As we showed last week on MNC Wednesday, the College Football Playoff continued the corruption of the Bowl Championship Series to provide America with a “champion”—minus the honesty, integrity, and transparency it requires to have any significance in the eyes of history and posterity. What will this week be like?
Only time will tell, so read on to find out.
The 2018 MNC: A shining example of … something we all deserve?
Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Clemson (15-0): Won CFP Bowl, 44-16
2. Alabama (14-1): Lost CFP Bowl, 16-44
3. Ohio State (13-1): Won Rose Bowl, 28-23
4. Oklahoma (12-2): Lost Orange Bowl, 34-45
5. Notre Dame (12-1): Lost Cotton Bowl, 30-3
6. LSU (10-3): Won Fiesta Bowl, 40-32
7. (tie) Georgia (11-3): Lost Sugar Bowl, 21-28
7. (tie) Florida (10-3): Won Peach Bowl, 41-15
9. Texas (10-4): Won Sugar Bowl, 28-21
10. Washington State (11-2): Won Alamo Bowl, 28-26
The Tigers emerged from the faux playoff, so we have to advance them as the champions of the ACC. The Buckeyes were left out of the CFP by the powers that be, but as the B1G champs, they get advanced in our analysis. No other teams on the list above meet our criteria, so it’s going to be a short list this time out thanks to the CFP getting it right for once, one year after revealing its bias.
Are there any other teams out there to consider? Independent Army went 11-2 with a big bowl win, although we know their SOS rating was a joke (97th). Appalachian State also posted an 11-2 mark with a Sun Belt championship and a bowl victory, but its SOS was even worse (110th) than Army’s rating. Fresno State’s 12-2 record included a Mountain West title and a bowl victory, but again, the SOS was only slightly better (87th) than Army’s ranking.
Those small schools all had great seasons, but their schedules just cannot compete with the Power 5 teams, for sure. But when most Power 5 teams won’t schedule those small schools, it makes it tough to build a good enough SOS rating, doesn’t it? Does that sound like collusion and monopolization to you?
But we digress … this reality leaves us with just 2 teams to scrutinize more closely this time out, the bare minimum for a meaningful analysis, obviously, as we learned last year not to overvalue the small-school achievements too much. These are the respective SOS ratings for our top teams, after the chaff sifting above:
- Clemson: 14 Division I-A opponents, 5.19 SOS rating, 19th of 130
- Ohio State: 14 Division I-A opponents, 4.10 SOS rating, 32nd
We will confirm the Tigers’ mythical national championship here, of course, but not before we have a few words on the matter: The CFP actually got the Final Four correct this time, we think. While Clemson and Alabama were obvious picks for the playoff with their perfect records and conference titles, the Fighting Irish may have been suspect with their undefeated record—but the Notre Dame SOS was higher than Ohio State’s mark, and the same goes for Oklahoma.
In fact, the Tigers had the worst SOS of any of the CFP teams, but Clemson earned its way into the fray with an edge on Ohio State in that category, sabermetrically speaking. The Tigers got to enhance their SOS, too, with matchups against Notre Dame and Alabama, while the Buckeyes’ SOS suffered from being “relegated” to the Rose Bowl against a 3-loss Washington team that emerged from the Pac-12 somehow.
All that being said, this is Clemson’s second MNC from us, after the school also won the CFP crown in 2016. The 15-0 record was the best one in the modern era of major-college football, ever. That’s impressive, of course, so we tip our hats.
Congratulations to the 2018 Clemson Tigers, the mythical national champion!