For the third straight year we have another controversy about the college football rankings *But weren’t they suppose to stop controversy and not start it?* Yes, that was the goal, but then money got involved and they saw that if controversy can be created throughout the year, then that’s what they will try to do. Money is also the reason that the weekly ranking, is an hour long show and is aired for most of the season. Nonetheless, this article is more about what these AD’s should tell their team so they too can be ranked.
- Be Alabama or at least in the SEC
Obviously every year, no matter the outcome of the year before, Alabama will have the benefit of the doubt and be on, or near, the top. This year there was nothing from last year or this one to be mad about as Alabama has literally dominated everyone. This helps the stigma of the SEC as it says, “Hey the rest of the conference should be good right?” and they get ranked higher.
For example, their is an 8-4 Auburn team ahead of unbeaten Western Michigan, and 10-2 West Virginia among others. Overall the SEC is the conference to be in, as well as making the game against Alabama an actual game, not a bloodbath, as they have 5 teams ranked, tied for most this week.
2. Don’t be in the Big 12
For the third straight year the Big 12 champion is left out of the College Football Playoff, TCU and Baylor tied three years ago so there was no clear champion, then Oklahoma just didn’t have the resume and championship game to move it enough to play for the championship. The easiest analogy for the Big 12 and its relationship with the Big 12 is this; the College Football Playoff is the high school sweetheart of everyone.
The best girl there, everyone wants her, but she only wants certain types of things, strength (of schedule), hanging out with other cliches (non-conference games), pouring it on (strength of win), money and of course bling, or championships. It’s a certain checklist that almost every Power 5 team checks, but the Big 12, specifically Oklahoma this year, is different. They check the boxes for strength, as they typically have great games, other cliches, as they played some quality non-conference games, they have won by a lot and scored a lot even in losses, as they play a really up-tempo offense. They have the money as they are a glamor conference, but the most important box is the championship, and they don’t have one, just a regular season champ.
That’s not enough, so they are turned down by the girl who says, “Your perfect but I have other people I like maybe if you were more like them, but we can still be friends,” the ultimate friend zone saying. So they promise to change and added a championship to become more like the others, but can’t do it until next year. What does this addition of a championship game mean for the Big 12? Maybe nothing, maybe something, we won’t know until next year but right now the committee is saying that championships do not matter in comparison to who you have beat.
3. Strength of wins is better than being a conference champion
There are three of the five conference champions in the playoff, with Ohio State being the only known winner, while all five are in the top 7, only Ohio State and Michigan are ranked higher than a conference champion. Some believe that the champions should get in, the problem is that we have 5 power conferences plus many other smaller conferences.
The reason that Ohio State is that high is not only because they have the third best record in college football and beat a Michigan team that was highly ranked all year. *But they lost to Penn State, so obviously Penn State is better and should be in the playoff!* Yes, Ohio State did lose to Penn State but that doesn’t mean much, looking at the whole season Ohio State beat many schools including Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. They had 4 wins over ranked foes while Penn State only had 1 plus a loss to Michigan by 49-10 earlier in the year, as well as, a bad Pitt team.
So a Penn State team, that wasn’t even ranked until they beat Ohio State, is better than Ohio State only because of head-to-head? What about common opponents? Michigan whooped Penn State, but lost to Ohio State, do common opponents not matter? What about the quality of victory? Penn State only beat Wisconsin after a feverish comeback in the second half, Ohio State controlled that game, does USC deserve to be in then after they beat Washington and is on a tear recently? If you can make that case for Penn State because of an Ohio State win, then make it for USC too.
4. Bowl season will be fun
Bowl season is the best, it always is, between all the trick plays and games that almost never would be scheduled, on top of the fact that a new champion will be crowned, it’s a blast. This year will be even more fun as there are some great none New Years 6 (NY6) bowl games on top of the NY6 games. Let me list them and say hey they are good
Temple vs Wake Forest: Temple is really hot right now and won 6 in a row and 8 of their last 9, they while Wake Forest is kind of fading right now. Temple should put up big points, and yards, it will be great.
Washington State vs Minnesota: Washington State is good, their offense is probably the best in college football. Minnesota is a great Big 10 team by definition, above average defense and almost non-existent offense. It will be a great test of how good this Minnesota defense is, we have already seen Washington State be shut down by Colorado (#SkoBuffs) so its possible but can Minnesota do it also?
West Virginia vs Miami: Two programs coming into the game on hot streaks, West Virginia only lost to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this year while Miami has won 4 in a row twice this year as well as losing 4 straight in between those streaks. This will be a high-powered game with two teams who were thought to not even make a bowl midseason.
Texas A&M vs K-State and Oklahoma State vs Colorado: These are both matchup of former Big 10 teams and matchups of strengths, Colorado’s air defense versus Oklahoma State’s air raid offense. In the Texas A&M’s case they face a strong front offensive line for Kansas State against A&M’s strong blitzing front seven led by Myles Garrett, it will be a very interesting set of former conference foes matching up.
Michigan vs Florida State: I’ll keep this short and sweet, Michigan has a top tier defense, Florida State has possibly the second best running back in the nation in Dalvin Cook. Which strength breaks first.
And that’s it for these other games, as I will preview the News Years Six games the week before those games.
Honestly, the college football playoff committee did great in selecting the schools to participate, the have a mix of champions, great records, great offenses and defenses, excitement and of course storylines. All of this will be for naught five weeks from today when Alabama beats Ohio State in the national championship and cap off the best season of Alabama football ever. The Nick Saban will retire right after the game, saying “This whole college football domination thing is so boring, so I am going to go home and listen to some Mick Jagger.” Maybe that whole part about Saban retiring is a hopeful wish from a college football fan who hates watching Alabama win every year.