what happened last year leading up to the final playoff selection? If not, then let me refresh your memory. The No. 3 ranked team lost to the No. 10 ranked team in their conference championship. And that win by the No. 10 ranked team was so huge, they moved up an incredible one spot.

One. Spot.

What about the team that was ranked at No. 3? They should have fallen to No. 7, or No. 8, or logically behind the team who just beat them, right?

But, instead, miraculously, they remained at No. 3 and they (TCU) went on to beat Michigan in the opening round of the playoffs.

Do you know how many times since 2000 a top five team lost a game at any point in the season and didn’t fall in the rankings?

Zero.

And I honestly didn’t have any issues with the committee’s decision last year to keep TCU in. Because they appeared to be one of the top four teams in the country. So great, the precedent had been set.

But try to explain that juxtaposed with what happened this year. You can’t. Logic and rationale was just thrown out of the window, run over by a dump truck, and then set on fire.

Instead of going with the “most deserving” or the “best teams” model, the committee chose option “C” which shouldn’t have even been an option to begin with.

With the “most deserving” lens the playoff committee couldn’t possibly live to see four teams in the playoff that didn’t include an SEC team. *clutching pearls* Oh the humanity!

And they didn’t want to piss off an incoming SEC team who wasn’t one of the top four teams in the nation by leaving them out. Besides, Georgia has won the national title the last two years. They wouldn’t mind being left out, right?

Whatever.

So they left out Georgia and Florida State.

As for Florida State, I have no issues in leaving them out because they are not the same team without Jordan Travis. And yes, I do understand football is a team sport, but when you’re missing your best player at the most important position in all of sports, then that means something to the team. It also means something to me that you had to run the wildcat numerous times just to move the ball down the field in your 16-6 win (I think that was football being played) against Louisville in the ACC Championship.

Oh, and does anyone remember the initial playoff group in 2014?

Well, if you do, then you certainly remember there was a team that was a conference champion, had a perfect record, but was without a doubt not one of the top four teams in the nation.

This team slid by a terrible Miami (6-7) team by four points, escaped with a three-point home win against a mediocre Boston College (7-6), and then pulled out a miracle against a middling Florida (7-5) team.

Then this team that somehow slithered their way into the playoff got shellacked 59-20 to Oregon in the first round. Which was not surprising.

Does Anyone remember who this team was? Yep, it was Florida State.

Both TCU and Baylor had legitimate arguments to make the playoff that year and I guarantee neither of them would have lost by 39 points to Oregon.

So let’s just call it even Seminole fans. You got in when you shouldn’t have and now you were left out depending on which metric you want to use.

To sum up this long, ranting diatribe, an expanded playoff system couldn’t get here soon enough.

The 12-Team Playoff Arrives a Year Too Late

Are 12 teams possibly too many? I mean, maybe, but I would rather have 12 than four.

Especially when you have guys like Boo Corrigan and Chet Gladchuk in charge of hand-selecting only four teams out of 133.

“But could you imagine if the 12-team playoffs started this year?”

Hey, I’m glad you asked that, because let’s take a look at what I would have slapped together if I was in charge this year:

1. Michigan
2. Washington
3. Alabama
4. Georgia
5. Texas
6. Florida State
7. Ohio State
8. Oregon
9. Penn State
10. Missouri
11. Ole Miss
12. Oklahoma

First Round
No. 12 Oklahoma @ No. 5 Texas
No. 11 Ole Miss @ No. 6 Florida State
No. 10 Missouri @ No. 7 Ohio State
No. 9 Penn State @ No. 8 Oregon

In the first-round, you have the Red River Rivalry Vol II, an interesting matchup between Ole Miss and Florida State, a future B1G tilt between Penn State and Oregon, and another intriguing matchup between Missouri and Ohio State.

Second Round
No. 8 Oregon @ No. 1 Michigan
No. 11 Ole Miss @ No. 2 Washington
No. 7 Ohio State @ No. 3 Alabama
No. 12 Oklahoma @ No. 4 Georgia

As you can clearly see, I do not have Penn State going to Eugene and winning against this year’s Ducks.

I may be crazy at times but I just don’t see this happening. Even hypothetically.

Semifinals
No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 1 Michigan
No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 2 Washington

And here we have the four best teams in the nation.

Weird how that lines up with the four best teams that should be in the playoffs. And it’s also weird that I would think that’s weird considering I’m the one who’s writing this article and I’m the one who’s making the decisions.

Moving on …

Finals
No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 3 Alabama

Winner – Georgia

So there you have it folks.

If this year’s playoff field was expanded to 12 teams, then my predicted champion would have won their third national title in a row.

But as it stands in real life, this team won’t get a chance to even compete for a title.

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Chris Snyder
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