Talking to myself about the College Football Playoff:
Why did the selection committee include Alabama and exclude Ohio State?
Its technical staff determined that the tape of Iowa’s 55-24 blowout of Ohio State on Nov. 4 was not doctored.
Yeah, but Ohio State won its conference. Alabama not only did not win the SEC, it didn’t play in the championship game.
The Buckeyes were against this requirement until they were for it. Last year they reached the Playoff even though they failed to win their division. Penn State was the Big 10 champion and was left out. There’s only one true power-conference champ and that is Oklahoma, because the Big 12 teams all play each other. The other leagues are too big for that. USC didn’t play Washington and Georgia didn’t play Alabama. It’s the College Football Playoff, not the Playoff of Conference Champions.
What about Alabama’s poor schedule?
Ohio State and Alabama both scheduled one marquee non-conference game. Ohio State lost 31-16 at home to Oklahoma. Alabama beat Florida State 24-7 in Atlanta.
Didn’t Florida State finish with a 6-6 record?
It truly did. But it was ranked third at the time, and it still had quarterback Deondre Francois, who suffered a knee injury at the end of the Alabama loss. The fact FSU only had a freshman backup and also had a poor offensive line falls outside Alabama’s sphere of responsibility.
Weren’t the losses by Auburn and Fresno State last weekend supposed to damage Alabama’s chances?
Fortunately the committee didn’t get hung up on such trivia. Auburn’s 28-7 SEC title-game loss to Georgia, following Auburn’s 40-17 regular-season win over Georgia, had nothing to do with Alabama. If you saw the Tide’s win at Mississippi State on Nov. 11, you realize hardly anyone else would have survived that night in Starkville. The committee didn’t think Ohio State’s resume was even close to Alabama’s.
Why did the Iowa game carry so much weight? After all, it’s just one game.
It was one game but it was Ohio State’s second loss, and two losses are one more than one loss, and even athletic directors can understand that. And it was a horrible performance. Iowa had its moments during the season, but if you take its two games before Ohio State and its two games after, it scored a combined 56 points. You can’t play for a national championship if you lose by 31 to a team that ends up in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Didn’t Nick Saban say that only conference champions should be…