CFB Playoff Report: Year One
December 8th, 2014 by Justin Thomas
We are officially one year in to the new college football playoff system with its new committee, and one thing is very clear…clarity is much needed!
Going into the final week of the college football regular season, the rankings had 10-1 TCU at number 3, 12-0 Florida State at number 4, 11-1 Ohio State at number 5, and 10-1 Baylor at number 6.
All 5 teams won their last game of the season, however the kicker in this whole situation is that TCU and Baylor’s final games didn’t include a conference championship game due to the fact that it doesn’t exist in the BIG 12.
The final rankings completely shafted the BIG 12 Conference, as TCU and Baylor were bumped back to the 6 and 5 spot respectively, leaving them on the outside looking in to number 3 Florida State and number 4 Ohio State.
While you can’t argue with Ohio State’s resume, dealing with adversity in a tough conference and walloping Wisconsin 59-0 in the BIG 10 Conference Championship game, nor fault Florida State for ending the season with a 13-0 record, you can’t help but question how the BIG 12 was entirely bumped out of the mix despite boasting conference co-champions that stand at the top of college football.
Players, coaches, students and staff members from both TCU and Baylor banded together on social media to showcase their displeasure with the selection committee’s final decision, with BIG 12 commissioner Bob Bowslby adding, “We’re smarting today.”
TCU head coach Gary Patterson took the high road, stating, “It’s one of those things if you didn’t want to be disappointed you need to be undefeated. It’s the only way you can control your own destiny and we didn’t do that.”
It seems that the committee put a lot of weight on the conference championship games, which left TCU and Baylor with the short end of the stick, seeing as the BIG 12 cannot field a conference championship with a 10-team conference, due to NCAA rules.
And if strength of schedule is being considered, that number is determined based on preseason rankings which are nothing but guesses based on a past team. Therefore, Florida State’s current Power Index ranking of 10 after including their strength of schedule needs to be addressed.
I’m not trying to take away anything from Florida State’s 13-0 record, however it makes logical sense that if two teams win a conference that is significantly stronger than the ACC, they should receive a chance as well. The average Florida State opponent this season, a season in which they struggled to pull off wins that should have been guaranteed, finished with a .507 win percentage, meaning that their schedule, by definition, consisted of mediocrity that they struggled with.
Regardless, College Football Playoff selection committee chairman, Jeff Long, stands by his and his committee’s decision, adding, “I think that the committee will look at this year, look at this season, look how the entire process went.”
In my opinion, this new system still leaves much to be desired, therefore year one of the College Football Playoff gets an F from this sports reporter.
Alabama will face Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and Oregon will play Florida State Rose Bowl, all on New Year’s Day to kick off the playoff.