Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

“They will all have a choice to make.”

It’s gonna be a fun December for Nick Saban.

As Alabama was making appearances in each of the first five College Football Playoff extravaganzas, players across the country started electing not to play in postseason games that didn’t have a national championship at stake.

Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette, former Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis and former Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker were among the notable Southeastern Conference players who elected to bypass bowl games and get a head start on their NFL preparation. Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide didn’t have to concern themselves with such departures, but that won’t be the case in the weeks ahead.

Alabama didn’t qualify for this year’s playoff and instead will play Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day.

“I’m sure that guys are going to make individual decisions based on their circumstance and their situation,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said Sunday. “What we want to focus on are the guys who want to look to the future and look to try to improve themselves as players and to improve our team in getting back to the standard that we want to play to.

“This is something that has been a bit of an issue in the past with other programs. We will have those conversations, and we will let you know if any of those decisions are imminent.”

Oh, they’re imminent, alright.  Thing is, Saban’s not wrong about this:

“When you have guys who don’t play in bowl games and they do play in the playoffs, that in itself tells you the view of the players in terms of how they look at the bowl game. We have made everything about the playoffs in college football.”

Obviously, there’s only one fix for that.  More cowbell!


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Nick Saban Rules

Closer than you think


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football


Briefly contemplated this after I saw the results from last night…

… but, nah, that’s not gonna happen.  Baylor would be a one-loss conference champ.  There ain’t enough SEC bias in the world for the selection committee to take a two-loss Georgia over that.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

“It has been downright dull in all honesty.”

David Ching points out that, at least in one aspect, this has been an unusual season.

Since the CFP launched in 2014, the selection committee’s weekly rankings have been known for two things: their volatility and their remarkably unreliable projection of the eventual playoff participants.

In 26 sets of weekly rankings released between the 2014 and 2018 seasons, only once did the committee’s top four include each of the teams that would participate in that season’s playoffs. Late in the 2016 season, the committee listed Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington – the eventual semifinalists – as its top four in both the second-to-last set of rankings and on Selection Sunday.

But that’s it. That’s the only time.

Otherwise, the top of the rankings changed in some way nearly every week. Just six times in 26 opportunities between 2014 and 2018 did the top four remain exactly the same from one week to the next. And just eight times did the same top four teams carry over from any one week to the next, regardless of their order.

In addition, the committee never had the same top four for more than two consecutive weeks in any previous season. So when the identical four teams – Ohio State, LSU, Clemson and Georgia – comprised the committee’s top four for the last month straight, we entered into uncharted territory.

That means Georgia wins tomorrow, amirite?  I mean, if the 2019 CFP race is all about lack of drama, there’s no team exemplifying that better than the Dawgs.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The trouble with ‘Bama

So, as I’ve already mentioned, the selection committee served up a whole bunch of “oh, crap” to Nick Saban last night, dropping the Tide seven spots in the rankings after its loss to Auburn.

Here’s the committee’s rationale:

I get that, even if I’m not completely sold on it.  I also suspect that Tua’s season ending injury played into the drop as well.  Still, behind teams like Florida and Wisconsin?  Eh, doubtful either of those two would take ‘Bama.  Not that it matters; the really big deal here is that the selection committee has likely locked Alabama out of a NY6 bowl.  Tell me you saw that coming.

I’m not saying that because I care.  But a weakened Alabama team is playing havoc with everyone (and their computers) who ranks college football teams.  Check out the Massey Composite to get a sense of what I’m talking about.  Alabama is ranked anywhere from third to twenty fifth.  That’s a helluva range.

The consequences of this intrigue me, even if I’m someone not close to ready to buy into the “dynasty is over” talk.  For one thing, consider what it took for ‘Bama to find itself in its current state.

Not sure you can count on something like that replicating itself annually.

On the other hand, in the world of college football, the first thing that has to happen for a powerhouse program to slide is a perception that the program is not quite the same anymore.  It’s a subjective sport and doubt is a powerful tool.  I’m not certain we’re quite there yet, but I’m also not certain we’re not seeing the first cracks in the Saban wall, either.

Next year, especially if Tua takes off, is going to be the most interesting year of Saban’s Alabama tenure, in my humble opinion.  I don’t have a clue from here how it’s gonna play out, but I’ll be watching.

In the meantime, it’s shaping up to be a real winter of discontent for Tahd Nation.


Filed under Alabama, BCS/Playoffs

SECCG motivation

Any of you who think LSU is coming to Atlanta comfortable in the knowledge that, win or lose, the Tigers are a lock for the CFP and thus maybe play a little relaxed, need to disabuse yourself of that notion.  Sure, LSU will be in no matter what, but there is still something pretty significant left for it to play for.

In some years, the top spot may not matter — in fact, it may be worth avoiding since the No. 1 seed has yet to win the title in the five playoffs since the current format began. But this season, the spot may well carry a significant advantage — avoiding the defending champion, Clemson, which has won 27 consecutive games, in the semifinals on Dec. 28.

Could mopping up the selection committee’s number four team Saturday — a team that has yet to give up more than 20 points in a game all season — propel LSU past Ohio State into the top spot, thus avoiding Clemson in the semi-finals?  If you’re LSU, you’d at least like for the committee to be in the position of having to consider that.

Georgia is going to get the Tigers’ best shot.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football


This is unmitigated horse crap.

First of all, it’s a textbook example of why athletic directors have no business serving on the selection committee.  It’s impossible to avoid conflicts of interest when major powers are in play and ADs from P5 conferences are voters.

And Gene Smith’s “uncomfortable” because other committee members didn’t value his team the way he did?

“We could debate whether we should have been four, five, relative to Oklahoma, but I just felt that the application of the criteria relative to Georgia and us last year was troublesome for me.”

Poor baby.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs