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  • Jacob Koehler

Chaos in the College Football Playoff Selection

Since the beginning of the college football playoff (CFP) in 2014, there has been plenty of drama with the selection process. Every year the committee selects four teams that will compete for the championship, and every year, we hear the outcries of those who feel snubbed. Three teams left out this year may have the most valid arguments in CFP history. With Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama being chosen to battle it out for the title, a few notable programs are missing. Florida State, Ohio State, and Georgia each have strong arguments as to why they should be competing for the National Championship.

Florida State could take the 2017 UCF route, and claim to be national champions after being left out of the CFP following an undefeated season. The difference is, Florida State are Power 5 conference champions. The only other undefeated Power 5 champs Michigan and Washington both made the CFP. The ACC champs lost star quarterback Jordan Travis with a leg injury just weeks prior to the selection, ultimately costing them a spot in the top 4. After spending most of the season ranked within the top 4 by the committee, they were leapfrogged by one-loss Texas and Alabama after their conference championship victories.

Meanwhile, Georgia was excluded after falling for the first time in 29 games. Suffering a loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game, the two-time defending champs will be at home during the playoff. As will Ohio State, whose only loss came to top ranked Michigan. Both teams may not be conference champions, but their resumes are arguably more impressive than Texas, with their one loss vs 12th ranked Oklahoma. Texas also had a lesser opponent in the Big 12 Championship with 22nd ranked Oklahoma State. It seems that the timing of your loss makes all the difference in the selection. An early-season loss like Alabama’s is forgotten easier than Georgia or Ohio State losing in their final game. Georgia is set to play Florida State in the Orange Bowl, or rather the “We Should be in the Playoff” bowl. Ohio State faces Missouri in the Cotton Bowl.

The NCAA is unique in the way of their playoffs and tournaments being selected rather than earning automatic bids. You can do everything asked of you by winning every game, but not pass the “eye test” of the committee. Should Florida State feel wronged? Absolutely. Did the CFP selection committee do their job by leaving them out? Most likely. After a 65-7 stomping in last year’s National Championship, college football fans want to see the four most competitive teams compete in the playoff. With a third-string quarterback, FSU is unlikely to be a real contender. Ohio State and Georgia have all the pieces and the best losses in the nation but lack the conference title.

Thankfully, next year the CFP will expand to 12 teams. This allows room for more conference champions, one-loss programs, and smaller schools a chance to prove themselves. While 12 allows more opportunity than 4, there will always be teams who feel they were snubbed. 

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