The Daily Player 12: Well, Whaddya Know
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Score another one for the Department of Redundancy Department.
For the second year in a row -- and the second year of the CFP's existence -- all the Selection Committee really had to do was crack open a quality adult beverage, grab some nosh, and go online to check the conference standings to anoint a Featured Four.
All that was left was to blackball the Power Five titlist with more than one loss. And they did.
And they coulda done it via Google Hangouts.
Ironically, the only collective in sports that may be more arrogant than college football's elite is the NFL ownership. But those dudes know they can't okie-doke the standings. Even their wild-card playoff teams are result-oriented. As it should be.
Anything else reeks of biased eye-tests.
Here's what the vision from on high ultimately turned out to be:
|1. Clemson||3. Michigan State|
|2. Alabama||4. Oklahoma|
|5. Iowa||9. Florida State|
|6. Stanford||10. North Carolina|
|7. Ohio State||11. TCU|
|8. Notre Dame||12. Mississippi|
Playoff pairings, of course, are inconsequential. The games are on neutral fields, and somebody's gotta win two to hoist the hardware.
The other big bowls got what they wanted, relatively speaking, especially:
- The Rose Bowl's still the frickin' Rose Bowl, and half of Iowa will be there to celebrate it.
- The Fiesta Bowl organizers -- those who remain, that is -- must be pinching themselves with the Ohio State v Notre Dame pairing.
Let's see how the harsh light of cold reality interprets the selectors' mission by using their own mandate:
The Daily Player 12 criteria is empirical. No opinions, just data:
- Until a conference title is clinched, division leaders will be considered as first-place teams.
- Power Five scores in non-conference games will be measured on a win-loss basis.
- If an Other Five team made it to Week 9 undefeated in conference and with two or fewer losses overall, it will be considered to have earned Power Five status.
- Head-to-head results will be measured separately on a win-loss basis.
- Bookies are the only evaluators who put their dosh where their conclusions are.
- Bovada championship odds will be factored into the rankings.
- Geeks have an unbiased place in this process; Anderson-Hester computer rankings are easily understandable and will be included.
This system's not that complicated, nor should it be:
- The Big XII has ten teams; no other conference has a division that large, so a first-place team will get 10 points, a second-place team will get 9 points, and so forth. If a team is tied for a position, it will be considered to hold the higher position.
- A conference champion will be awarded 5 bonus points.
- Non-con Power Five wins will be worth 3 points; those losses will be worth 1 point.
- Notre Dame's schedule will be measured against ACC teams.
- If BYU ever becomes a factor, we'll figure it out then.
- Head-to-head conference wins will be worth 3 points; those losses will be worth -1 point.
- Bovada and Geek rankings will be based on a 25-point scale and factored down by a constant of 0.3; thus, a first-place position will be worth (25 x 0.3) = 7.5 points, second place for either will be worth (24 x 0.3) = 7.2 points, and so on. If a team is tied for a position, it will be considered to hold the higher position.
Fairly and squarely, then, the numbers tell the story, and all the eyes have to do is read them:
A few observations:
- For the second year in a row, this is the same Featured Four as the Selection Committee anointed, but at a much more reasonable cost of determining it.
- Frankly, the first eight on that list look like a rather impressive field for a real playoff.
- Which brings to mind: the actual NCAA Division I championship -- aka the FCS tournament -- is under way, complete with 24 teams. A selection committee was involved because more than conference winners are included. But all conference winners are included.
Those dudes may be on to something.