Thank God we never have to deal with this stupid 4-team playoff mess again.
The college football playoffs will expand to 12 teams next year, and the controversy this year over which four teams would make the playoffs is a great example of why the expansion is so badly needed.
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.
Well it seems like Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan football team wasn’t thrilled with the selection committee’s rankings either.
Of course they were pumped to be ranked #1. But when it was announced that their opponent for the first round of the playoffs would be Alabama and not Florida State…well, let’s just say it seemed like they were hoping for a matchup with the Seminoles.
And you can’t blame them. A matchup with a wounded Florida State team would be an easier path to the national championship than an Alabama team that just won the SEC championship. And maybe that proves that the selection committee got it right.
But it still doesn’t sit right with me that an undefeated champion from a power 5 conference, a team that’s won every game they played and done everything they possibly could for a chance to win a championship, is left out in favor of a team that lost a game this season.
Luckily, it’s the last time we’ll have to have these arguments – although I’m sure there will be plenty of arguments to be had even when the playoffs expand to twelve teams.