The College Football Playoff has been getting lucky on MNC Wednesday, but finally it all exploded on the crooked CFP’s shameless face in the fourth season of the charade. The powers that be went for the money (or something?) again, instead of choosing integrity via sabermetrics and transparency, and it leaves us with an amusing task for this season analysis below.
Welcome to the laughable world of college football … leaving us to make sense of it all, again and again.
The 2017 MNC: Begging the question of why the sport caters to the poorest region in the country
Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Alabama (13-1): Won CFP Bowl, 26-23
2. Georgia (13-2): Lost CFP Bowl, 23-26
3. Oklahoma (12-2): Lost Rose Bowl, 48-54
4. Clemson (12-2): Lost Sugar Bowl, 6-24
5. Ohio State (12-2): Won Cotton Bowl, 24-7
6. UCF (13-0): Won Peach Bowl, 34-27
7. Wisconsin (13-1): Won Orange Bowl, 34-24
8. Penn State (11-2): Won Fiesta Bowl, 35-28
9. TCU (11-3): Won Alamo Bowl, 39-37
10. Auburn (10-4): Lost Peach Bowl, 27-34
The Crimson Tide—which finished fifth in the SRS, incidentally—did not win the SEC, so it has no chance to win our mythical national championship. The CFP was so desperate to stack the deck in the favor of the South that it inadvertently slit its own throat—much like the BCS did in 2011. The Bulldogs won the SEC, but they lost their last “bowl” game, so they’re out, too. And with the Tigers and the Sooners losing their bowl games, too, none of the CFP teams are going to be successful here in the real world.
To wit: The four teams the CFP chose finished 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 8th in the SRS. How is that for going rogue in the name of trying to make more money? Absolutely disgraceful. But again, not our monkey, not our circus. B1G teams finished 1st, 3rd, and 4th in the SRS, but the conference was shut out of the CFP, for some reason. The Buckeyes won the conference and their bowl game, so they get advanced in this superior process of elimination.
The Knights had a perfect season, even though we don’t expect their SOS to hold up, even against a two-loss team like Ohio State. But we will see. The Horned Frogs did not win the Big XII, and Auburn was laughably kept in the AP Top 10 despite having four losses (see any bias there? Nah …). What other teams can we consider? The Troy Trojans went 11-2 with a co-championship of the Sun Belt Conference and a New Orleans Bowl victory. We’re digging deep here, obviously.
Army went 10-3 as an independent with an Armed Forces Bowl win, so why not? But the Golden Knights lost to Ohio State, so not happening. Boise State posted an 11-3 mark with a Mountain West Conference title and a Las Vegas Bowl win—plus a victory over Troy, which eliminates those Trojans. Notre Dame finished 10-3 with a Citrus Bowl victory, as well, to slip into the convo.
All this mess leaves us with 4 teams to scrutinize more closely this time out, the most we’ve had in awhile, obviously. These are the respective SOS ratings for our “surviving” teams, after going through the process above:
- Central Florida: 13 Division I-A opponents, -0.80 SOS rating, 75th of 130
- Ohio State: 14 Division I-A opponents, 7.89 SOS rating, 5th
- Notre Dame: 13 Division I-A opponents, 8.94 SOS rating, 2nd
- Boise State: 14 Division I-A opponents, -0.48 SOS rating, 69th
UCF’s schedule was too poor, clearly, to claim this MNC, and Ohio State squeaks it out over Notre Dame, based on SOS and end results. But this was surprising to see teams like Alabama—with the 22nd-ranked SOS—put into the CFP over a conference champion like the Buckeyes with a significantly superior SOS. The CFP was pathetically desperate to make money, or whatever? It’s not like Ohio State doesn’t bring the cash, though, so this was just pure bullshit in favor of the SEC—again.
Likewise, the Sooners’ 25th-ranked SOS didn’t warrant a CFP berth over a team like Notre Dame, that’s for sure. Clemson and Georgia had Top 10 SOS ratings, so they deserved the playoff bids, but Alabama and Oklahoma should not have been invited to the Final Four, period—especially the Crimson Tide as an also-ran team from the SEC. This is twice now in the 2010s that Alabama was unfairly picked to play for the “title” and ended up winning it all when they had no business being there.
In the end, this is Ohio State’s record-tying tenth MNC from us in this space, the Buckeyes now pulling even with USC for the most in history. And once again, we see the overrated nature of Alabama, fueling more mythos it does not deserve or warrant.
Congratulations to the 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes, the mythical national champion!