Since the College Football Playoff was formed in 2014, there has been much debate on who should be the final four teams standing.
What to do about teams which don’t have a conference championship game? How to accurately determine strength of schedule? Can a two-loss team be better than a one-loss team? Is the committee fair and unbiased?
Well, this year was no different. Except, I think the committee finally got the four best teams right.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington were the four best teams.
Even though No. 3 Ohio State put up a huge goose egg in its 31-0 loss to No.2 Clemson, the Buckeyes deserved a spot.
I’ll admit I didn’t watch No. 4 Washington until its 24-7 loss to No.1 Alabama. But as Pac-12 champs who only had one loss and a commanding 31-point victory in their conference title game, it is hard to argue the Huskies were not worthy of a bid.
In previous years, the success of the No. 5-No.8 teams in bowl games left people arguing how the committee chose the wrong four teams.
Last year, No. 6 Stanford routed No. 5 Iowa 45-16, while No. 3 Michigan State fell 38-0 to No. 2 Alabama. Clearly Michigan State was not ready for the big moment and probably should have been replaced in the top four.
That same year, No. 7 Ohio State defeated No. 8 Notre Dame 44-28 in the bowl game. Some argued with just one loss, the Buckeyes should have had the chance to defend their title.
Luckily for the committee, this year No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Michigan both lost their bowl games. Though the losses were fairly close (by a combined four points), a loss is a loss. And it’s ludicrous to argue a team should have been in the College Football Playoff when it did not even win its bowl game.
Number 7 Oklahoma and No. 8 Wisconsin did win their final games. The Sooners defeated No. 14 Auburn 35-19. The Badgers defeated No. 15 Western Michigan 24-16.
I’m sure Sooner fans are lobbying that Oklahoma deserved a spot in the playoff. But as a proud Longhorn fan, I completely disagree #HookEm. The Big 12 was nowhere near as strong as it has been in previous years so being Big 12 champs did not hold much weight.
On top of that, can you imagine how bad it would have been for the Brent Musburger/ Joe Mixon situation to happen in front of an audience of 19.7 million?
When you get some free time, look up the Joe Mixon situation and what Musburger said while broadcasting Oklahoma’s bowl game.
Yes, it’s 2017 and grown men are still making excuses for domestic abuse.
But back to the topic at hand.
The committee got it right and I think having a rematch from last year’s championship game further proves that.
Last year, Alabama defeated top-seed Clemson 45-40.
This year, I’m anticipating another great game…and another Alabama victory.
Clemson has been adamant all year about wanting another shot at the football powerhouse.
But Alabama just seems to be in a league of its own. Even though the Washington margin was only 17 points, Alabama seemed to dominate the game.
I don’t think anyone will have an answer for Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough.
And as much as I love Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, his 17 interceptions on the year worry me.
But regardless of who holds up the trophy at the end of the game on Jan. 9, the committee got it right this year.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington are the four best teams this year.
And on Jan. 9, I think we’ll see just how right the committee was about the top two seeds.
Jasmine C. Johnson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.