The College Playoff Committee gave Alabama the nod over Ohio State in its final playoff ranking Sunday, elevating the one-loss Tide over a two-loss Big Ten champion. Many people agreed with this decision; many people did not.
Ultimately, did the committee get it right?
“Yes and no,” college football insider Brett McMurphy said on Gio and Jones. “I thought they got it right, but based on what they supposedly value more, I think they would have picked Ohio State. The last time I talked with you guys, I said I wanted Ohio State to win so (the committee would) have a tough decision. They certainly had a tough decision, but I think if you look at the resumes, Ohio State is the better team, has the better resume. But then people obviously look a lot more into that and say they just think Alabama is the better team. It’s a beauty pageant.”
We’re four years into the playoff, and McMurphy still does not know what is important to the committee. No one does.
“People think, ‘Well, now we’ve figured out what the committee values, so going forward we can have a better idea,’” McMurphy said. “I disagree a thousand percent. Again, it’s going to be a different 13 people every year. They rotate committee members in and out every year. Next year, it may be four conference champs, teams with multiple losses. But it’s going to make for a great playoff, and Alabama and Clemson, here we go.”
While the Big Ten and Pac-12 probably feel slighted by the committee, the Big 12 is probably a little confused.
“If I’m the Big 12, why did we add a conference championship game if you’re not going to value conference championships?” McMurphy asked. “Everyone says we don’t need an eight-team playoff because the conference championship games are play-in games. Well, no they’re not – because if they are, Ohio State would have gotten in.”
The Buckeyes (11-2) finished fifth in the final ranking, while Wisconsin (12-1) finished sixth.
“There’s not a right or wrong answer,” McMurphy said. “It’s basically your opinion on who you think is better. I don’t want to hear, ‘Well, Vegas would favor Alabama over this team or that team.’ Well, they were favored against Auburn and they lost. So you can’t go strictly by point spread. I think you need to reward teams for what they’ve accomplished on the field. I understand Ohio State had a horrible loss to Iowa. However, on the flip side, Ohio State has three wins against teams in the playoff committee’s top 16. Alabama has zero. They have two wins over teams ranked between 17 and 25, so Ohio State has better wins, more quality wins, and they have a conference championship. What they told us in the past, they would have gone with Ohio State.”
Instead, two conference-championship games – the Big Ten and Pac-12 – were irrelevant, while the Big 12 Championship was redundant. Oklahoma beat TCU by 18 in November; Oklahoma beat TCU by 24 on Saturday.
“If I’m a conference, I don’t think they’re going to pull back on these conference championships – specifically the SEC and Big Ten (because) they’re such a big moneymaker,” McMurphy said. “But what it’s told us is there’s not as much value in it as we thought. If I’m the Big 12, I’m wondering why in the world did we do this because we already play everybody in the regular season.”