Chips on the table time.
In their quest to secure their first ever college football playoffs invite, the Washington Huskies completed their end of the bargain. Their 41-10 physical beat down over Colorado gave them something that only Ohio State also has: a double digit and convincing win over a top ten team. In fact, only those two plus Penn State have any kind of win over a current top 10.
But is it enough to turn planes routing from Seattle to either Atlanta or Phoenix purple this New Year’s eve weekend?
All answers will be revealed today. The CFP committee is set to announce their selections out of their home base in the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, TX at 9 AM pacific.
While UW handled their own business, just about everything else that could go wrong pretty much did on Championship Weekend. Specifically, Clemson won the ACC in a shootout with #23 Virginia Tech while Penn State came back from a 21 point deficit to win the Big East over #6 Wisconsin.. These developments clearly left a crack in the door for another team to possibly pass UW in the final selections.
There are now just five realisitic candidates for four positions. Here is how I see things shaking out:
5. Penn State (11-2)
Should be: #4
The Nittany Lions are Big Ten champs and have two wins over current top ten teams. That is pretty good. They also own a victory over playoff near-lock Ohio State. Their problem is that they lost a second game (blown out by Michigan and then a close one to a top 25 Pitt).
Personally, I think that their Big Ten title and their head to head win make them eligible and that they should be in. I doubt the committee will agree.
4. Washington (12-1)
Should be: #2
The committee hates Washington. That said, there is little justification for leaving them out of the playoffs. The Huskies can be legitimately dinged for strength of schedule, but that is more than offset by how dominant they have been throughout its entirety. They have led in more than 80% of the elapsed time of all of their ball games and they beat seven of their ten conference foes by three scores or more - including traditional favorite Stanford. No other team can come close to these kinds of claims.
As noted above, UW is also the only team other than tOSU to beat another top ten team in a blowout. Their only real blemish for the season is a loss to a USC team that will most certainly be in the top ten as of today. On the whole, their resume - including the championship - is second only to Alabama’s.
3. Ohio State (11-1)
Should be: #3
I admit that the Buckeyes do have the most impressive one loss resume on paper if you discount the importance of the conference championship. They hold the most wins over highly ranked teams and their loss to Penn State looks better every week. I do not have a huge problem with Ohio State being in the Final Four, but I am troubled that everbody else had to put it on the line in an extra week of play while the Buckeyes stayed home trimming trees and sipping egg nog. It was like they got a BYE week.
I think the committee is going to slot tOSU third which would be the right seeding if Penn State - who I think has more “earned it” - were also in the playoffs.
2. Clemson (12-1)
Should be: #5
Objectively, the Tigers have the least compelling resume of all the remaining five. The ACC has lost much of its luster overall thanks in large part to the collapse of Louisville and Florida State. They do not have any wins over a current top ten team. They’ve played “down to” several of their opponents this year (Troy?), a fact that was punctuated by their struggles in putting away Virginia Tech last night.
In fact, if that chip shot field goal that NCState shanked had actually gone in, we’d not even be talking about Clemson. I’d go so far as suggest that Clemson should be evaluated as having lost that game because that is how their team actually performed.
But the committee will not do that. They love Clemson and will overvalue their “exciting win” over Louisville until the cows come home.
Should be: #1
Well, yeah. Pretty tough for even a committe that boasts Ty Willingham as a member to screw this one up.
What do you think? How will the seedings work out? How should they work out?
This is your Selection Sunday open thread.