After the initial playoff slotting has been announced and the inclusion of Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State who jumped up from number 6 in the previous poll, as expected there is debate for the number four spot and fury as there seems to be 6 viable teams trying to cram into six spots. After a ridiculous showing by Art Briles, number 5 Baylor’s coach leading up to the announcement both he and number 6 TCU’s Gary Patterson handled the news with a certain amount of class even if that’s drenched in disappointment. I think both take some solace in the fact that they were both left out as both of their “most compelling” cases for being included involved the other.
That being said, it’s tough to argue that the committee got it wrong. It’s very tough to argue a team with 12 wins should be in over a team with 11, nevermind the losses. And Ohio State’s loss was awful, but it came in week 2. It came with a QB in his second start. Baylor’s loss wasn’t much better other than that it came on the road in Morgantown. But West Virginia is a bad loss. So while Baylor could make an argument over TCU, they can’t argue their loss is any better than Ohio State’s lone loss. Both were bad. The best bad loss is TCU, but do they have the best victory. Hard to Argue Ohio State doesn’t have the best victory of the bunch, if not the best two. So would we love all 6 teams be included because they seem to be head and shoulders the best six, sure. So should we expand to 8 next year? NO!
Sitting at 7 and 8 right now are Mississippi State and Michigan State. Michigan State has already had an opportunity to play it’s way into the top four, twice! If Michigan State were to have knocked off Oregon or Ohio State, both of who throttled them. And if Mississippi State beats Alabama they’re very likely there.
So are there six teams good enough to be in the playoff, maybe. I’d argue five but we’re talking semantics at that point. But we don’t have 8, and more than likely never will. So a shift to 8 teams would do something that none of us want, a deluded college football season. Losses won’t matter nearly as much, margin of error much greater. Had Oregon lost to Michigan State and then Arizona before going on the run that they’ve had and won the Pac-12 Championship, in my opinion they deserve to sit on the outside, that’s where some of these teams find themselves.
And “This didn’t work!” doesn’t work either. In last years system, Baylor and TCU wouldn’t have been in the conversation either. So were they really robbed? An overwhelming function to why they find themselves in the Cotton and Peach bowl respectively, is they have one less win. 12 wins is better than 11 the rest is pretty much the same between Ohio State, Baylor and TCU. So enjoy the story lines and great match-ups between two of the games best coaches (arguably ever) in Urban Meyer vs. Nick Saban and last years Heisman trophy winning QB Jameis Winston and the front runner in this year’s Heisman race Marcus Mariota.