In the End, the Committee Got It Right – From the Bird’s Nest
Have you ever used your GPS only to have it send you the long way to get to your destination? Once you get there, it’s great, but the route could have been better.
That’s kind of the way I feel about the College Football Playoff Committee.
I think they got it right in the end. It just was a very strange route.
Sunday morning, someone asked me who I thought the four would be. My response was Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State.
What about TCU, they asked.
TCU hammered Iowa State, but they were Iowa State. Ohio State mauled Wisconsin. Baylor beat a good Kansas State team by eleven points.
I said a couple of weeks ago when all was said and done, Baylor’s head to head win over TCU would move them ahead of the Horned Frogs in the end. But we had to wait for the process to play out. Strength of schedule had plenty to do with this whole thing. Baylor got positive points for beating Kansas State. TCU got negative points for playing Iowa State. And, in the end, neither could catch the Buckeyes, whose win over Wisconsin was the most impressive over the weekend.
I think what made everyone scratch their collective heads was TCU dropping from #3 all the way to #6.
And, that’s where either a little more, or a little less transparency would have made things better for the committee.
If the committee had been MORE transparent, we would have known just how close things were between #3 TCU, #4 Florida State #5 Ohio State and #6 Baylor. These teams were obviously, based on the final standings, very close indeed. But, unlike the AP or USA Today poll, there was no total point category. We, therefore, had no way of knowing. We just knew TCU was #3 and somehow dropped to #6 after scoring 55 points in a win. Logically, that didn’t make much sense. But with the voting that close and a great disparity in quality of opponent, it made better sense than we thought. We just should have known it ahead of time. Publishing a point system saying how close things were would have led to less controversy.
If the committee had been LESS transparent, they wouldn’t have issued new rankings every week. Doing it every other week and NOT doing it the week before the conference championship games would have taken away the stark difference between being number three and dropping three spots after winning by 52 points.
Baylor moved ahead of TCU. Both teams played nine common opponents. TCU had one better OOC win. Baylor won head to head. And, at the end, head to head did win out after all.
The road to the college football playoff had many twists and turns, but at the end it arrived at the right destination.
But maybe next time we’ll get better GPS directions.