If the College Football Playoff committee wanted to make a statement, they made the wrong ones.


I swore I wouldn’t get to caught up in the college playoff rankings before the end of the season, but after the rankings of Tuesday November 11, 2014 I couldn’t help myself. The playoff committee is getting things wrong and setting dangerous precedents about what they are looking for.

Already the national media is as confused as I am.

From CBSSportsline : College Football Playoff: Unbeaten counts less than victory margin

From SportingNews : CFP reaction: This nonsense replaced the BCS?

Here are issues I have with these latest rankings.

1) The committee has made it clear, the rankings are a beauty contest. 

I thought the point of playing and competing was winning. When (8-1) Oregon leapfrogged (9-0) Florida State, the rankings became a beauty content. I would agree FSU has not looked impressive at times this year, but they’ve had opportunities to win by larger margins. Expect to see more teams run up scores, and extend margins of victory to impress committee members.

2) Even the logic the committee is confusing. 

The committee gave credit to Oregon for winning 3 games against Top 25 teams while FSU was 2-0. That doesn’t seem like big difference, but Ok. Here’s the confusing part. FSU beat Louisville a top 25 team on the road. Louisville  fell out of the top 25, because they lost to FSU. Therefore the Noles basically get no credit for the win. While a 6-3 Utah team stays in the polls giving Oregon additional credit. So if Utah falls out the polls, does Florida State move ahead or Oregon? Oregon also got credit for winning on the road against ranked teams, but didn’t they lose at home to a ranked team? This all seems rather arbitrary to me.

3) Head to head results – who cares

Baylor beat TCU. TCU is ahead of Baylor, by not 1, not 2, but 3 spots. TCU according to the committee is being rewarded for a tougher schedule. Yes of course Minnesota a team that lost to Illinois is what you separate teams with. I made it clear in my rankings that if they end up tied, you should choose the head to head winner. The committee made no mention of that. Maybe if TCU had beat say Alabama, I can see this, but that did not happen. These teams play the same schedule in-conference. If they are tied at the end of the year, Baylor should be ahead of TCU, but who cares who won head to head.

4) Inconsistent metrics

How is Duke at 8-1 with 1 quality win over Georgia Tech behind loss 2 teams Clemson, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Kansas St. who have zero quality wins among them? You value Oregon’s quality wins, but not Duke’s? The perception is Duke is a historically bad football program, and the committee may have latched on to that. Being behind 4 teams with arguably worse resumes wreaks of inconsistency. Maybe the committee is evaluating the quality of the losses? If Miami beats FSU this week, and gets ranked does Duke move up 5 spots? I bet that doesn’t happen. Miami is the only team to defeat Duke.

I hope the committee gets it right by the end of the year. At that point only the top 4 really matter, but right now I don’t understand the logic. I don’t understand the criteria. I don’t understand the metrics.

Maybe I’m not smart enough to understand, because some of it just doesn’t make any sense to me.


  1. Hokie Mark says:

    “…only the top 4 really matter”?

    Au contraire, mon frère!

    The CFP Selection Committee picks more than just the 4 playoff teams – they also pick the New Year’s Six Bowl at-large teams… so really, about the top 10 REALLY matter!

    1. Jfann says:

      Yep I know, but I wonder how many people will remember if 6-10 is in the wrong order.

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