Photo by ..Russ..
And just like that, the 4 team playoff that was supposed to prevent college football from being a mess, is itself, a total mess. TCU and Baylor are 11-1, co-champions of the Big 12, and Ohio State is 12-1, champion of the Big Ten, and there’s one spot left.
Let me just say, no matter who the committee picks, it’s wrong. It was wrong to design a system that pitted 4 teams when you have 5 conference champions, the committee was wrong to ever rank TCU higher than Baylor after Baylor beat them and had the same record, it was wrong to “wait and see” with Ohio State’s injured QB situation, because now that the last week has happened, what do they do now? What did they not see from Ohio State that would keep them from the top 4? How did TCU remain ahead of Baylor when they lost to Baylor, and how do you flip flop them now? How do you reward the Big 12 for playing one less game? How do you choose a team that lost to Virginia Tech over teams that lost to Baylor and WVU for their one loss? Why does Oregon get ranked above all of them with what turned out to be a relatively easy Pac-12 North schedule? Is their 19 point home win over Michigan State more or less impressive than Ohio State’s 12 point win at Michigan State? Is TCU’s 30-7 home win against Minnesota more impressive than the Buckeyes win at Minnesota? Is the fact that OSU trounced Wisconsin with their 3rd string QB show that they are a better team than people give them credit for?
How do you possibly pick one? The committee did itself no favors by having TCU ranked third, and claiming that Baylor’s head to head victory wasn’t being considered yet. Is it being considered now? And if so, how much? How does that move Baylor 3 spots to get ahead of TCU based on what happened this week, or will the committee punt that decision and put OSU at #4?
If Ohio State winds up at 4 will it be because the committee truly things they are better than either of the Big 12 entrants, or will it be because of the TV ratings and tickets sales? And if it does, do we care?
Of course, the biggest question of all will be why not move to an 8 game playoff, which would leave us in the same situation. Who are the last two teams in? Michigan State and Mississippi State, mostly by virtue of not making it to a championship game to lose this week?
Besides, that is exactly what the NCAA wants us to do, demand more teams in the playoff, forcing them to make even more money on the games, and force supposed student athletes to put themselves at more risk without seeing any of it. Don’t fall for it.
For the record, my prediction is that Ohio State gets in, and the money absolutely has something to do with it. I say that while fully acknowledging that I am an Ohio State fan too. (If I had a vote, I’d have Baylor in that 4th spot, beating TCU means something and Ohio State does not have an equal victory, on top of that albatross of a loss.)
I also say that knowing that my system forces each conference to name a champion and all of those teams to play in the playoff, and no one else. How simple, how eloquent, how boring for the talking heads!