On Sunday, December 2nd, the much anticipated final rankings for the college football playoffs were released.
As always, there was plenty of speculation over who should get in and who should be left out.
When it was all said and done, Alabama (5 appearances), Clemson (4), Notre Dame (1), and Oklahoma (3) were the teams that made the cut.
The first two teams out were the SEC Championship runner-up Georgia (11-2) and Big Ten champions Ohio St. (12-1).
Of course, there was also the undefeated American Conference champions Central Florida (12-0), who’s riding a 25-game winning streak, but we already know how I feel about them.
Personally, I was pretty content with how the final rankings turned out.
No, not (just) because I am a Notre Dame fan.
I think the four teams that should have been picked were picked!
- Alabama (13-0): I mean yeah, this one was simple. But there was much talk going into conference championship weekend over whether the Crimson Tide could have still made the top-4 with a loss (and wins by Oklahoma and Ohio St.).
I did not think it would be right for two teams from the same conference to get in again, especially with one of those teams recently losing their conference championship, and when you’d have two other one-loss conference champions (OU, OSU) and another undefeated team (ND) to consider.
Ultimately the College Football Playoff is all about picking the four best teams, and it would be literally impossible to justify Alabama as not being one of those.
- Clemson (13-0): Again, another easy pick. Yeah, their most quality win may have only come against Syracuse but, other than that, what can anyone possibly hold against this team to keep them out of the top-4?
- Notre Dame (12-0): Now, this is where things start to get a little cloudy. As I’ve noted in countless articles, the Fighting Irish put themselves at a big disadvantage by not being in a conference.
On the day the final rankings came out, ESPN’s Randy Scott said on Operation Football (great radio show) that not having to play in a conference championship was an advantage for them.
I mean yeah, it can literally only be looked at as a disadvantage if (and only if) they go undefeated in the regular season.
There has been a lot of people talking shit about Notre Dame and how they are not convinced they are worthy.
Hey, maybe Notre Dame will get destroyed by Clemson in the first round and all those doubters can say “I told you so.”
But when you beat three teams currently ranked, the most quality win coming against No. 7 Michigan (10-2) (yea, it was Week 1, but it still happened) and go undefeated, you very much deserve to be in the playoffs.
- Oklahoma (12-1): Here we have the top offense in the nation. Despite their defense that sometimes seems nonexistent, I believe you can make a case that, along with Alabama and Clemson, this is just one of the best teams in college football. Unlike those other two teams though, the Sooners did lose a game this season. That loss was to 14th-ranked archrival Texas, a loss which they avenged in the conference championship.
Now for the first two out.
- Georgia (11-2): This is a team that many are still saying is one of the four best in college football. Now, this very much may be true. But when you lose two games, do not win your conference championship, and there is an undefeated team in your conference as well as two more undefeated teams, and a couple of conference champions with one-loss, you should not be in the playoffs.
Just the way the cookie crumbles.
It was the right choice to have them ranked over Ohio State.
- Ohio St. (12-1): Last, and technically least. When ranking this team behind the others, it really comes down one game. Their 49-20 loss to Purdue (6-6) back in October is absolutely what earned them their current ranking behind all the other teams mentioned.