I’d have Ohio State AND Penn State in the CFP. (The committee doesn’t)

Penn State head coach James Franklin holds the trophy after defeating Wisconsin to with the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Indianapolis. Penn State won 38-31. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

The playoff wouldn’t be complete without Todd Grantham’s best pal. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Update: As predicted, the committee has chosen Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington. I understand. I also disagree.

In Year 1, the College Football Playoff committee had to decide between the Big 12 champions – there were two, if you’ll recall, so designated by the conference itself – and wound up choosing neither. By virtue of its 59-0 victory in the Big Ten title tilt, Ohio State jumped both TCU and Baylor. Given that the Buckeyes went on to win the national championship, it was hard to argue that justice hadn’t been served.

In Year 2, picking the final four was simple – champions of the SEC, the ACC, the Big 12 (only one this time!) and Big Ten. All had one loss. Stanford, the Pac-12 winner, had two. Easy peasey.

In Year 3, not so easy.

There was no great way around this tangle. If the committee omitted Ohio State, which owns three victories over top 10 opposition but not the Big Ten title, it would skip over what appears – applying the ol’ eyeball test here – the nation’s second-best team. If it omitted Penn State, it would leave out the champion of the nation’s best conference, not to mention the only team to beat Ohio State. If it omitted Washington, it would shun a one-loss champion of a Power Five league that, unlike TCU and Baylor in 2014, played and won an actual league title tilt.

The committee has said from the first that it values conference titles, which Ohio State lacks. It has also said that it places a premium on scheduling, which is where Washington falls short. If penalize Penn State for having two losses to the Huskies’ one, we must ask how many losses the Nittany Lions would have had they, like U-Dub, faced Idaho and Portland State. (As opposed to Pittsburgh, which beat both Penn State and Clemson.) We must ask if two-loss Oklahoma would have been unbeaten Oklahoma had it played those non-league games, as opposed to facing Houston and Ohio State.

As for Michigan: I have no sympathy. The Wolverines lost at Iowa, and then they lost what was a de facto elimination game at Ohio State. They might have been the better team for most of the latter game, but they didn’t win. Results matter.

My four would be Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Penn State. If you’re saying, “Didn’t the Huskies beat Stanford, Utah and Colorado, all of whom are in the CFP’s penultimate Top 25?” Well, yes. But the highest-ranked team the Huskies defeated – No. 9 Colorado – was slotted below four Big Ten teams, two of which Penn State beat. (Washington also lost at home to USC.)

This isn’t perfect. With a four-team playoff, one of the Power Five would always be left out. My four would omit two. But mine came down to this: I’d feel terrible if Ohio State and Penn State were skipped; I’d feel less terrible if Washington was.

Now, do I think that’s what will be revealed come noon? No, I don’t. I expect this final four to replicate last week’s standings: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Washington. I reserve the right to disagree respectfully. (I know people on the committee, and they aren’t fanciful folks.)

For two years, the committee members had a rather smooth glide. This season was where the going got rough. You knew it was coming. Here it is.

Reader Comments 0

104 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Penn State had a great year....agreed...but should not be in the final four. They won on a kick 6 field goal try....big deal. Alabama lost to Auburn on a kick 6 field goal try. It kept them out out of the final four. OSU would probably win that game 9 out of 10 times.

GTroller
GTroller

You also failed miserably on your picks this year.  And as Paul Johnson pointed out, you don't seem to understand much about college football recruiting either.


BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

No way O-State wasn't going to make it in. They were 2 last week.  Time to bring on Clemson..

KJ__
KJ__

LOL putting 2 bigten teams in.  Maybe if their standard-bearer buckeyes didn't show their azzes in the postseason 9 years out of 10, they'd get more respect.  But, here we are.

Big Wally
Big Wally

OH:IO 54 minutes ago

@Big Wally


Memphis


11AM


Friday

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Per ESPN

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Georgia vs. TCU
12 p.m., ESPN
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The moron can't even tell time.

CoronaGT
CoronaGT

Big Wally, I certainly don't care about defending OH:IO, but the 12 pm time you listed is Eastern time. Memphis is in the Central time zone. The game starts at 11 am Memphis time.

GTBob
GTBob

You can't leave out a 1 loss conference champion with a decent resume and replace them with a 2 loss champion who lost to Pitt and got utterly destroyed by Michigan. That is nonsense.  

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Tortured logic aside, there is no way Ohio State belongs in the finals over Penn State (OSU is an obviously very lucky team - and they are where they are based on pure, unadulterated luck, which smiled on them not only on one occasion, but on several. Actual results would mean they would have been a 3 loss team, maybe 4) 


But in the end, it all really doesn't matter, does it? The only way Bama loses the national title is if some how the Boston Patriots get a berth in the finals. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@Ficklefan The playoff committee loves Urban and Harbaugh.  They both lost to unranked teams during the regular season and barely dropped if at all.  They wanted either one of them in the playoffs.

