2014-12-08 08:19

Hey folks,

the last week of the regular season is done (expect the not really relevant Army-Navy game; by the way, what will happen, if that game HAS some relevance regarding the playoffs? Will all wait a week?) and the dust did clear.

I'm not sure if the events of the weekend were the best that could happen or the worst (OK, probably not THE worst, but pretty bad).

The top 6 in the College Football Playoff Rankings were before the weekend

1 Alabama -> plays the SEC Champioship game
2 Oregon -> plays the PAC 12 Championship game
3 TCU -> plays Iowa State and can win a share of the BIG 12
4 Florida State -> plays the ACC Championship game
5 Ohio State -> plays the BIG 10 Championship game
6 Baylor -> plays Kansas State and can win a share of the BIG 12

Just think about it, how you would rank them, if all would win?
Remember, that only 4 of them will play for the national championship, 2 will play "only" big bucks bowls.

Well, what happened, was:
Alabama did beat Mizzou clearly, check.
Oregon did beat Arizona clearly, check.
TCU did beat Iowa State clearly, check.
Florida State did escape an upset bid of Georgia Tech, check.
Ohio State did beat Wisconsin clearly, check.
Baylor did beat Kansas State by less than 2 scores, check.

So all DID win and 2 of them had to be left out, the question was, which one.

Alabama, as SEC Champ was selected #1,
Oregon as PAC 12 Champ was selected #2
Florida State as ACC Champ was selected #3, so they jumped one spot
And ...
Ohio State as Big 10 Champ was selected #4, did also jump one spot and left the Big 12 in depression.

Baylor was set at #5 and TCU at #6, both are named Big 12 co-champions.

Now what does that mean?

I think FSU did get the spot as the only unbeaten team.
I don't think they are the #3 team in the country, but they went unbeaten and they became the ACC champ. There would have been a lot of protest, if they would have been left out.

I think Ohio State did get the #4 spot, because of the pity situation the Big 12 is in right now.
Baylor did beat TCU and it is fine that they are ahead of TCU. Both teams are co-champs with the same record and the conference lacks a conference championship game.
A game where you can meet one of the best teams of the conference. No, one of the best teams in the country.
Ohio State did had an almost as weak or strong schedule as Baylor and TCU, but that championship game gave them that extra profile it seems you need in this new selection process.

I think we will see probably 2 things in the future:
The Big 12 will rethink their "we don't need extra teams"-policy, and maybe Texas will give up something of their money to give the Big 12 a chance for a playoff seat.
It will be fun to see, which team they will go after.

The next thing we will see is an eight-team-playoff process. Not next season, but I think this next step is already decided, even nobody did mention it right now.
Why? Because there are 5 big conferences and even 1 or 2 smaller ones wanting to be bigger and there are at the moment only 4 spots.
So at least 1 conference will be left out, every season. Maybe even more. This season did almost Mississippi State sneak in.
That situation will not hold on for long.

Best guess: 5 champs get an automatic bid, 3 spots get filled by the committee.
Maybe with a side note for the best non-big-5 conference team in the rankings to be in, if it's inside the top 10 or something. To get everyone a decent shot for a title and even the smaller conference would have chance, if they teams is dominant in that year.

Of cause also in that situation will a few teams slip through and won't participate.

Some info on the college football front:
UAB will shut down the program and they did not even get an invitation for a bowl.
I'm really sorry for the kids, they worked really hard this year and because of a business decision they get nothing.
As far as I know, all students can finish their scholarship, or are free to look for another team.
In that situation, I'm not sure what I would do ...

Shortly after I posted my last blog entry the news got in that Florida and Nebraska did s e l e c t their next head coach.
Florida did s e l e c t the already mentioned Jim McElwain from Colorado State. Rumours are they did pay about 5 mio buyout money to get him.
CSU now has to search on their own to find a new coach.

Nebraska did a surprising stunt, hiring Mike Riley, long-time coach of the Oregon State Beavers.
I think nobody thought about him as a possible hire (he declined a UCS bid a few seasons ago) and he is also not really a high profile coach.
He did very well with the beavers, no question, but there are doubts he will be able to win more games with the Huskers than Pelini did.
But maybe he will be the right choice. Riley did win sometimes against ranked teams.
He did win some crucial games, where Pelini did not.
Interesting hire.
Bad situation for the Beavers, they now need a new coach, too.

The other champions:
Memphis, UCF and Cincinnati did win a share of the AAC.
It will be fun to see, if the conference also will try to get the 12 needed teams for a championship game.

Marshall did beat Louisiana Tech in a very close game with a wild finish and became the Conference USA Champs.

Northern Illinois did crush Bowling Green for the MAC Title.

Boise State did win against Fresno State to win the MWC.

The Sun Belt was already Georgia Southerns.

Some games were still to play, most notable the Bedlam Serie were Oklahoma State did beat Oklahoma in the road in Norman in OT, to become bowl eligable.

Temple did beat Tulane, also for the 6th win, but were not invited to a bowl.

And SMU did beat UConn to avoid a winless season.

I will try to cover the bowls, so see you soon.

‘Til next time

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