CFP Aftermath, Week 3

Week 1: I was 8 for 8 for teams, 8 for 8 for their positions.
Week 2: 8 for 8 for teams, 6 for 8 positions
Week 3: 8 for 8 on teams, 4 for 8 on positions – (GE’s rankings in parentheses)

CFP Rankings, Nov. 18
1. Alabama, 9-1 (2)
2. Oregon, 9-1 (1)
3. Florida State, 10-0 (3)
4. Mississippi State, 9-1 (4)
5. TCU, 9-1 (7)
6. Ohio State, 9-1 (6)
7. Baylor, 8-1 (5)
8. Ole Miss, 8-2 (8)

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!
I don’t think there are any surprises in the top 4 teams. Those 4 are consistent across every poll. It’s the bottom four that is a bit mystifying.

The real surprise for me is TCU/Baylor arrangement. What this shows us is that the committee values strength of schedule over head-to-head action. TCU’s win over Minnesota is the only glaring difference between them and Baylor at this point. Baylor doesn’t have an out-of-conference win of note.

It’s tempting to blast the CFP Committee for this decision – looking at strength of schedule vs. solely head-to-head. But it wasn’t that long ago the entire college football nation was blasting teams cruising to 10-0, 11-0 records, staying healthy because they weren’t playing tough competition, and having only to win one big game. (Boise St., BYU, and Utah – I’m looking at you. Although to be fair, once Utah joined the Pac-12 this changed for them.) This also explains why FSU continues to get little love from the Committee.

SEC Bias?
Here’s the argument – SEC schools start the season rated higher therefore the early season wins count more than they should and the losses hurt less than they should. Case in point – MSU. They beat LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn early in the season when they were highly ranked. Turns out all three are going to be out of the top 25. The MSU shine takes a hit but not enough to knock them out of the top 4.

There may be some truth to this but the counter-argument is equally persuasive. LSU – a 3 loss team – handled Wisconsin easily this year. Auburn went TO Kansas State and won a close one. Two teams that are currently out of the top 25 but won convincingly against two top 25 schools.

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