If you’re in charge of college football’s postseason, you overreact. It’s what you do.

From Mandel’s Mailbag today:

Stewart – does the fact that Ohio State made the playoff without winning its division, then got blown out by Clemson, change the narrative of the committee going forward? No matter how good a team “looks” during the season it’s going to be hard to select them ahead of a conference champion if a situation arises similar to the Big Ten’s this year given Ohio State’s poor showing and the fact that Penn State won the conference but was left out.

Well, you knew this was coming.

If the committee is being true to its mission then it shouldn’t let any bowl results affect its decisions. It’s not their job to be prophets and predict how the games will play out. All they can do is make their decisions based on what the teams achieved during the regular season, and the committee seemed pretty adamant that Ohio State’s resume was superior to Penn State’s.

Remember, it didn’t come down to those two for the last spot, it came down to Washington vs. Penn State.

But I realize much of the public — perhaps even the majority? — believe that conference champs should be rewarded above all else. Frankly, the most surprising aspect of the late-season debate for me was the fact that so many people were willing to just completely disregard Penn State’s extra loss. I’d always assumed there would be enormous backlash whenever the day does come that a two-loss team gets in before a one-loss team.  Turns out a great number of you are perfectly OK with that.

I don’t see the committee changing its protocol prior to next season. The emphasis on “four best teams” was a directive from the commissioners when they established the playoff. But I also think you might go another nine years and never see the same scenario — a two-loss conference champ that beat a one-loss team in its own division — play out again.

His point about two losses is a fair cop.  But if you don’t think going forward that the selection committee will be a little more gun shy about plopping a non-conference champ school into the semi-finals, you must not have been paying attention to what happened after the last time Alabama and LSU faced off against each other twice in the same season.

After all, it’s not like these people can be accused of a ton of consistency in their selection rationale from year to year.  Just ask Baylor and TCU how they felt about Ohio State making it in.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

12 responses to “If you’re in charge of college football’s postseason, you overreact. It’s what you do.

  1. Otto

    Ohio St was more deserving of the 4th spot than any other Big10 team. Penn St had 2 losses, Ohiio St 1 and a win over P5 conf champ. Penn St lost just as Michigan and Penn St did. The question is not should the conf champ go but was a Big10 team deserving of the playoff.


  2. Spike

    FWIW.. Penn State beat Ohio State, who did not even win their division.


  3. The Nelson Puppet

    The Big Ten is a weak sister football conference.


  4. Whiskeydawg

    I only know how much I enjoyed watching Corch get his @ss handed to him before a national audience.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    In this Hogbody’s humble opinion, I am delighted that the committee picked Ohio State, just for the joy of seeing Corch get his ass handed to him on a platter.


  6. the real point being glossed over is the Big 10’s annual bowl flop at 3-7. Mandel tries to make the argument that more Big 10 teams got pushed up, but they were still 4-6 against the spread. People still can’t conceive of placing a team with a worse record over a team with a better record as long as they both play in a P-5 conference.

    I keep saying this over and over, but college football needs to appoint a commissioner (who is not regional or territorial) that can come up with solutions that “standardize” things in ways that we can make real comparisons between teams across conferences.

    For example, solve the number of conference games. Force whole conferences to play each other in semi-systematic way. The Big Ten got more mileage out Wisconsin’s win over LSU than any other conference did for any out of conference game. OSU beat OU AFTER they had lost to Houston on opening weekend, yet for some reason, it was cited as a quality win once OU ran the table in a bad conference.

    What if UGA, Bama, and Auburn had all played Big 10 teams that day instead of UNC, USC, and Clemson. Wouldn’t that have provided a bit more insight into where leagues stand relative to each other. What if 5-6 ACC teams had matched up against either the Pac 10 or Big 12 in similar fashion.

    Officiating is a national epidemic. Fix it on a national scale. Have crews work 2-3 parts of the country (i.e., up to 4 hours of flying time minus any layover), but have the refs report up nationally rather than in conference. don’t have “crews” have roles and a ref should be expected to call a game the same regardless of which crew he joins…which leads to calling games consistently across all crews. the standard of holding and pass interference is the same everywhere. there is no “letting them play” or “calling it close”. there is only “call it correct”.

    To be clear, standardization/nationalization of decision making does NOT eliminate regional differences or the things that make college football so interesting. Rather, the goal is mitigate the issues and problems and maximize the best aspects of the sport.


    • Dog in Fla

      Soul Asylum is perfect for next G-Day game b/c if it’s good enough for Akron, it’s good enough for Athens