By Sydney Gibbs
Ever since its debut in 2014, the College Football Playoff has served as a knockout tournament between four teams of the Football Bowl Subdivision to determine the National Champion.
The goal has always been to put the four best teams in. It’s been reiterated time after time. However, that goal hasn’t lived up to expectations, this year especially.
After championship weekend, there was a lot of debate over who should have been ranked as the No. 4 team in the final College Football Playoff poll. Much of the discussion surrounding BIG 10 champion Ohio State, Big 12 champion Oklahoma, and SEC runner-up Georgia.
Selection Sunday came as a big and not so big surprise when the final edition of the rankings had the Oklahoma Sooners ranked as the final team to compete for a championship. Dreadfully following behind them was Georgia at No. 5 and Ohio State at No. 6.
After watching the release of the rankings I have come to the conclusion that the committee and the entire selection process is extremely subjective and flawed.
Let me break this down and tell you why:
Oklahoma finished the regular season 12-1, with their only loss belonging to Texas back in early October. Oklahoma avenged that loss after beating them 39-37 in the Big 12 Championship game.
Looking at just the record, Oklahoma is an obvious answer for the No. 4 spot. However, what Oklahoma has shown on the field throughout the season especially defensively proves otherwise.
Oklahoma has a fast-paced, high-powered offense that puts up video game numbers week in and week out. An offense that is ranked No. 1 in total offense and puts up 49.5 points per game. But that’s all Oklahoma is. They have no identity on the defensive side of the football.
Watching them on defense is completely horrendous and not at all at the championship level. They have allowed 40+ points in their last four of five games this season. Two of them to teams that aren’t bowl eligible. They are ranked 108th in total defense.
Yes, I said 108th.
Offense wins games but defense wins championships and Oklahoma seems to lack severely in that category.
As for Ohio State, it is clear that they were not even considered for the No. 4 spot as the committee placed them behind a 2-loss none conference champion Georgia team. The Buckeyes lost to Purdue. Not only did they lose but they were embarrassed by a staggering 29 points to a team that just became bowl eligible by winning their last game of the season. It’s unforgivable.
What’s also unforgivable is how inconsistent they have been all season long. Before the Purdue loss, they were undefeated and playing at a very, very high level. But after……they were spiraling out of control.
They gave up 31 points and were on the verge of losing to a 4-8 Nebraska team at home, but somehow managed to escape. Don’t even get me started on Maryland. The two teams went to overtime. If the Terrapins would’ve converted on the 2-point conversion after the last second touchdown to potentially tie the game, then who knows if OSU would’ve only had one loss.
You could make the argument that Ohio State should have gotten in after they completely ran over Michigan. But where was that team when they played Purdue? Or Maryland? Or Nebraska? Consistency is key and that’s something that hasn’t been in Ohio State’s vocabulary all season long.
The last team in the triangle was Georgia. Most analysts and critics thought the Bulldogs were out after they suffered a 7-point loss to No.1 Alabama. They had two losses and didn’t win their conference so of course, they should be out right? I’ll gladly answer that and say wrong.
Georgia went into Mercedes-Benz Stadium and gave the dominant, “unbeatable” Alabama team a run for their money. Georgia led and kept control of the game for three quarters. If it were not for the missed field goal and bonehead 4th and 11 fake punt play. The Bulldogs would have brought home a new trophy.
Despite the two losses, Georgia proved something on the field. They proved that they are one of the four best teams in the country. Holistically, Georgia is unequivocally better than Oklahoma, Ohio State, and perhaps even Notre Dame but that’s a conversation for a different day.
Georgia lost in a true road game to Louisiana who was in the playoff conversation for a majority of the season. After that game, the Dawgs took control over every other game left on their regular season schedule. Not to mention, they comfortably won on the road to Florida, Kentucky, and Missouri all of whom are ranked in the Top-25.
Georgia had one of the toughest schedules in the country and got penalized for playing in its conference championship. What’s even worst is that Georgia was left out for losing in a championship game but Notre Dame was rewarded for not needing to play in one.
I mean weird flex but, okay committee go off.
The committee revealed to the country that they evaluate teams on the basis of who’s most deserving instead of who’s the best. Between offensive and defensive efficiency, as well as the eyeball test, Georgia ranks at the top of the leaderboard. Oklahoma is nowhere near as dominant as Georgia and anyone who watches football would say the same thing.
The committee knew that if they put a two-loss Georgia team in the playoffs, riots would’ve broken out advocating for a six- or eight-team-playoff. They refrained from controversy and conflict which screwed Georgia out of a spot. It’s sad but it’s true.
The goal of the committee was to put the four best teams in, and Georgia’s goal was to compete for a national championship and bring one back to Athens. Sadly, neither of those things were achievable this season.
But hey, go Dawgs!