We enter a new era on MNC Wednesday today as the College Football Playoff began with the 2014 season, and it opens up a few cans of worms for us in this analysis. With the added semifinal game, we have extra results to sift through, and it will cause some problems. But we will work with what we are given, each year from here on out to the 2020 season.
Just don’t expect any improved transparency from the sport’s power brokers …
The 2014 MNC: Surprisingly simple, although unsatisfying still
Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Ohio State (14-1): Won CFP Bowl, 42-20
2. Oregon (13-2): Lost CFP Bowl, 42-20
3. TCU (12-1): Won Peach Bowl, 42-3
4. Alabama (12-2): Lost Sugar Bowl, 35-42
5t. Florida State (13-1): Lost Rose Bowl, 20-59
5t. Michigan State (11-2): Won Cotton Bowl, 42-41
7. Baylor (11-2): Lost Cotton Bowl, 41-42
8. Georgia Tech (11-3): Won Orange Bowl, 49-34
9. Georgia (10-3): Won Belk Bowl, 37-14
10. UCLA (10-3): Won Alamo Bowl, 40-35
The Buckeyes won the B1G, and the CFP itself took care of three other Power 5 conference champions, so you can see the dilemma here we will face each year from here on out. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs did not win the Big XII; the Bears did based on a head-to-head victory over TCU, and they lost the Cotton Bowl (in spectacular fashion, no less) to B1G also-ran Michigan State.
This puts us in a funny space where we may not have any other teams to consider here. The Marshall Thundering Herd posted a 13-1 record with a Conference USA championship and a bowl win, so we can “consider” them, although we know where that will end up. The Boise State Broncos finished 12-2 with a Mountain West title and a Fiesta Bowl win, as well.
That’s it, however, and it leaves us with just 3 teams to scrutinize more closely this time out. These are the respective SOS ratings for our “top” teams, after applying the analyses above:
- Ohio State: 15 Division I-A opponents, 5.17 SOS rating, 17th of 128
- Marshall: 13 Division I-A opponents, -5.80 SOS rating, 109th
- Boise State: 14 Division I-A opponents, -0.67 SOS rating, 67th
The Buckeyes earned this the hard way, beating then-No. 1 Alabama in the CFP semifinal before topping SRS No. 1 Oregon in the CFP title game. They also beat the Spartans along the way to earn the first MNC of the CFP era. We confirm it, and there’s not much else to say.
This is the ninth time Ohio State was won our mythical national championship, second only to USC’s 11 titles here in this space.
Congratulations to the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes, the mythical national champion!