So unless you don’t like college football or don’t like sports at all, you probably had an opinion about the first rankings of the College Football Playoff Rankings (CFPR). If you live in South Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio or Alabama, then you were very pleased with the rankings. I am sure there was some grumblings in Ohio, but overall agreement that it could be a good reflection. So what did we learn about the group selecting the teams. Here are some observations about them:
- They pay way to much attention to the AP 25 while ignoring it simultaneously. To place Alabama in the top four and Norte Dame knocking on the door is acknowledging that AP Top 25 rankings have meaning. They based it on who Alabama and Norte Dame have played and beaten or lost to. This would be fine way to look at it, but here is where it gets a bit screwy. Currently Alabama has beaten only one team ranked in the AP top 25. They also have a loss to one team in the Top 25 at home. So it is my estimate that they acknowledged the Top 25 rankings prior to this week and then ignored the rankings with other teams like Michigan State. Michigan State has beaten Oregon and Michigan both in the Top 25 and has 0 losses. So why are they not in the playoff picture? Why are they not at least knocking on the door? Because the committee chose to ignore the rankings when it came to Michigan State. Hey committee, you can’t have it both ways for certain teams. Please stay consistent.
- The second thing that was demonstrated was there was a learning curve from last year. This is clearly demonstrated by dropping Ohio State down to third instead of keeping them at #1. Last year Florida State, the reigning champs, held onto the number one spot all year because, they were the reigning champs and undefeated. Even though they were barely winning games on last second plays to lesser team. This year, Ohio State is following that exact same formula, but they got dropped down to the 3rd. The committee learned something and applied it. However, last year the SEC went 2-4 against ranked bowl opponents and their top three SEC teams all lost in the bowl last year. While the Big 10 went 5-5 and its top three teams all won. So what happens right out of the gate, two SEC teams are in the top 4, one Big 10 team and one ACC team. Once again, excluding a Michigan State team and two Big 12 teams.
- Third and final point, can we acknowledge that someone in the Big 12 peed in the committees Cheerios? And I think I know who that is. Texas screwed the whole system up in the Big 12. When they threaten to jump conferences or go independent, the Big 12 caved and gave them a bulk share of the revenue that is split between the conference teams. They got their own TV channel and no one had the foresight to remember that everything is circular in sports. You can be good for so long, but then you come back down. In the case of Texas, they cashed in at the right time because they came crashing down. Now the Big 12 doesn’t want to add any more teams to the conference because that means more revenue sharing and the committee is saying get a conference big enough to have a title game or we will faze you out every season. Texas has signal handily torpedoed the Big 12.
Basically at the end of the day, the first round of rankings doesn’t mean much, but it does show one thing. That the committee has really no rhyme or reason for ranking teams. They will use and ignore the same rule to their advantage and you are guaranteed one thing. A two loss SEC team will jump over any one loss or even undefeated team. And the Big 12 will not have a team in the playoffs again this year. Thanks for reading.