Wednesday, November 2, 2016

College Football: Takeaways from the first CFP Committee Top 25

First things first:

Until you get to the final rankings, the CFP Top 25 is a rather useless attempt at attention-seeking by the CFP Committee who are trying to manufacture conversation in a sport that really doesn't need the help.  While the College Football Playoff is an improvement over the B(C)S, the weekly dog-and-pony show that is the CFP Top 25 is not.

Second, where the initial CFP rankings DO provide some insight is into the minds of the CFP committee for the current year. It lets us know who they value (or undervalue) and where their irrational biases are going to lie in the coming year.  After the first set of rankings, we know a few things.

 1. It really is Alabama and everyone else. It's so bad that a 20 point loss to Alabama isn't treated as a loss at all to the committee. See aTm at number 4 over what many people think is a better Washington team at number 5.

 2. The committee hears the "S-E-C!!" chants. It really is the saddest chant in the world. Basically it's every other school screaming "We're living vicariously off of Alabama's glory!" but it's a thing now and the committee obviously agrees. Case in point: Auburn's best win is over an Ole Miss team that we only think is good because of one solid half against Alabama (see point 1) yet they're ranked #9.

3. For some schools, the eye test doesn't matter. Michigan has looked much better than Clemson, but the latter is #2. The reason for this is because Clemson's schedule, to date, has been much tougher than Big Blue's.

4. Beating Ohio State is viewed VERY favorably. How else do you justify putting a pedestrian Penn State team at #9?  Outside of that, they've been drilled by every good team they've played.

5. It's better to be a middling Power 5 team than an excellent Group of 5 team. Florida State (5-3) has lost to every good team that it's played. Yet they are ranked one spot above undefeated Western Michigan. Based on this criteria, had Houston stayed unbeaten, they would have been ranked somewhere around 16, even IF they beat Louisville.

6. On that note, the system is hopelessly flawed and always will be. There is no group of 5 representation on the committee, a committee whose sole purpose is to ensure the top conferences, outside of the token NY Six bowl bid for the top ranked G5 conference champ, have a hammer-lock on the CFP.

7. The rankings, are a success. I'm not the only one talking about it. College Football is going mad over the items above and so are all of the media/talking heads.  This will be the last time I mention it until the final poll however. I'm going to let the games play out and not worry about what some insulated panel of football Courtesans think about who the best teams are.

8. Until we get to a system where either every conference champion gets a slot (with two at large) or we move to 4-16 team super-conferences who break away fully from the NCAA we're going to have this mess. It will be best to just watch the games and enjoy college football for the show it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Policy:Any comment containing profanity or presonal attacks will be disallowed. Repeated violations will get you marked as SPAM. Real name is preferred, fake names will be carefully considered before being allowed. If your on-line moniker is so widely known as to be a clear identifier, that's OK too. If your comment doesn't appear, give it some time. I do have a day job.

Sports Section