The College Football Tournament* (Playoff) Thoughts Part II

8 team playoff, all P5 conference winners are automatically in with 3 at large.  This will likely happen one day.  You could also make this number 10 or 12 but that might be too many for a lot of people. Conference winners are always the top 5 seeds. (comes to play in 2017 season) Lowest ranked P5 champion is always the "#5 seed." (comes to play in 2017 season. 

Well Part II is coming out later than expected but I’m glad it has because I can discuss the current rankings and peoples reactions.  First, let’s get back to the issue with the College Football Tournament (CFT).


Simply put, there are none that are set it stone.  There is no conference wins, total wins, total losses, conference champion, lowest rank, strength of schedule, strength or record, FPI, TPI, GBI, FBI, or any standard a team has to meet to qualify a team to make the final four.  It is simply in the eyes of the committee and they can change their minds how they like to get what they believe is the top four teams in.  As we chronicled in Part 1, Baylor and TCU got left out because the Big 12 did not have a conference championship game.

Alabama got in last year even though they didn’t even PLAY in a conference championship game, they obviously proved they belonged by beating Clemson and Georgia and winning the National Championship.

The committee likes to look at strength of schedule or strength of record, and talking heads love to debate those things.  They like to say Team A doesn’t schedule tough teams, or Team B won’t play a true road game (Team B is Alabama, pussies). These things are great to debate, but when college football schedules are scheduled like 5, 6, or even 7 years advance, how can you blame some teams?  How do you take one team seriously that consistently plays road games against other P5 times, schedules tough out of conference against a team that schedules a bunch of cupcakes and refuses to go on the road. Where do you look? The answer is the eye test, which is also a bunch of BS.

The Eye Test

The most common reason for initial rankings or reasons teams with similar resumes jump others is because of the eye test.  Which team has looked better, which team has performed better?  This is how a maybe a 2 loss team can jump a 1 loss team in the rankings, or a 3 loss team is ranked ahead of a 2 loss team. We focus on the top 4-7 teams most of the times with eye test – look at Alabama this year who got ranked #1. I am not sure they have played a good team all year besides Texas A&M who is somehow ranked in the top 20, we’ll get to that later, but they undoubtedly look like the best team in the country verse the competition they play.

But what about the back end of the rankings? What about those teams 15-25?  Those teams are important because they build the resume of the teams in the top 10. People don’t argue about those back end teams very much but they are VERY important to keep track-of. You may hear people complain about the committee manipulating teams resumes, this is what they are talking about.

The eye test is where we get to the issue of teams losing, being immediately ranked lower, even though they may be or probably are better than teams in front of them. If we are about the eye test.

Let’s say team A is 8-1, lost one game to another team from a P5 conference, then loses in week 10 to a 6-3 team in their conference at home. Team A has looked like a top 6 team all year, even in their loss, but in Week 10 they came out sluggish and lost by 10 points at home to an unranked team.  All the sudden team A finds themselves at 8-2, ranked behind another 8-2 team who hasn’t played as nearly as tough of schedule, hasn’t looked as good, and was on a bye in week 10. Why all the sudden is Team A ranked behind Team B?  There is no reason other than they happened to lose, on a week that Team B was on a bye.  They have a tougher schedule. They’ve played better.  Everybody and their blind grandma knows that Team A is better, but hey guys, they lost so we have to punish them.

This is the problem with college football rankings from the AP, to the Coaches Poll, to the College Football Tournament Rankings. We have to realize this is football, teams don’t play 3 games a week, they play one.  Football you have one bad quarter and you can lose a game.  Football you lose on the road by 1 to the #12 team in the country and all the sudden you drop from 3 to 10. Why?  You just played a great team on the road and you lost by 1?  You didn’t lose by 20, you didn’t play like shit.  This is the most antagonizing and annoying part of these rankings, “they eye test.”

When you combine these previous four subjects, you get a muddled reasoning for ranking certain teams at 2 and ranking certain teams at 5.  Or you get confusing reasoning behind putting five team in from a weak conference that haven’t played each other yet and only have 2 teams ranked from a tough conference that has already played round robin against each other.

On that note, let us look at this years rankings see where the previous issues i’ve discussed come into play, shall we?

