Well the CFP Matchups are Set, and the Committee Clearly just Looks at Records
By Peter Santo
Conference championship weekend is in the books, and the College Football Playoff matchups for year three are set. It will be Alabama vs Washington and Clemson vs Ohio State in the National Semifinals.
In the college ranks, Alabama dominated Florida to win the SEC title. At the moment the Tide are the clear cut number one team, and their defense is outstanding, however I think they are far from unbeatable. Florida isn’t exactly very good, no one in the SEC East was very good this year, so we’ll see how the Tide fare when they play a real team (Washington isn’t a real team either). I also think Jalen Hurts could make a huge freshman mistake in a big game down the stretch.
The ACC champion Clemson Tigers enter the playoff as the number two team in the country after defeating the much improved Virginia Tech Hokies to earn their second straight ACC title. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson was fabulous, scoring five total touchdowns and willing his team to victory. Not too many people are giving the Tigers a chance against Ohio State, but I think they are underestimating Clemson, who open as a three point underdog. Look for the Tigers to give the Buckeyes a hell of a game.
Ohio State didn’t even play in their conference title game on Saturday, which is the reason they dropped to number 3 in the final CFP rankings behind number two Clemson. There was controversy over whether or not the Buckeyes should be in the playoff without winning their conference, but I believe the Buckeyes are a top two team in the country. I think the real debate was between Penn State and Washington.
Now on to the controversial number four team, the Washington Huskies. I have to give the Huskies credit, they played the schedule that was handed to them and they played well, finishing with just one loss. They stormed through the Pac 12, steamrolling Colorado in the championship game, and their only loss to USC looks better by the day.
I just don’t think the Huskies passed the eye test, they got beat badly by USC at home in their one primetime game on a big stage. If you had to put a Pac 12 team in, I would’ve put USC, but the committee has shown they just look at records and don’t care which teams are actually good.
The case for Penn State: They won their conference title and won the head to head matchup with Ohio State. They peaked at the right time.
The case against Penn State: They lost to Pitt and lost to Michigan by a million. They were outplayed for most of the game against Ohio State and won on a fluke special teams play.
The case for Michigan: They lost to Iowa in Iowa’s super bowl on the road in the rain at night, and they lost to Ohio State (who I think is the best team in the country) on a tough fourth down call. And they crushed Penn St.
The case against Michigan: That Iowa loss puts them in a tough spot. Tough to put in a two loss team that didn’t win their conference.
I would’ve had:
- Ohio St
I used the eye test more than looking at records, I’ve watched all these teams play and I think these are the four best teams in the country. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.