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College Football Playoff: Picking the Top 4

BSD selects the top 4 teams for the college football playoff one year early.

Nick is displeased
Nick is displeased
Andy Lyons

Twelve months from now a panel of old people will convene to decide which four teams earned a berth in the inaugural college football playoffs (brought to us by 8 different sponsors). Why wait 12 months? Let's have some controversy right now.

#10 Oregon (10-2)

Champions of: Nothing

Best Road Win: Oregon 45, #16 Washington 24

Best Home Win: Oregon 42, #12 UCLA 14

Worst Road Game: Oregon 16, Arizona 42 (lolz - you lost to RichRod)

Worst Home Game: Oregon 36, Oregon State 35

Total Offense: 2nd

Total Defense: T-48th

Profile: The Ducks were ranked in the Top 5 all year until someone with hair on his chest played them. That manly team was Stanford, who kicked the snot out of the Ducks up, down, left, and right. The Ducks have speed, but not strength or toughness.

Verdict: Stay Home.

#9 Missouri (11-2)

Champions of: SEC East Division

Best Road Win: Mizzou 41, #7 Georgia 26

Best Home Win: Mizzou 36, #22 Florida 17 (hahaha, Florida was ranked back then)

Worst Road Game: Mizzou 42, Auburn 59 (neutral field)

Worst Home Game: Mizzou 24, #21 South Carolina 27, 2OT

Total Offense: 16th

Total Defense: 70th

Profile: Mizzou made a great run through a mediocre SEC East, but got clobbered by Auburn in the SEC Championship game, allowing 545 yards rushing. Five Hundred Forty-Five yards rushing. And little Nicky Saban said Mizzou had the best defensive front in the SEC. Troll hard, Nick. Troll hard.

Verdict: Stay Home.

#8 South Carolina (10-2)

Champions of: Nothing

Best Road Win: South Carolina 27, #5 Missouri 24, 2OT

Best Home Win: South Carolina 31, #6 Clemson 17

Worst Road Game: South Carolina 30, #11 Georgia 41

Worst Home Game: South Carolina 19, Florida 14

Total Offense: T-32nd

Total Defense: 18th

Profile: Meh. The Cocks have enough talent to beat almost anybody. And, as the 5-point home win over the hapless Gators shows, they can lose to almost anyone, too - and did, twice, while not beating anyone of particular note. Good is not good enough.

Verdict: Stay Home.

#7 Ohio State (12-1)

Champions of: Big Ten Leaders Division

Best Road Win: OSU 40, #16 Northwestern 30. And this was a 3-point game until the final whistle. Pathetic.

Best Home Win: OSU 31, #23 Wisconsin 24.

Worst Road Game: OSU 24, #10 Michigan State 34 (neutral field)

Worst Home Game: meh. Maybe having Buffalo within 10 in the 3rd quarter of the season opener.

Total Offense: 7th

Total Defense: 29th

Profile: the Bucks can run the football on everybody. But they can't pass consistently, and their defense is mediocre at best. Actually, it's horrible by Buckeye standards. This is another case of good is not good enough.

Verdict: Stay Home.

#6 Baylor (11-1)

Champions of: Big Twelve

Best Road Win: none. The Bears played just 4 road games all year, and were awful every time.

Best Home Win: Baylor 41, #10 Oklahoma 12. Both teams played like crap for the entire first half.

Worst Road Game: Baylor 17, #10 Oklahoma State 49. Blowed Out.

Worst Home Game: meh. Maybe the 20-point win over a crap Texas squad without David Ash.

Total Offense: 1st

Total Defense: T-17th

Profile: if the Bears could play every game at Floyd Casey, they might make the cut. But wow do they suck on the road. When your shining moment is two quarters of good football against an average OU squad....

Verdict: Stay Home. It's for the best.

#5 Stanford (11-2)

Champions of: Pac-12

Best Road Win: Stanford 38, #11 Arizona State 14

Best Home Win: Stanford 26, #3 Oregon 20 (not actually this close)

Worst Road Game: Stanford 21, Utah 27. Stanford managed just 13 first downs and 389 yards.