2018 College Football Tournament Rankings

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 3.35.51 PM

  • Alabama – Ranked #1 based of eye test, they haven’t played anybody other than #20 Texas A&M.
  • LSU – Ranked #3 because of wins over #6 Georgia, #18 Mississippi State AND because of early season wins over Auburn and Miami.  We’ll get back to those later.
  • Washington St. – Ranked #8 because… why? They haven’t beat a ranked team all year and they don’t have one on the schedule. So… eye test? sure, we’ll go with that.
  • UCF – Ranked #12 is better than last year, they have their toughest games coming up but again, 1 loss South Florida or Houston (who they may play again) are not ranked.
  • Lets get to the real problem with these rankings, the fucking ACC is dogshit but somehow has 4 teams ranked between 19 and 25
    • #19 Syracuse: Lost to Pitt & Clemson awful out of conference, though they still have ND left. But hey Colin Cowherd, they play Clemson tough the one game of them you watch all year.
    • # 21 NC State: Lost to Clemson & Syracuse.  Wouldn’t be ranked if their game against West Virginia didn’t get postponed.
    • #22 Boston College: Lost to NC State & PURUDE (FUCKING PURDUE). Wait Purdue did beat Ohio State, they must be good. Got it.
    • Somehow all these ACC teams are getting propped up over some teams who are clearly better. Yet the committee is trying to prop of the ACC make some team look better?  I mean all these teams beat Miami.  Miami sucks.  Are they giving LSU credit for beating Miami too. Are they trying to prop up Clemson so they can justify giving them the 1 seed.
  • This also hurts teams from the Pac 12 and the Big 10.  Call me crazy but I’m taking Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan St., Washington, Oregon, and Stanford over every team ranked 19-25. I don’t care about their wins or losses.
    • Iowa State at 4-3? Fuck off. They’re getting credit for beating West Virginia?
    • Fresno State?  They lost to Minnesota, who else have they beat?
  • Do you remember I wrote about how dumb these rankings are and the issues of who they played and eye test and how dumb it is ? Yeah, I just used all those things to discredit a bunch of teams. I AM FIRED UP.

Now that we’ve bitched about these rankings, lets get to a solution.  A solution, that will never happen, but is the only way we will get to the point where College Football doesn’t have the dumbest postseason of all the major sports.


Moxie’s Solution

  1. 8 team playoff, all P5 conference winners are automatically in with 3 at large.
    • This will likely happen one day.  You could also make this number 10 or 12 but that might be too many for a lot of people.
    • Conference winners are always the top 5 seeds. (comes to play in 2017 season)
    • Lowest ranked P5 champion is always the “#5 seed.” (comes to play in 2017 season.
  2. You can keep the playoff committee or go back to the BCS system, I do not care.  The next three highest ranked teams are slotted into the playoff.
    • Example, Pac 12 champion could end up being ranked #9 but they get in.
  3. All these games are played at the higher seeded teams home stadiums, while the national championship is played at a neutral location.
  4. After each team loses in the playoff, they get slotted into the BCS/NYE Bowl Games: Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta. One of these, will obviously be the national championship games.
    • Why the home playoff game and then slotted into the bowl game?  You think Oregon cares they won the Rose Bowl after they got smacked by Ohio State. You think Clemson cares they won the Orange Bowl then got beat by Bama? Or Georgia winning the Rose Bowl last year?  It’s nice on paper but players and fans don’t care – it lessens the importance of the bowl games and you know college football loves its traditions.
  5. Each team must play 9 or 10 conference games per year. No more, no less.
  6. Each team can only schedule one FCS opponent per year, has to be played in September or October.
    • No more of this SEC warm-up game bullshit before the final week of the season.
  7. Each P5 team must play one true road out of conference game against another P5 school once every three years.
    • This still allows for the opening week neutral site games college football likes to market.
  8. Each team can only have 2 or fewer losses to be considered as an at large team.
    • If they win their conference championship game, the amount of losses does not matter
  9. Not necessarily a rule, but get rid of the god damn bias for conferences and teams.  Look at the teams for who they play and how they look.
    • This, will never happen

We not only have to fix how many teams are in, making this a true playoff, but we need to make the scheduling more even and put regulations on what kinds of teams can be scheduled.  Right now SEC teams only play 8 conference games, they get another cake opponent to top onto their record and they have the bullshit FCS game before the final week of the season.  Alabama doesn’t even play true road games, and as much as that pisses me and other off lets be honest here, its fucking smart.

Here’s some examples of how the previous years could have looked based on the final weeks CFB rankings, conference champions getting home games regardless of rank.

2014 College Football Playoff

#8 Michigan St. @ #1 Alabama

#7 Mississippi State @ #2 Oregon

#6 TCU @ #3 Florida St

#5 Baylor @ #4 Ohio State

2015 College Football Playoff

#8 Notre Dame @ #1 Clemson

#7 Ohio State @ #2  Alabama

#6 Stanford @ #3 Michigan St.

#5 Iowa @ #4 Oklahoma

2016 College Football Playoff

#8 Wisconsin @ #1 Alabama

#7 Oklahoma @ #2 Clemson

#6 Michigan @ #3 Ohio State

#5 Penn State @ #4 Penn State

2017 College Football Playoff

#7 Auburn @ #1 Clemson

#6 Wisconsin @ #2 Oklahoma

#4 Alabama @ #3 Georgia

#8 USC @ #5 Ohio St.


The College Football Tournament is the only flawed playoff system in all major sports in America and I along with others are fed up with the arguments, although entertaining, every year about the same things.  College football needs to have some standards set, fix their scheduling problems, create an actual playoff, and get on with a true postseason that isn’t bashed every single year.





1 comment on “The College Football Tournament* (Playoff) Thoughts Part II

  1. Pingback: CFB Week 10 Review – The Moxie

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