The College Football Playoff Committee had a great opportunity for themselves this year. It was mayhem from the start with cancellations, delays, and general asshattery. No matter how things shook out there would be asterisks all over the place this season.
Some teams did not play enough games which, to some people, meant their season didn’t really count. Most teams did not play OOC games, which meant the season didn’t really count for other people. If your team sucks, you could pretend the season didn’t count, which serves as a great excuse to justify anything. If your rival or a team you hate did well, you can proclaim they are hanging a banner in an asterisk year for them and giving them the ol…
THIS was the perfect year for a G5 to make the playoffs. None of it was going to count so why not, right? It was the perfect opportunity to throw the G5 kids a bone, let them get beat by Alabama, and then tell them to STFU. The CFP had two deserving, undefeated G5 teams that could make a strong case to be included in a playoff.
This is where the CFP pulled back the curtain to their massive charade. Rankings have always been completely arbitrary. In the past, there was some legitimacy to “strength of schedule” because there were inter-conference matchups where you could somewhat gauge the strength of a conference. You would have a small sample size but at least you could make the case.
This year, there was almost no out-of-conference play (to be fair, the Big 12 played some Sun Belt teams and got their asses handed to them). There was no real way to judge a conference’s strength other than the “eye test” and reputation.
That is where the red flags started popping up. Once the Big Ten and Pac-12 found the courage to play, Ohio State immediately jumped to #6 (with more first-place votes than Alabama), while Penn State was at #10, Oregon to #14, Wisconsin at #19, and Michigan at #23. These two conferences were un-canceled and all of a sudden about a half dozen schools get ranked without playing a single game? Not only that, they get to sit in the top 25 for a MONTH not playing a game.
You could already see that the fix was in and once again, college football is nothing more than a popularity contest. The perfect example: I mentioned the Big 12 played some OOC games. Iowa State lost at home to Louisiana, 31-14, and Kansas State lost at home to Arkansas State. Yet somehow in week 9 of the AP Poll, K-State sat at #16 and Iowa State was #23. What? Luckily for the league, the CFP “experts” deemed Iowa State worthy of the #6 ranking going into the last week of the season.
All along the way, you have Cincinnati, BYU, and Coastal Carolina running the table. How did Coastal get rewarded for beating a top 10 team? The CFP moved them from #18 to #15.
So here we sit at the end of the road with Alabama and Clemson in the top 2 spots. Fine. At #3 you have Notre Dame, who was handled by Clemson (now that Trevor Lawrence is back), and at #4 is Ohio State, fresh off being awarded a conference championship berth thanks to numerous rule changes put forward to benefit them.
And you have Cincinnati and Coastal undefeated and far outside the conversation.
The CFP had the perfect opportunity to award a playoff spot to one of the G5s who have earned it. The only two reasons they didn’t are bogus “strength of schedule” and “eye test” metrics. Strength of schedule is BS because none of the P5 played OOC games except the one league that got dominated by the Sun Belt. The “eye test” is also BS because, like SoS, it is all based on reputation. Hats off to Ohio State for beating two teams with a winning record. Those two teams – Northwestern and Indiana – combined to beat one team with a winning record. That’s the eye test?