In case you missed it, within hours of the College Football Playoff committee’s agonizing decision to select Alabama over Ohio State for the fourth position in the playoff field, Vegas oddsmakers and the ESPN Football Power Index had named Alabama the favorite and Oklahoma the least likely to succeed. Clearly the committee is dancing to a different tune and needs an overhaul of its thought process because it just can’t seem to get it right.
FYI, the RPG system would have selected both Ohio State and Alabama and would have sent the Sooners to the Cotton Bowl where they’d have had fun trampling the grossly overrated USC Trojans.
You know how this worked out for the committee: #1 seeded Clemson was smothered by #4 seeded Alabama and #2 seeded Oklahoma was outgunned by the #3 seeded and indefatigable Georgia Bulldogs. Just for the record, the RPG system had Alabama ranked ahead of Clemson and Georgia ranked ahead of Oklahoma, so the system got both games right (as did Vegas and the ESPN FPI). The problem is, the committee got them both wrong.
The games played out as expected: Clemson couldn’t score, and Oklahoma couldn’t stop a score. This isn’t rocket science. The selection committee just has to pay attention to the right factors. Although the TV “experts” repeatedly called Clemson “the most complete team,” the Tigers were shown all season long to be missing an offense. Which is to say they missed Deshaun Watson. Although committee members and TV “experts” were rightly dazzled by Oklahoma’s offense, they apparently took their bathroom breaks and refrigerator runs while the Sooners were on defense.
Now the RPG system has Georgia and Alabama at #1 and #2 respectively, as is appropriate going into the national championship game. In the other big New Years’ Day game, UCF shocked Auburn. Or so the TV “experts” and CFP committee would say. RPG had UCF ranked higher than Auburn going into the game (at #7) and the committee had it the other way around (the wrong way around). The RPG system has no inherent bias against Group of Five teams, but the committee has trouble slotting these second-tier teams relative to Power Conference teams.
RPG also had Notre Dame ranked ahead of LSU, Wisconsin ahead of Miami, and Ohio State ahead of USC. In every case the higher ranked team won. The only whiff by the RPG system was Penn State’s narrow victory over Washington. RPG had the Huskies at #5 by 0.60 points over #6 Penn State going into an evenly matched game.
The final RPG rankings for the 2017 college football season are online at http://nemosnumbers.com/football-rankings/ or at bit.ly/2EBYfTb.
As for the championship game, the Alabama haters and the SEC haters will have to suck it up once more and watch an intriguing matchup between the irresistible force (the Bulldog running game) and the unmovable object (the Tide’s rush defense).
Of course, college sports aren’t over. Watch this space for blog posts and accurate RPG rankings of college basketball teams. You’ll want to know who’s best before filling your March Madness bracket.
Happy New Year!