“”Obviously I acknowledge the difficulty of the task, but I’m not sure what I advise my members right now, because we’ve been telling them that nonconference schedules matter, and one of the four has an exceedingly weak nonconference schedule,” he said, referring to No. 4 Washington, which notched wins over Rutgers, Idaho and FCS Portland State. “And we’ve been telling them the 13th data point matters, and we added a conference championship game because of that. We’ve always heard that conference championships matter and division championships matter, and now it’s confusing.””
To be fair, this isn’t just sour grapes. He also acknowledges that the Big 12 didn’t really have a shot at getting a team in this year, but he would like to know what the “rules” are going to be. The Big 12 made a lot of changes to increase strength of schedule and to add a championship game next season because of how important those things were in keeping them out of the 2014 playoff, and this season they appear to not be as important.
Truthfully, there isn’t much he can do. The committee has been charged with making completely subjective decisions and those decisions are going to be driven by a lot of factors, not all of which play out on the field. Washington played a terrible schedule, but won all of those games very impressively, so they “look” like a top 4 team. Ohio State has as much talent as anyone in the country, so they “look” like a top 4 team, with only a fluky loss to Penn State on their resume.
On the other hand, Penn State beat OSU head to head and won their conference. Yes there’s that blowout loss to Michigan, and the upset by Pitt, but Clemson was upset by Pitt too, and Michigan is a top 10 team.
I realize this opinion may not be popular with my fellow Ohio State fans, but I don’t think they deserved to be in the playoff. It was true when Alabama and LSU played a rematch for the National Championship under the BCS and it’s true now, if you don’t even win your division and play in the conference championship game, you can’t possibly have proven yourself on the field to be one of the best teams on the country.
I would have put the winner of the Penn State- Wisconsin game in, Ohio State out. I would have had to leave Washington in, not because I’m a big fan of their schedule, or the strength of the PAC 12 overall, I’m not, but because no other conference champ really made for a compelling alternative to them. The Big 12 did not have a champion that stood out as being very good either, so SOS be damned, Washington is in s the 4th conference champ.
This all, however, makes for good argument fodder, which is what the NCAA really wants. They need interest in the games to increase if they expect to get better ratings than last year with the semi-finals being played on New Years Eve again. What better way than to give over half the country someone to root against like Ohio State?
Bring it. Despite my opinion, I’ll still be rooting for the Buckeyes to repeat what they did in 2014 and roll through the playoffs!
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