What HAVE we learned today? The College Football Playoff Selection Committee revealed its bracket this morning, and the result? What you expected. And also what you probably dreaded...
The CFB Playoff: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) December 7, 2014
Yup. This is the BCS, make no mistake about it. Different name. A few different bowl games added. Plus a committee, too. But this is the same exact thing that we had and complained about before. And that's not to take away from any of top four teams -- Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State. But to attack the process by which they were selected. As you'll probably recall, last week's rankings were as follows:
1. Alabama, 2. Oregon, 3. TCU, 4. Florida State, 5. Ohio State, 6. Baylor
Those teams all won their respective games this Friday/Saturday. So for the most part, you'd think those would stay as-is, since no one did anything to "hurt" themselves. Nope. The Horned Frogs, a questionable no. 3 a week ago, but no. 3 nonetheless, dropped a full three spots to no. 6 despite winning by 52 against Iowa State. Baylor beat a top-10 Kansas State team, yet also couldn't get themselves in. Ohio State did what they were supposed to do in beating Wisconsin, but what did TCU do to lose their spot in the Playoff. Nothing, apparently, according to Committee Speaker Jeff Long.
WHAT IS THIS SYSTEM?!
The problem is we don't know. As SI's Pete Thamel pointed out, there were no rules, really. And the weekly rankings -- controversial and ratings-based at best -- were the worst part. Whether they arrived at the proper conclusion or not, the Committee screwed themselves by putting TCU third in the second-to-last week. So by simple logic, they're in, right? Wrong, now, obviously. And walking out Long, who's never made much sense and contradicted himself weekly, was their biggest mistake. But some other issues I, and maybe you, might have:
- Kirk Herbstreit's open campaigning for Ohio State, his alma mater, in recent weeks. Ignoring less-than-great performances against Indiana and Michigan, he continued to toot their horn and fight for their inclusion. Following an absolute demolition of Wisconsin yesterday, mission accomplished. Oh, and nevermind that Ohio State lost to Virginia Tech by 14, at home.
- Notice the names up top: bluebloods Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State, plus cash-flush Oregon who's been at the top so long now, we almost forget they used to be a moribund program. Non-"name brands" Baylor and TCU were tossed despite winning their final games. One reason the BCS irked fans was because it played up name brands and ratings over the "best" teams. Looks like the same thing just happened here. Again.
- The Big 12 was penalized for not having a conference title game, plain and simple. Now, I think that league should have a title game. But going into this arrangement, it was known that the Big 12 did not, so how can you hurt them for that fact (which again, you already knew)?
- The Big 12 also screwed up, with this "one true champion" mantra. They hedged their bets and failed. SB Nation's Our Daily Bears details those issues further. You may see some Big 12 expansion talk ASAP...
So congrats to the teams selected (especially our conference-mates, the 'Noles). But let's not lose sight of how nonsensical this entire process was. It's college football, though. So nothing changes, even if it may appear to on paper.