Monday, November 10, 2014

College Football Playoff: Alabama will be in EVERYONE's top 4 Tuesday, here's why they shouldn't be.

Go 'Bama. Roll Tide!

All of the College Football nation is gushing over the Tide again, fresh off of their 20-13 Overtime win over the LSU Tigers in Death Valley Saturday and it's already being treated as a given that Alabama will regain their rightful place inside the top 4 in tomorrow's CFP Top 25.

This would keep the SEC at two teams in the top 4 which, again, everyone seems to believe is the rightful order of things.  According to the guesses that I've seen, the following will be the updated Top 10: (Bolded are playoff Top 4 as of now)

1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Alabama
4. Oregon
5. TCU
6. Baylor
7. Arizona State
8. Ohio State
9. Auburn
10. Ole Miss

I disagree. In fact, had I a vote in matters I'd rank as follows.

1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Oregon
4. TCU
5. Baylor
6. Arizona State
7. Alabama
8. Ohio State
9. Auburn
10. (tie) Ole Miss & Duke

A few points about how I got to this ranking order:

1. Miss State is still the best team in the country until beaten. Their body of work is the best in the Nation.

2. Florida State is the defending champion and, until beaten, cannot be excluded from any playoff system despite competing in a diminished ACC this year.

3. Oregon's loss to Arizona is looking worse and worse, but there's no denying the Ducks are playing at the top of their game right now. Clearly one of the top 3 in the country.

4. Yes, Baylor beat TCU but, since then, the Horned Frogs have been on a roll destroying some very good teams.  I argue that Saturday's dismantling of K-State is a much more impressive win than was Alabama's escape over LSU. (As a matter of fact, on a neutral field I'm willing to bet LSU/K-State would be pretty close to a pick 'em game.)

5. That loss to West Virginia is a puzzler, and the relatively weak schedule (and the fact that the TCU win over Minnesota is looking better every week) puts them behind the Frogs at this time.

6. Sparky might end up with the best loss of all the teams as UCLA seems to be understanding things late.  The win over ND was nothing short of domination.

7. The loss to Ole Miss is looking worse and worse, and a close win over LSU is not the great thing many are saying.  Look up and down Alabama's schedule, where's the signature "top 4" win?  I guess you could say aTm, who's looking much better all of the sudden, but I still don't think it's better than TCU's win over K-State, Baylor's thrashing of the Sooners or Sparky's win over ND.

8. That loss to Va Tech is going to be an anchor around them, but the win over Mich State helps some. The problem could be that Sparty is not really as good as we've supposed against anything other than blah B1G competition.

9. The loss to Aggie has me questioning this, but I don't see much behind them that would cause me to drop them lower.

10. Ole Miss: They're probably in free-fall right now, but I think they hold on until, at least, the Egg Bowl where they could play a major spoiler role.

10. Duke: Think about this: Is the Miami loss any worse than Ohio State's loss to VaTech? I don't think so. In many ways I think it's better. And if you're not going to take off from Florida State for the ACC then it's not fair to do so for the Blue Devils.

One problem we're seeing with the CFP is that there's still a large dose of SEC bias. This is happening despite a considerable amount of evidence that the conference as a whole is flawed this year. If anything, this could be the year that the Pac-12 deserves the title of "best" in the place of the SEC.  What the Pac-12 is lacking, of course is a broadcast network solely devoted to it's promotion (CBS) and ESPN having a huge financial stake in the success of the SEC Network.

The Pac-12 has Fox, and given their dismal record of college sports that's just not going to be enough to overcome the opinion-making of CBS and ABC.  It's just not.

The Big XII and the ACC are just spinning their wheels, playing the hype game at a level that is far inferior to the Big 2, and the B1G itself is just in shambles right now.  As for the state of Power 5 Conference football?

It's suffering as well.

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