A foreshadowing of things to come?

Virginia shocked the world – and me, too – by pulling off something it never managed before, even in the Ralph Sampson years, winning both the ACC regular season and tournament.  It then managed the topper last night of garnering a number one seed in the NCAA tourney.

As thrilled as I am about that, there’s just one little nagging detail that makes me wonder… about the football selection committee.

Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman, the chairman of the selection committee, said Virginia’s two championships trumped an RPI rating of 11 to earn a 1 seed over Michigan and Villanova.

So, an ACC athletic director explains that winning his conference was a bigger factor in determining seeding than play against overall strength of schedule.

Now, this wasn’t about anything more than ordering a top seed, so maybe that’s why there isn’t much of an outcry over it.  But how do you think that rationale, delivered by such a person, would go over were it used to justify four vs. five in a college football playoff?  I’m thinking not well.

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32 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

32 responses to “A foreshadowing of things to come?

  1. Bulldog Joe

    A better indicator of what is to come is Coach K lobbying an undeserving NC State into the tournament.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2014-03-15/acc-tournament-coach-k-stumps-for-nc-state-dance-invitation

    • Geez, man, coach lobbying’s been going on for years. Just ask Mack Brown.

      What’s a lot more concerning is how well the selection committee deals with the appearance of conflicts of interest.

    • gastr1

      Yes. He was so wrong about this as to be ludicrous–several of the A 10 teams in question had beaten ACC teams, even– and then NCSU got in anyway. That’s outcry-worthy.

  2. gastr1

    It might not go well given that the apparent conflict of interest, but given that with the 1 seed clearly on the line for all three teams Virginia ended its season with a win and the other two did not, it’s hard to knock the choice. In addition, Michigan had more losses and was not strong outside the conference; and Villanova lost to a bottom-feeder early on in its tournament. RPI is not the only factor used, thankfully; winning when the chips are down is important too.

  3. The committee is going to be a train wreck unless there are four teams that are 13-0 and champions of power conferences. The Bc$ formula wasn’t a bad measure once they tweaked the use of the computer rankings to drop the highest and lowest, so why not use it to determine the 4 playoff teams? Let the committee place the other teams in the relevant bowls to try to get compelling matchups rather than the joke of the ’13 bowl season.

  4. The bigger conclusion to take from the Committee’s selection is that the RPI is shit, just like the computer ratings that were used by the BCS. UVA is #4 according to KenPom, #6 according to the Sagarin Predictor, and #6 according to BPI. Any ratings system that accounts for MOV will reward UVA for getting most of its wins by comfortable margins. RPI is useless because it doesn’t use that data for political reasons. Sound familiar?

    • Yeah. It’s not the decision itself that bothers me. It’s how people are going to react to Jeff Long delivering the news that an SEC team made it into the last slot ahead a school from another conference because of how it performed in the SEC.

  5. 81Dog

    I think I see the logic here: We’re going to rely on good data-based analysis to sort things out, unless we decide we’re going with our feelings.

    Makes perfect sense to me. That’s the same system my wife uses.

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    I thought these selection committee members were going to be free from the biases of ordinary men. Was I wrong?

  7. Always Someone Else's Fault

    The committee does a wonderful job of defending its individual decisions with individual rationales — no matter the consistency of those rationales taken in the aggregate.

    Certain media people were mocking CFB last year for its lack of a tournament like CBB and a “merit-based championship.” Over the past week, those same personalities have openly been rooting/agitating for certain teams and match-ups based on nothing more than their entertainment value. So much for merit having anything to do with it.

    I honestly hate what the NCAA tournament as become. It just feels random and stale these days.

  8. ScoutDawg

    There is no team in the ACC I would rather see “come up”, in both FB and BB, Than UVA.

  9. 3rdandGrantham

    Fellow Uva fan and C’ville resident here. I frankly was surprised by the #1 given to UVa. We (my UVa friends) all assumed UVa was locked in at #2, even after the Duke win. So we were pleasantly shocked when word leaked prior to the selection show that UVa would indeed be one of the four #1’s.

    With that said, objectively speaking they deserve it. They and UF have been the hottest teams in the country over the past few months, while Louisville plays in a much weaker conference.I agree that his remarks perhaps could be troubling when applying them to CFF; I’m assuming there is a stark difference in CBB seeding compared to the upcoming CFB playoff system.

    • charlottedawg

      I agree they deserve the #1 seed. They absolutely suffocated Duke with their defense yesterday, i think I can count on one hand the number of open looks for the Blue Devils. It’s not as if Duke just played poorly on Sunday either, UVA executed to perfection for the entire game, and they have been for the majority of the season…..now if only we could get Georgia football to do the same

  10. mg4life0331

    I like the idea of championships meaning more than arbitrary rankings.

  11. HVL Dawg

    Orin Hatch says it is unfair and the brackets must be made larger.

    • If Orrin’s patient, he’ll get his wish.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Whatever the number the team next in line that got left out will always have a case. See SMU and March Madness this year–and the NCAA let in 68 teams.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      HVL, I don’t think Orrin care about the size of the brackets as much as he cares about the size of the checks going to the schools his campaign donors root for.

  12. Turd Ferguson

    There’s no way to avoid judgment calls. So the most we can hope for is some sort of intelligible reasoning behind a particular judgment call. And in this case, at least, it appears that there was some intelligible reasoning behind it.

    But of course, there’s no question that some people are going to absolutely lose there shit each and every year in college football when the selection committee announces its picks. The only difference between football and basketball is that, for whatever reason, the smaller number of playoff participants in football will make the judgment calls appear that much more controversial. But give it a little time and I’m sure the college football playoff will be expanded …

    For the record, as a UNC fan, I can say that I couldn’t be happier with UVA’s success this season. They’re clearly the best team in the conference, and totally deserving of a 1-seed, in my opinion. I loved, loved, loved hearing Duke fans complain about the officiating in that championship game. Also nice to see Coach K finally get called for the technical fouls that he so often deserves.

  13. Dog in Fla

    Any committee with Condi on it will act with utmost integrity after an enhanced interrogation working overall body punches to the strength of schedule and its resistance to moisture. Bagman Bill and his handlers will not stand for anything less

    http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/03/17/rutgers-profs-protest-condi-rice-graduation-speaker/

  14. Cojones

    I think all hell will break loose on the 4th vs 5th selection in CFB. That point is what will drive the CFB “playoffs” to 8 teams and that’s where a playoff scenario will begin to penetrate the more subjective selection view now in place.