Nope, that wasn’t just a nightmare last night. The College Football Playoff selection committee really just shafted the Big 12 for the second week in a row. Only this week, it’s in a whole new way. Last week it was about the injustice of essentially telling the Big 12 that it’s undefeated or bust. This week the message is, ‘well, about being undefeated, we can only offer you a maybe. We’ll think about it. …probably. Let’s just see how it plays out’.
Before we can get into the absurdity of it all, here’s the playoff committee’s top ten, along with a brief breakdown of their resume.
1. Where did Iowa come from?
In the committee’s first poll last week Iowa was ninth. This week they’re fifth. They jumped four spots in the top 10. So what lead them to leap-frogging four of the most coveted spots in the polls? A win over Indiana. A win over a team that hasn’t won a game since September. Meanwhile, Baylor beat Kansas State and stayed in the exact same spot, which is now right behind the Hawkeyes.
”Well let me just say, five through eight was where we spent the majority of our time debating and discussing and voting. Iowa, for us the committee, they’ve shown consistent improvement, they’ve shown consistency on both sides of the ball.” said Jeff Long. “While they’ve not been flashy, they’ve been solid on both sides of the ball. They’ve got a couple road victories in the Big Ten that are impressive and they have the overall strength of schedule – for the undefeated teams, they have a higher strength of schedule, other than Clemson, the No. 1 team. So I think that’s what helped propel Iowa above the others in that five through eight range.”
Uh… what? What strength of schedule is the committee looking at?
Iowa is seemingly being awarded for being undefeated, while two undefeated Big 12 teams are slighted for not being impressive enough. The Hawkeyes do have two wins over Top 25 teams, but those teams are ranked 23rd and 24th. Even with the wins though, Iowa’s strength of schedule is the worst in the top 10! According to FPI, Iowa would not be favored against anyone in the top 15. THE TOP 15!
Just to clarify, Iowa is Loki.
— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) November 11, 2015
2. What The Heck Did TCU Do To Jeff Long & The Playoff Committee?
Does the committee hate anyone more than TCU?
Oklahoma State only jumps up to No. 8 while TCU is down at No. 15. The committee dinged TCU more than it praised the Cowboys
— Colin Becht (@colinbecht) November 11, 2015
This isn’t a joke. It literally happened to the Horned Frogs.
Watch out Oklahoma State fans, if you beat Iowa State too convincingly you might drop 3 spots.
— Mitchell Stehly (@StehlyMitchell) November 11, 2015
3. How is Oklahoma State Only 8th?
“Oklahoma State had a good win,” playoff committee chairman Jeff Long said, “That’s the first piece of real strength that we’ve seen from them.”
Yet Iowa catapulted up to fifth after beating Indiana, because “they’ve shown consistent improvement”…
If you’re moving teams around willy nilly with no regard to where they were last week, I don’t know how anybody has Oklahoma State anywhere lower than 3rd. Then again, I believe losses actually matter. At this point though, maybe a loss could help the Pokes?
Relax Oklahoma State fans!! All they need is a really solid LOSS to an average team with like 3 losses to really build their resume
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) November 11, 2015
4. If Ohio State’s In, Baylor Should Be In
“They’re going to get an opportunity to show us,” Jeff Long said on Baylor being kept at 6th. “We still feel like they’re a strong team. That’s kind of why they held their place. But it’s very difficult to move them up until they’ve played some teams with some strength.”
I get it, Ohio State is the defending National Champion, and that holds some weight, as I think it should. However, that was a bigger factor with the voters in the BCS, not so much a factor with the playoff committee tasked with finding the four best teams, period. Furthermore last season’s result isn’t even a reason the committee’s actually used for putting Ohio State in the top four which begs the question, just why is Ohio State third?
Neither Baylor nor Ohio State have a real marquee win yet, and Baylor currently has a better strength of schedule, and it’s only going to get better. They’re also winning more impressively as the Bears rank first in net points per drive.
Jeff Long has said the committee isn’t holding the loss of Seth Russell against Baylor, but it would almost be better if they did. At least then there would be a reason for the slight.
5. How did we get to a point where losses don’t matter?
Remember 2011 when public perception what that Alabama was more deserving than Oklahoma State because they had the “better loss”. As ridiculous as that was, it has somehow gotten worse. Now Alabama has a bad loss (yes, losing at home to an unranked team is a bad loss), and everyone just ignores it completely?!
The practice of "excusing" losses is a terrible precedent to set, especially when there are unbeatens remaining. https://t.co/WidIaa9Cn5
— Drew Smith (@DrewSmith_33) November 11, 2015
Losses have to mean something. I mean that’s the whole downside of scheduling tough. It’s a risk, because if you lose, it should matter. I’m sure even Baylor would start scheduling power five teams in the non-conference if they were promised that losses wouldn’t matter.
6. Paul Finebaum can’t even figure it out
For the second week in a row SEC pundit Paul Finebaum is coming to the defense of the Big 12. That’s how bad it is.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 11, 2015
7. The Bias Is Real & It’s Strong
I don’t know what other explanation is left for the Big 12 being ranked so low, other than unbridled bias by the College Football Playoff committee. Again, ignoring last season, Baylor has just an equally strong resume to that of Ohio State, and I don’t think there’s any denying that Iowa’s resume is only suitable for wiping one’s self compared to Oklahoma State’s. And that’s not even getting into the legitimacy of putting one-loss teams ahead of undefeated power five schools.
The level of accuracy in this tweet is unbelievable. Can’t get who you want where you want them by the criteria you’ve set forth? Screw it, just bypass the reasoning, and do what you want.
— Cameron Villines (@VillinesCameron) November 11, 2015
8. Now I’m worried an Undefeated Big 12 Team Will Be left out
Last week’s injustices of leaving the Big 12 on the outside looking in was about it putting the conference in a position to produce an undefeated champion or bust; which is ridiculous. Now though, I’m scared that even that won’t be enough, because the committee seems dead set on keeping them out.