Yes, we will have controversy later on Sunday when the Selection Committee announces which four teams it has selected to participate in the four team College Football Playoff semifinals.
And every expert, pundit, analyst in college football can analyze, criticize, praise and attempt to explain the decision why either Ohio State or Alabama was left out of the Final Four.
But there is NO solution. FIVE does NOT DIVIDE EQUALLY INTO FOUR. Not even Coach Albert Einstein or Director of Athletics Isaac Newton could solve that equation.
Neither will the committee later on Sunday when the announcement and bowl pairings are made.
There will be arguments (valid) about Ohio State being a conference champion and having more quality wins (and more damaging losses, including a second loss, which NO team in the four year history of the playoffs has brought to the table).
There will be arguments (valid) about Alabama being one of the four “best” teams in college football, which should be considered.
There will be arguments about the “eye” test. If you compare the two teams, who do you think is better? Who looks better in the minds of the committee, including the five former head football coaches on the committee?
Make no mistake, THEIR voices are heard in the discussion room.
The”eye” test was used last season when the committee chose a conference runner up (Ohio State) over the conference champion from the same league (Penn State). It ignored the most basic element used in tie breakers because Penn State also won the head to head match up with the Buckeyes.
It didn’t ignore a second loss by Penn State, which if it chooses Ohio State this season, it will also overlook.
Instead, the argument you heard was that in the minds of the committee when the season ended and for its overall body of work, Ohio State “”looked” better than Penn State, despite Penn State’s victory over the Buckeyes.
We will hear the same chatter this season, only in Alabama’s favor. The Tide did not win the SEC, it didn’t even win the SEC West. But Alabama has only one loss (a loss on the road against Auburn) which was competitive for most of the game.
Ohio State, the pro Bama voices will say, had TWO major one sided losses, against Oklahoma (acceptable, except for the 16 point margin of defeat) at home and a bad bad loss (not acceptable) on the road against a mediocre Iowa team.
And besides, its Alabama. There isn’t a team in college football in which Alabama would be an underdog on a neutral field.
So what will happen?
I have no idea, although the trend seems to be tilting towards Ohio State.
But there will be consequences because the two teams involved in the dispute come from the Big Ten and SEC. They are the Big Dogs in college football. And Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey have the most power and exert the most influence in college football.
As my good friend, TMG partner, Tony Barnhart, a true southern gentleman, would say, “”When Mama’s unhappy, EVERYBODY is unhappy.
Delany dealt with the same situation a year ago when his champion Penn State was left out of the Final Four, but the Big Ten had another team, Ohio State, in the mix.
This time if Ohio State is not included, the Big Ten will not have a seat at the intimate Final Four table.
But here’s a solution you will hear, and if the discussion is led by Delany and/or Sankey pay attention, because it will be discussed. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.