Here’s the college football question of the week: Did the College Football Playoff Selection Committee get it right?
The answer: Sort of.
They set up the rankings to produce six fairly entertaining “New Year’s Six” bowl games.
But the Final Four?
They couldn’t miss on putting Alabama, Clemson and Washington into the Final Four as deserving and talented conference champions.
The fourth spot, between Ohio State and Penn State is open to debate. The Committee chose the “best overall team” defense in choosing Ohio State over a team that finished above them in their own conference, won the conference title and won the head to head match up. Penn State won the championship of the best conference in college football this season, but because Penn State lost a non conference game to Pittsburgh, the committee felt that Ohio State was the better team despite what happened on the field when the two teams met. So be it.
What the committee did wrong happened a week earlier when it put Washington into the No. 4 slot and Michigan into the No. 5 slot. That took away an option for the committee, which was then locked into the Huskies if they beat No. 8 Colorado in the Pac-12 championship game.
The Committee made a head scratcher move when it listed Florida State above Louisville in the rankings, which sent FSU to the Orange Bowl against Michigan. For the record, Louisville finished two games ahead of FSU in the ACC standings and beat the Seminoles by 35 points during the regular season.
Getting back to Washington. Once the Huskies beat Colorado–in a convincing (41-10) manner, there was no reason anyone can come up with to drop the Huskies a spot. Once that happened, the debate for the fourth spot was between Ohio State and Penn State and the committee had its mind made up.
If the Committee had put Michigan No. 4 and Washington No. 5, it could have then opened the debate between Washington and Penn State and Penn State might have won that based on strength of conference and strength of schedule.
That didn’t happen, of course, and we have a Final Four that is pretty good,–Washington vs. Alabama, Clemson vs. Ohio State and four other bowl games–Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin, Auburn vs. Oklahoma, Florida State vs. Michigan and USC vs. Penn State– that are more than good.
For all of that, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee is TMG College Sports Newsmaker of the Week.