ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

On Sunday I had a friend ask me the following question: “Would you like to be on the committee?” He was referring to the 13 member group that has the task of picking the four teams to play for the NCAA football national championship. My answer is the heading for this blog. There is a reason it is all in capitals!

The committee has a thankless job. They cannot possibly get the right four teams – in many people’s minds – no matter what combination they choose. Oh, they have guidelines to use – perhaps too many – and spend hours analyzing game film of each school. But their selection is subjective. There is no way to really know which four teams are the BEST the sport has to offer. Why would anyone want to be a part of that.

For argument’s sake, let’s assume I was on the committee. How would I vote? Well, for starters you really can’t vote yet, though they do. The conference championship games are still to be played. That will have a lot to do with who gets in. In fact let’s take a look at the four meaningful (sorry Pac 12, not this year) conference championship games to be played on Saturday.

If the committee wanted to, it could pick those four winners as it’s four teams. They are, after all, supposed to give consideration to the conference champions. So let’s say the four winners are Clemson, Auburn, TCU and Ohio State. It could happen. If it did, that would mean three of the four teams fighting for a national title would have TWO losses. Auburn and Ohio State are favored in their games despite having already lost twice.

This would mean a one loss Alabama team would not get in. When the Crimson Tide lost to Auburn last weekend, my immediate thought was that it didn’t matter – they would still get in with just that one loss. After watching the talking heads on TV as the afternoon wore on, I found myself in the minority. It appears that many didn’t like Bama’s strength of schedule. I will admit that Mercer did not impress me either.

We are leaving out an undefeated (for the moment) University of Central Florida team here. Are they capable of beating one of the big boys. If would be fun to find out, but we won’t. Not as long as only four teams get in. It would be more fun to have 8 teams and let UCF take a shot or say, Boise State from a few years ago. That doesn’t seem to be a likely possibility though, so we are back to having to choose the best four teams.

The view from my seat suggests that Ohio State will NOT get in even if they win Saturday. That loss in Iowa City has a peculiar odor to it. Even though I don’t have a vote I will make a prediction. The four teams will be Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Alabama.

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