This is a debate that’s going to be raging for awhile.
The college football playoffs are finally set – the final time that the playoffs will only have four teams before moving to a 12-team playoff next year – and there’s plenty of controversy over the final rankings.
It really came down to four teams fighting for two spots, after Michigan and Washington won their conference championships to remain undefeated and virtually lock themselves into the playoffs.
That left four teams who all had a case for the final two spots:
Texas, who was 12-1 and won the Big 12 championship and also had a win over Alabama
Florida State, who was 13-0 and won the ACC championship, but who recently lost their star quarterback Jordan Travis to injury and hasn’t looked as explosive ever since
Alabama, who lost to Texas but beat Georgia for the SEC championship
Georgia, who went undefeated in the regular season but lost in the conference championship to Alabama
It was a nearly impossible decision for the selection committee, one that was sure to infuriate people no matter what they decided. Do you leave out an undefeated conference champion in Florida State in favor of an Alabama team with a loss? Does the Crimson Tide somehow jump Texas despite the Longhorns winning their head-to-head matchup? Does Georgia still get in based on their 29-game winning streak and undefeated regular season, even though they didn’t win the conference championship?
Those were the questions and debates that raged on social media all night, but we finally have our answer from the committee: Florida State is out, and Alabama is in.
The playoff rankings were just released, with Michigan coming in at #1, Washington at #2, Texas at #3 and Alabama taking the final spot at #4.
It’s the first time that an undefeated conference champion from a Power 5 conference has been left out of the playoffs, as the committee ranked ACC champion Florida State at #5. And Georgia fell from the top spot to #6 with their loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game.
While most of the talking heads on ESPN seemed to agree with the committee that Alabama deserved the final spot over Florida State (which doesn’t do anything to quiet the accusations of SEC bias), one commentator was furious that an undefeated conference champion was left out of the playoffs.
Booger McFarland disagreed with the others on the panel during ESPN’s selection show, and didn’t hold back as he went off on the selection committee:
“To me, this is a travesty to the sport. Because we go out there on the field and we play the game. And regardless of whether it looks good at the quarterback position, regardless of whether we win with offense, whether we win with defense, the name of the game is to win.
And that’s a reason never before has this not been done: Winning a Power 5 conference, going undefeated, and not getting into the playoff.
I understand we want to look at style points and who are we going to get for the best matchups. But that’s not what this is about.
This is about understanding to get the four best teams. One team has a loss and that’s Alabama. One team doesn’t in Florida State. And the fact that this committee could take a Power 5 conference champion that’s undefeated…those kids have went out there and busted their behind. And not get into the playoffs based on the eye test.
Mind you, this is the same Alabama team who needed a prayer in Jordan Hare to beat an Auburn team that lost to New Mexico State. So that’s really what has me bothered right now.”
Booger McFarland is not happy that Alabama got into the CFP over an undefeated Florida State team.
"To me, this is a travesty to the sport…One team has a loss, and that's Alabama. One doesn't in Florida State." pic.twitter.com/3rhBvvpT1D