Column: College Football Playoff Committee got it right with this year’s selections

The College Football Playoff committee got it right.

No matter the argument Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and yes, Washington deserves to be in the College Football Playoff.

The uproar for Penn State after winning the Big Ten Championship and for some reason Michigan, is all for not. Neither team is one of the four best in the country. It’s as simple as that.

But what about winning a conference championship? Isn’t that supposed to be a determining factor? Ohio State didn’t win one and they lost to conference champ Penn State in the Big Ten regular season. Alabama, Clemson and Washington won their conference titles so why are the Buckeyes the exception?

From the beginning the CFP committee wanted Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson – undefeated or with one loss. Did the committee take into consideration that a team can finish with one loss and not even play for its conference title? Probably not. Do they care? Obviously not.

It’s more about being one of the four best teams in the country, whether that comes with a conference title or not. And it’s tough to knock a returning playoff team out of the bracket.

For instance Alabama could have lost to Florida in the SEC Championship and still likely would have been the top seed in the playoff. There was even a scenario earlier in the year where Alabama lost to LSU, but finished with one loss and didn’t make the SEC title game. Let’s be honest, Alabama would have still been in the playoff if that would have occurred. And let’s be honest, Ohio State v. Michigan was the Big Ten championship.

Penn State and Wisconsin never had a shot with two losses and wins by Clemson and Washington. Oklahoma or Oklahoma State never had a shot with their two losses heading into the final weekend. The committee had its mind made up. If you’re a one-loss Power 5 team, you’re in under this year’s circumstances.

The eye test didn’t help either. Michigan’s stock actually rose above Penn State’s after a tough loss at Ohio State in the final week of the regular season. By then the realization that Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Michigan were at least four of the best five teams in the country was complete. All that had to play out was Washington in the Pac 12, who proved itself with a convincing win over Colorado.

There’s no arguing this year’s playoff. Penn State will play in the Rose Bowl against USC and Michigan in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. And Oklahoma will get a shot at Auburn and the SEC in the Sugar Bowl – fine accomplishments after fine seasons.

But the best four teams will be playing in the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl and the best two eventually for a national title – just like it should be.

 

Trey Hunter is the sports editor for the Mustang News. Comments can be sent to him via email at sports@mustangnews.info.

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