I wrote a similar post to this back in 2014 when I firmly believed that college football had messed up. Back then they left a really good team out of the college football playoffs in order to put in a less impressive team in Ohio State… wait, is this deja vu? In 2014 the NCAA completely neglected a Baylor team that had a much more impressive win resume, and same record as Ohio State. They chose a battered and injured Ohio State team to move on to the NCAA playoffs, leaving Baylor to sulk all Christmas season. It was wrong at the time and the NCAA received tons of opinionated flak for their decision.
Today we received news that it has happened yet again… Ohio State remains the #3 seed and takes their spot in the playoffs, neglecting a Penn State Team with the same number of wins as the Buckeyes and even bigger, a win over Ohio State.
So here is my letter to the four schools in the playoff and the first one out.
You are the top dog. There is no doubt that Alabama is the number one team in the country. To debate this would be utter nonsense. The only undefeated team. They dominated every team they played this season (closest margin of victory was 10 points). There is no debate here.
I feel like Clemson gets a lot of grief because people don’t like Dabo Swinney. Nevertheless, this team deserves to be the two seed. They have an impressive win resume, and an even more impressive quarterback. Deshaun Watson led the Tigers to an incredible 12-1 season.
Clemson scored 30+ points in nine games this season, which was in part to Watson’s 43 touchdowns, 4438 total yards and 67.6 pass completion percentage. Clemson’s lone loss on the season came to a very good Pittsburgh team that gave Penn State one of their losses this season.
Clemson dominated the ACC this season, and firmly deserves their spot in the playoff. It will be an interesting matchup watching them take on Ohio State. I think the matchup favors the high powered offense of Clemson, assuming their defense can stop the Buckeyes.
This is hard for me to write. I loathe Ohio State. however, I have to attempt to remain unbiased here… Here is why Ohio State should be in.
- Their offense is good (not really though).
- Correcting the last bullet point to say they put points on the board. (kinda)
- Correcting this last point to say that they put points on the board against bad teams. With the exception of Oklahoma, the Buckeyes struggled to put more than 30 points on the board against good teams.
- Their defense is solid. This is really the best stat for Ohio State. The defense only allowed an average of 14.1 points per game, which isn’t the best, but it is certainly notable. Malik Hooker is an incredible defensive player, with six interceptions and three returned for touchdowns on the season.
I firmly believe this s the biggest flaw in the playoff picture. I am a fan of what Penn State does on the field and though fans could argue that Ohio State has fewer losses, I think that the overall performance on the season edges toward Penn State.
I hate to use the term redheaded step child to describe any team, but if the show fits…
Washington seems to get little respect when it comes to the playoffs. The Pac-12 rarely gets the coverage that the SEC, Big 10 and Big 12 get. I am a believer that the west coast simply doesn’t get the coverage because their games are so late. People can’t watch and therefore just don’t care as much. This aside, Washington is a silent killer, that could bring an upset.
The thing that gives the Huskies hope is the time to prepare. Their offense is great. QB Jake Browning is one of the best in the NCAA, with top 10 stats across the board for quarterback rankings. This will give fits to Alabama.
Alabama is beatable when not playing in a national championship. They are 5-5 since 2000 in bowl games when not playing in a championship. Their weakness has been high powered offenses, and that is exactly what they will see from Washington. This game will be a great opportunity for an upset.
Poor Penn State. I believed. I was hoping. I am sorry my college football playoff committee application got lost in the mail because you had my vote.
I love the Penn State story because it is one of redemption. It is no secret that the Nittany Lions have had to claw their way back onto the college football stage and in the national press. Scandal sucks, and the atrocity of rapid abuse taking place at the university years ago should never be neglected. That being said, Penn State as a whole was not the issue. They be-rid the culprits and have moved forward. This was their stage for redemption.
When selecting the four teams to get into the playoffs I feel they should look at three things:
- Wins and Losses
- Strength of Schedule
The best part of the Penn State story is that they improved. They started their season 2-2 and were looking at another year just like every other. The team then put together an impressive set of wins that defined an improving team in an incredibly difficult schedule.
Then there is the head to head issue with Ohio State. Penn State made it to the Big 1o Championship game and defeated an incredible Wisconsin team. That win gave them 11 on the season, the same as Ohio State. They defeated Ohio State on October 22, giving them the head to head edge which lead them to that championship game. I believe that Penn state was the better team and they proved it on the field.
In matter of debate, look at the head-to-head. I’m sorry Penn State. They got it wrong. I admire your comeback and root for you.
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