OH:IO
OH:IO

lil wally and 5 or 6?


#gotnothing


#Memphis


#Buffet


#signingday


#nextyear


#chuckandduck


#Tech


#Vandy


#nightnight

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO: 3 teams in the bottom 10, you still have an outside shot of having the number 1 loser in FBS in you conference.  Big 10 parade time.

Birddog1313
Birddog1313

Here is what the NCAA protocol states for selecting the four teams to participate in the football playoffs:


"The criteria to be provided to the selection committee must be aligned with the ideals of the commissioners, Presidents, athletic directors and coaches to honor regular season success while at the same time providing enough flexibility and discretion to select a non-champion or independent under circumstances where that particular non-champion or independent is unequivocally one of the four best teams in the country. 


When circumstances at the margins indicate that teams are comparable, then the following criteria must be considered:  Championships won  Strength of schedule  Head-to-head competition (if it occurred)  Comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory)"


Ohio State is not a conference champion.  Ohio State lost to Penn State in head to head competition.  Ohio State needed overtime to win against Michigan and Wisconsin.  Ohio State defeated Michigan State, a team that won 3 games all year, by one point in a game that came down to the last play.  Ohio State may look good to some people's "eyeballs" but the idea that they are unequivocally one of the four best teams and Penn State is not is ludicrous.  For the record, I am not a fan of Penn State and have been known to cheer for Ohio State during bowl season when the teams I am an active fan are not playing.  What the committee has done is simply wrong and completely unfair under their own stated criteria.  Shame on them.


The other three teams are conference champions that are undefeated in the case of Alabama, and have only one loss in the case of Washington and Clemson.  All three of those teams earned their way into the tournament and deserve to be congratulated.  For the record, I am not a fan of any of these teams either.



khd713
khd713

@Birddog1313 You, sir, are exactly correct. If championships won and head-to-head are two of the top three criteria, then how is possible to select Ohio State ahead of Penn State? The Buckeyes are not "unequivocally" one of the top four teams.

Big Wally
Big Wally

From CBS sports.

 From the bottom - 10. Illinois Fighting Illini , 3-9 (11): The Big Ten will have four teams ranked in the top 10 of the College Football Playoff this week, and it will also have three teams ranked in The Bottom 10.

Also of note, TOHIO was pumping up Bowling Green this year, when OSU's out of conference schedule was questioned.  TOHIO came on here and bragged about how good Bowling Green is.

Also from CBS sports.

From the bottom - 22. Bowling Green Falcons , 4-8 (16): It wasn't a good season for Bowling Green

Pretty much proves TOHIO is clueless.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO:  Want to tell us again, how great Bowling Green is.  Kind of look like a fool now don't ya.  Maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself instead of being proved wrong.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Big Wally: "Kind of look like a fool now don't ya."

_______________

Actually, he's always looked like a fool.

Big Wally
Big Wally

forexbomb 6 hours ago

@Surelyyoujest Clearly a cluster to have OSU in the mix

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I couldn't have said it better myself.  OSU = cluster, with an asterisk.

BHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO:  Ohio State, with an asterisk.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO:  Alabama, conf. champion.  Clemson conf. champion, Washington conf. champion,  OSU (a non conf. champion, in fact not even a division winner).

OSU *.

SaulK
SaulK

next time, penn state needs to avoid losing to mediocre out of conference teams---then mark's theory will work out.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@SaulK
 Next time OSU needs to learn how to kick a simple field goal.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO;  Big pre10d conference, on Friday nights throughout 2017.  Hopefully there won't be any compelling high school games running against them.

OH:IO
OH:IO

lil wally, dog is a hole, dog in lex and 5 or 6 are football libs.


Attack the person, identity and conference  when your candidate has didly.


Next year, right dogs?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

You mean like you constantly insult UGA bloggers and the SEC, lying hypocrite?

That IS what you mean, right, lying hypocrite?

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

It really doesn't matter this year. It's a BAMA year by a long shot. They could've picked Cleveland or the Falcons and I'd still bet on Alabama to win it. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO:  Brilliant comment.  We thought they played the games for other reasons.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Does this mean that we have to refer to Ohio State as "the only non conf. champion to ever make the playoffs". Do they need an asterisk or something for that designation from now on?

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@Big Wally Nah - AL won it without being a conference champion  the year they played LSU for the MNC after losing to LSU in the regular season, but that was before the playoffs started.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Ohio State - with an asterisk *

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO:  I notice you are quiet when he throws out 3rd grade level comments, but you cry like a baby when someone else does.  Afraid to say anything against OHIO I see.  I guess he owns you eh?