I think the phrase for this is wishful thinking.
Appearing on “The Paul Finebaum Show,” Fallica argued that a loss to Alabama might not be enough to move Georgia down in the selection committee’s rankings.
“If Georgia right now is one of the four best teams why should they be penalized for having to play Alabama in the SEC Championship Game? If they lose, it doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the best four teams.”
It doesn’t matter. A two-loss, non-conference winning team isn’t going into the CFP ahead of a one-loss conference champion. It’s just not happening, regardless of which is best.
Because that’s not college football’s lords and masters want from their postseason. I keep harping on this, but the way the system is built now, it’s to give the wealth a chance to be spread among the P5 conferences.
That’s why stuff like this…
But what if instead they all went down? How much fun would it be?
What if …
— Georgia upsets Alabama.
— Pittsburgh pops Clemson.
— Texas outscores Oklahoma (again).
— Northwestern slogs past the Buckeyes.
What if, in all its glory, a sudden storm disrupts everything we think we know about this season in college football?
Wouldn’t it be, well, fun?
And more important: Would it prompt change?
… is equally wishful, but only to a point. When the day comes — and it will come — that going to six, or eight, or whatever puts more change in the pockets of the conference commissioners, then that kind of thinking will become a happily convenient excuse for expansion, just like the 2011 national title game was. The Delanys and Sankeys will say they’re doing it for the fans, but that’s not the actual motivation.
If these people were truly serious about improving how the semi-final field is selected to tamp down criticism of the decision making, there would be a serious attempt to improve the nature of the selection committee’s analysis and with that, a process that would be more open to the outside world. Here’s an example of what I mean by that:
It’s easy to see how and why the selection committee is predisposed toward defense. Its current makeup includes five former coaches. They rightfully command a lot of respect from the other eight committee members. But the retired coaches’ average age is 71.6 years old – and Frank Beamer, who retired after the 2015 season, is the only one who coached in this decade.
Coincidentally, that’s when offense transformed college football.
At some point, those slots will be occupied by guys who coached in this era. When it happens, the predisposition toward defense will probably change.
It’d be nice, though, if the selection committee acknowledged right now, in real time, the reality of college football in the postmodern era: You’d better have an offense – because what happened Saturday can happen to your very good defense.
Defense remains hugely important. Having both is absolutely the best possible situation. See Alabama and Clemson. It’s best to be complete.
But if it’s one or the other? “Defense wins championships” is a nice talking point – but putting up points is a much better plan.
While that’s certainly a valid criticism, even that falls short. The committee shouldn’t be picking or choosing whether offense matters more than defense. What it should be doing is using a solid analytical framework to inform its decision making, a framework that would access how teams perform across the board, i.e., offense, defense and special teams, in order to set a hierarchy of the best.
No, that shouldn’t be the exclusive measure of things. The eye test should matter. Results on the field, too. There’s a valid reason to have folks who have coached provide input in the room. But maybe instead of having five dudes from another era doing that, you could drop a couple and put some advanced stat guys in the room with the rest of the group. I’m sure someone could round up a couple of hats for them to take off before they go in the room.
I know. That’s wishful thinking on my part. The folks driving the CFP train already have all the transparency in the process they want.
You people jonesing for an eight-team playoff, just be patient. It’s coming. Not for the reasons you want it, though.