I get it, this is just the first College Football Playoff rankings, and a lot could change by the end of the year. Except, they’re more important than you may think. It’s not over yet, and the Big 12 could still make the playoff, but the selection committee has just put the conference at a huge, and unfair, disadvantage. Here’s 13 reasons why.
1. A Loss Has To Matter
A loss has to matter. Especially when a team failed to protect their home field.
I get it, strength of schedule matters, and we’ll get into that more in a bit. However, a team shouldn’t get credit for a loss. That’s exactly what’s happening though.
Yes Alabama has played a tougher schedule than Baylor, but what does that matter if you lose? Plus, the Tide’s schedule isn’t that much better than Baylor’s (or TCU’s) anyway. Certainly not enough to overlook a loss.
2. Early Polls Shouldn’t Matter, But They Do
Remember when everyone said that the rankings don’t matter earlier in the year? “It doesn’t matter where they are now, it’s where they end up that matters.”, Remember that?
Ya, well it turns out, it does matter.
3. Alabama’s Schedule Thus Far Is As Overrated As Tim Tebow’s Return To The NFL
Let’s look at it in a nutshell.
- Beat #20 Wisconsin (no longer ranked)
- Lost to #15 Ole Miss (currently Alabama’s highest ranked opponent at 18th in CFB Playoff Rankings and 19th in AP & Coaches )
- Beat #8 Georgia (Not even receiving votes in the polls anymore)
- Beat #9 Texas A&M (19th in CFB Playoff Rankings, 24th in Coaches & 25th in the AP)
So exactly what is impressive with losing to the best team you’ve faced? How is beating Georgia and A&M any better than Baylor blowing the doors off Texas Tech and West Virginia? Especially to where Alabama, with a loss, would leap-frog Baylor?
Let’s just call a spade a spade. The entire SEC is overrated, including Alabama’s resume.
4. Not even Paul Finebaum has Bama over Baylor
Something has gone terribly wrong. Is it too late to bring back the BCS?
Paul Finebaum slams selection committee for ranking Alabama ahead of Baylor: https://t.co/QEJZM8xXZh
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 4, 2015
Would someone please let this committee know they play football in the Big 12.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) November 4, 2015
5. The Human Polls That Have Been Overrating The SEC All Season Aren’t Even Buying It
Not even the AP or Coaches Poll have Alabama in the top four.
6. The Big 12 Is 2-0 Against The SEC
The Big 12 isn’t just 2-0 against the SEC, they are 2-0 on the road against the SEC. Yet the SEC had two teams in, and the Big 12 has none.
7. The Committee Screwed The Big 12
Iowa State has a better chance at bowl eligibility than Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma State have at making it through unscathed. By putting one-loss Alabama ahead of Baylor they’ve told the conference they can’t lose.
Is there anyone that believes if the Bear’s only loss is to the Cowboys on November 21st (which you know, they haven’t won in Stillwater since before World War II), that they’ll leap-frog Alabama after the Crimson Tide beats up on Charleston Southern that weekend? No, of course not.
8. Transitive Wins Is A Fool’s Game
This makes my head hurt.
Yeah, again, it’s hard to narrow it down. There’s a lot of views about that. But you know, I think Baylor’s explosive offense is one that really took note, you know.”Jeff Long replied when asked about Baylor being ranked over TCU. “When you look at comparable games between — when they played Texas Tech, Baylor has a significant point spread difference win over Texas Tech, and TCU took a great play at the end of the game to win that very closely. I think those were determining factors between Baylor and TCU.”
Did they even take into consideration that Baylor’s big win over Texas Tech was the following Saturday after the Red Raiders had their heart ripped out against the Horned Frogs?
When you look at one win, or one loss, there is not degree of separation. There’s only the win, and only the loss. Comparing style points is bush league, because it doesn’t account for any other factors. Where was the team at health wise? Are they coming off a tough win, or disparaging loss? How do the two teams compare stylistically? And so on. There are just too many other factors to say “Team A beat Team C by 30 points while Team B only beat Team C by 10 points. How many points better is Team A than Team B?” Great… we found a committee that thinks on the level of a third grade math problem. This is much better than the BCS.
9. Opponent W/L Record Is A Skewed Stat In The Big 12
As soon as the rankings were unveiled Jeff Long started spewing something about opponent win/loss record to justify slighting the Big 12. One, he was really quick on the draw with that stat. Like when-your-food-comes-out-two-minutes-after-you-ordered-it suspiciously quick.
Two, it’s bull excrement. I’m assuming the Playoff Committee has paid at least enough attention to know that the Big 12 plays a round-robin schedule. This guarantees that by the time it’s all said and done, everyone will have a pretty decent strength of schedule. Every single Big 12 member finished in the top 30 in strength of schedule last season. Even Baylor. Wins can only come from losses. For Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma to be where they are, others had to lose. The Big 12 schedule is reciprocal. Judging the schedule on wins and losses now is like setting up your beach towel and umbrella near the water during low tide. It’s stupid.
10. The Committee Needs To Tune Out The National Narrative
“The Big 12 has been in preseason up until now.” said Joey Galloway on ESPN’s post-rankings show.
Are you freaking kidding me? So Texas Tech beating Arkansas, TCU thumping Minnesota, and Oklahoma putting Tennessee down was what, exhibition matches? Get out of here with that nonsense.
“Because of what we have coming up in November,” Galloway said, “this really doesn’t matter.”
I’m going to have a brain aneurysm. I am going to stroke out right here behind my keyboard. It doesn’t matter? Ok fine, if it doesn’t matter, let’s just put Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma one through four. I mean, they still have to play each other. That seems to be the committee’s logic for putting both LSU and Alabama in the top four, so no one would have an issue with that right?
11. Not Everyone’s Chances Are Equal
“You know, they scored 70 against Texas Tech, but as we looked at other teams, a lot of other teams have scored on Texas Tech. That wasn’t surprising.”Jeff Long said when asked about Oklahoma State. “And then they still need to play some stronger teams at the end of their schedule, and that’s coming up for them, as well, so they’ll get a chance.”
This seems to be the common narrative for the committee on the Big 12, “They’ll get their chance”.
Oh by golly gee willikers, thank you so much. You hear that Alabama, if someone in the Big 12 tries really, really, extra special hard, and goes undefeated, the committee will start to consider if they’re as good as you are with one loss! Whoopee!
12. Stop It With The Ohio State Argument
Yes, Ohio State wasn’t even close to sniffing the playoff this time last year, but they lost in week two last year. Losing in November would be a totally different story.
There’s just one school in the Big 12 that any hope of getting in with one loss, and that’s the Sooners.
13. They have no idea what they’re doing
“I think it’s the balance of the team,” said Long. We have teams that are just one-sided offensive teams or one-sided, really strong defensive teams. That combination of offense and defense. How they’ve played offensively and defensively in those games. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to judge…”
Thank you for summing up how football works….?
If only there was a stat out there that could help us… Oh, there is. Has the committee even heard of advanced stats? Specifically, points per drive?