American Athletic Conference commissioner Michael Aresco strongly criticized the College Football Playoff selection committee for dropping undefeated Cincinnati another spot in its rankings — behind three two-loss teams.
During an interview Wednesday on SEC Network’s The Paul Finebaum Show, Aresco said the CFP selection committee needs to do some “soul searching” and is “undermining its credibility with rankings that defy logic and common sense and fairness.”
“I never thought I’d say it, but if this continues, bring back the BCS and the computers because it would be a fairer system than what I’m seeing now,” Aresco said. “This is the seventh year [of the CFP], and it does appear the deck is stacked against us and against other [Group of 5 teams].”
It took him seven years to figure that out? It was obvious from the get go.
It’s important to note that what Aresco is complaining about isn’t that one of his programs should be in the CFP semifinals. No, he’s upset that Cincinnati finds itself behind Iowa State, Florida and Georgia. But, honestly, what does he expect? His crisis was engineered from the moment the powers that be put the decisions in the hands of a hackish selection committee. And I use the word “crisis” loosely — it’s a feature, not a bug, in the eyes of the CFP.
At least the Coaches Poll was only a segment of the BCS math. Now, you’ve got the likes of Florida’s Scott Stricklin sitting in the room that makes the final decisions, pretending he’s not sticking his thumb on the scale for his school (and most likely, Georgia, because it makes the Gators’ win look better). Not that Stricklin is the first nor the last with an obvious conflict weighing in.
Gary Barta’s fumbled explanation of the standings and the reasoning behind them is just evidence that these guys are making up as they go along, with the primary goal being to make sure the money goes where it needs to go. It’s just more obvious this season because 2020 is such a cock up when it comes to talent evaluation and because the pandemic has squeezed the finances of so many P5 athletic departments. Make no mistake, though, it’s been the CFP’s underpinning all along.
That being said, going back to the BCS formula won’t solve the problem. Not when the Coaches Poll gets a third of the weight of the standings. Nothing has changed with these jokers. If they really want to get rid of the appearance of bias and conflict of interest, as well as focus on making sure the field is comprised of the best (The most deserving? Fuck their feelings.), then devise a new formula. Say, half derived from advanced stats and related computer algorithms and half from a much larger pool of selectors (a couple of hundred, at least) who select the top teams not by ranking them individually but through approval voting like we do here with the Mumme Poll.
Not that that’s gonna happen. Can’t mess with the money. Sorry, Michael.