Last night, the College Football Playoff Committee revealed their latest rankings, placing TCU above Alabama and sending a good portion of the country into hysteria. Upon hearing the top four, I practically jumped for joy, because the committee had proved to me and college football fans everywhere, that they’re actually paying attention to what the teams do and not who the teams are.
TCU has beaten four top 25 teams and lost to a top 5 team, while Alabama has only beaten three; if we’re taking into account where those rankings are now, both Alabama and TCU have two victories over top 25 teams; however, TCU’s only current loss came to then ranked #5 Baylor and Alabama lost to then ranked #11 Ole Miss. With Baylor now ranked #7 and Ole Miss at #10, the committee appropriately placed TCU above Alabama, who’s riding on their name rather than their play. Unfortunately for TCU, their remaining schedule doesn’t provide many challenges and will likely cost them their ranking going forward, unless those ranked lower end up suffering losses. Alabama on the other hand gets to prove to the college football world that they deserve a spot in the top four, by taking on Mississippi State this Saturday.
If Alabama wins this weekend and wins out, they’ll likely earn the number one ranking by the final rankings on December 7th; if TCU manages to win out, they’ll be lucky to stay in the top four without significant help. TCU will be keeping its fingers crossed on Saturday, hoping that Mississippi State can continue it’s dominance and conquer the mighty Tide. In a world where Mississippi State does win, Alabama would likely only fall a spot or two, considering they lost to the best team in the country and it should have been expected, but that one spot could mean that a team like Baylor steps up and faces TCU directly or Arizona State gets the nod and moves up to the five spot, where they cause TCU to tremble in their boots. I’m all for TCU making it into the playoff, to be the four seed on that final ranking, because this is a team that’s won critical games to get them where they are and they’re an incredibly exciting team to watch. If this team could take on Mississippi State or even Alabama in the first round of the playoff, can you imagine the type of fan reaction if they win and go to the championship game? I would argue it would be nearly on par with when Boise State was rolling through opponents and deserved to be put in the top two during the BCS days; if they could just win out and maybe have an Alabama or other closely ranked team lose, they could go into the playoff and shock the world.
I think a lot of fans are tired of constantly seeing the blue bloods making it into the title game, especially when those teams have not been very exciting to watch; but when you take a team like TCU and put them in a championship game against an Oregon or Florida State…that to me, is a recipe for a phenomenal title game. I’m sick of Alabama being shoved to the top because of their pedigree, when they seemingly never play a very difficult schedule –most of the big name schools don’t– and still manage to get into a high profile bowl game or in the championship, because they ran through a bunch of nobodies and beat one or two ranked SEC teams. I get it, the SEC is the best conference in college football, it’s filled with the most talent and has the highest profile schools, but I don’t think that should get you an automatic place in the national championship game, providing you don’t lose three or more games. It feels like ‘Bama could lose to Mississippi State on Saturday, then have ‘Bama win out the rest of the season, Mississippi State end up losing one game and rather than the top four looking like Oregon at one, Florida State at two, TCU at three and Mississippi State at four –which is what I think it should be in that situation;– it would instead have Oregon at one, Florida State at two, Alabama at three and Mississippi State at four and that’s if the committee decides to be kind to Mississippi State. There’s too much money to be made by teams like Alabama and the NCAA will always want them involved if they can at all justify it.
Personally, if Alabama makes it into the top four, I hope they end up having to face TCU, just so we can see the mighty Tide get decimated by a far more exciting and deserving team.
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