Worst Home Game: Stanford 31, #15 Washington 28. I thought U-Dub outplayed them.

Total Offense: 66th

Total Defense: 15th

Profile: Stanford's offensive and defensive lines can play with anyone. Inconsistent QB play, particularly on the road, was this team's Achilles heel. However, the Cardinals' seven wins over ranked teams, plus its dominating road win in the Pac-12 title game, give it one of the best resumes in CFB - despite the two last minute losses.

Verdict: Stay on the line, Cardinal.

#4 Michigan State (12-1)

Champions of: Big Ten

Best Road Win: Sparty 34, #2 Ohio State 24 (neutral field)

Best Home Win: Sparty 29, #23 Michigan 6. Wolverines rushed for minus 48 yards.

Worst Road Game: Sparty 13, #22 Notre Dame 17.

Worst Home Game: Sparty Defense 21, South Florida 6

Total Offense: 83rd

Total Defense: 1st

Profile: Sparty's offense didn't show up until October, and that - along with a pair of mysterious pass interference penalties in South Bend - killed them all year long in the polls. But once they settled on Connor Cook at QB, the Sparty O began to hold up their end of the bargain. They're better than their 83rd rank. And hoo-wee...those boys can play some defense.

Verdict: Come on down, Sparty. You earned a spot in the playoffs.

#3 Alabama (11-1)

Champions of: Nothing

Best Road Win: Bama 49, #6 Texas A&M 42

Best Home Win: Bama 38, #13 LSU 17

Worst Road Game: All of them. But let's go with Bama 20, Mississippi Sate 7

Worst Home Game: none of them

Total Offense: 36th

Total Defense: 5th

Profile: that #5 rank in total defense is fraudulent. Auburn ran for 300 yards on the Tide, and Texas A&M threw for nearly 500 yards. Games against a horrendous VaTech offense, Colorado State, Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Chattanooga - whew, what a turd platter - helped inflate the defensive stats. The home game against LSU was Bama's best win of the year - but even that was just a 3-point game at halftime. Bama has the names, and the history, and the high profile coach, and Paul Finebaum. But there isn't much you can point to on their resume that screams "best team". Not this year. Not if you're honest.

Verdict: Stay on the line, Bama.

#2 Auburn (12-1)

Champions of: SEC

Best Road Win: Auburn 55, Tennessee 23

Best Home Win: Auburn 34, #1 Alabama 28

Worst Road Game: Auburn 21, #6 LSU 35

Worst Home Game: Auburn 43, #25 Georgia 38

Total Offense: 11th

Total Defense: 90th

Profile: no one in War Eagle land is going to remember the 2013 Tiger defense, though they can rush the passer off the edges. But that rushing offense is something else, and Auburn knocked off 3 ranked teams in the final 4 weeks of the season - winning when it counted most. Those facts, along with their conference title, gets them a seat in the playoff.

Verdict: come on down, Tigers.

#1 Florida State (13-0)

Champions of: ACC

Best Road Win: FSU 51, #3 Clemson 14

Best Home Win: FSU 63, #25 Maryland 0.

Worst Road Game: FSU 48, Boston College 34

Worst Home Game: none

Total Offense: 6th

Total Defense: 3rd

Profile: Undefeated conference champion. Top 10 offense. Top 10 defense. Only one opponent within 2 touchdowns all year, and no one ever got closer than that.

Verdict: Wow. We found our #1 seed.

Playoff Seeds

#1 Florida State

#2 Auburn

#3 Michigan State

#4 Stanford

I'm taking the 2-loss Pac-12 Champ Stanford over 1-loss Alabama, and I'm sleeping well tonight. This is 2013, not some year from the past. And in 2013, the Pac12 is the toughest conference in football, not the SEC. Stanford won the toughest conference, playing the toughest schedule. Bama won nothing despite playing 8 tomato cans. The Cardinal played seven ranked teams - two of them on the road - and beat all of them. Bama played four ranked teams, losing once. 2011 or 2012 Alabama? Yes - they get the nod over Stanford. But not 2013 Bama. Sorry, Tide. You gotta stay home.