Despite a Top 10 opponent coming to town, it’s largely a quiet week in Happy Valley — especially compared to the facility-filled discussions the last few weeks. With that being the vase, it gives us here at Koerbler PR the chance to look at college football on a broader landscape. The biggest story in college football right now: the good ol’ College Football Playoff committee.
The College Football Playoff rankings have always led to massive debates. And honestly, that’s part of the gig when ranking teams: there are always going to be angry fan bases. Remember back in 2014: one-loss Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU? All had valid cases to be chosen for the CFP, and the two left out (TCU and Baylor) had every right to be upset with the decision.
That’s the difficult spot the CFP committee routinely finds itself in because there’s no “correct” way for humans to rank teams because we all value different things. That’s not to mention the biases that these ADs and presidents have who make up the CFP committee. Long story short: it’s a difficult job that will never have a positive approval waiting because as much as you scream “CRITERIA” it’s all subjective.
But last night, the committee really one-up’d themselves, ranking Michigan at No. 6 ahead of Michigan State at No. 7.
For those of you who don’t follow college football (I don’t know why you are here but hello), but let’s set the scene:
- Michigan and Michigan State are both in the Big Ten
- Michigan and Michigan State are both 8-1
Makes sense so far, right? Two teams from the same conference with the same record — it’s all subjective on who the better team is, right? Well, sure — until we add the note in that Michigan State just beat Michigan on October 31.
To defend the committee’s decision to rank Michigan ahead of Michigan State, Gary Barta said that Michigan is the
“larger national brand” “more complete team” based upon “almost every statistical metric.” That is, if you don’t consider Michigan State’s 37 points scored to Michigan’s 33 points scored as a “statistical metric.”
Here’s the best part: we all know what this is coming to. Ohio State will beat Michigan State, Michigan, and Wisconsin in the Big Ten Title. And guess who the 12-1 Buckeyes will jump in the rankings?
So here’s what the College Football Playoff committee can do: just embrace it. Enough with the “metrics.” Enough with the “data.” Just come out and say, “Yeah, Michigan vs Georgia sounds way cooler and generates us way more money than Georgia vs Michigan State.” Just say, “Hey, the SEC is the best conference and a huge money-maker for us. If we can get two SEC teams in, we want to do that.” And let Cincinnati know: you are never getting in. Cute, good story, but you are never getting in. You will go to the Cotton Bowl and maybe play the third-best SEC team (who doesn’t want to be there) on December 30 at 11 a.m. and you will like it.
This thing is going to get expanded in a few years anyway. We’re going to have automatic bids for the Power 5 conference champions, so the committee might as well go out with a bang. Think of the latter years of former NBA commissioner David Stern — asking for louder boos from the crowd at the draft. That’s what the committee should do: embrace the hate. Embrace the chaos. Be the bad guys. And let the college football world know the reality — if you aren’t one of the programs that moves the needle, you will be left out.