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WG_Dawg
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Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
I've posted this before on other boards but felt like it couldn't hurt to post here as well. I can't count how many times, at least in the hundreds by now, people think that the bama/lsu loser has some advantage to sneak into the playoffs. Or that bama is given some kind of free pass based on "eye test" and is in regardless. None of which are true btw. Below are the final 4 teams into the playoffs, the team that finished 5th, plus Notre Dame.

2014
1) Alabama 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to ole miss.
2) Oregon 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to Arizona.
3) FSU 13-0. Conf champion.
4) Ohio State 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to VT
____________________________________
5) Baylor 11-1. Co-champ. Loss to WVU
ND: Nonfactor at 8-5

2015
1) Clemson 13-0. Conf champion.
2) Alabama 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to ole miss
3) Michigan State 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to Nebraska.
4) Oklahoma 11-1. Conf champion. Los to Texas.
_____________________________________
5) Iowa 12-1. Non-champ. Loss to MSU in title game
ND: 10-2, losses to Clemson and Stanford. 8th in playoff rankings

2016
1) Alabama 13-0. Conf champion.
2)Clemson 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to Pitt
3) Ohio State 11-1. Non-champ. Loss to Penn State.
4) Washington 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to USC.
________________________________________
5) Penn State 11-2. Conf champion. Loss to Pitt and Michigan
ND: Non factor

2017
1) Clemson 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to Syracuse.
2) Oklahoma 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to Iowa State.
3) UGA 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to Auburn.
4) Alabama 11-1. Non-champ. Loss to Auburn.
________________________________________
5) Ohio State 11-2. Conf champion. Loss to Oklahoma and Iowa
ND: 10-3, losses to UGA, Miami, Stanford. 14th in playoff rankings

2018
1) Alabama 13-0. Conf champion.
2) Clemson 13-0. Conf champion.
3) Notre Dame 12-0.
4) Oklahoma 12-1. Conf champion. Loss to Texas.
________________________________________________
5) UGA 11-2. Non-champ. Loss to LSU and Alabama in title game

With 5 Power Conferences and 4 playoff spots, obviously a conference is going to get left out each year. Here are those cases:

2014: Big 12 where Baylor and TCU were co-champions with 11-1 records. No title game.
2015: Pac 12 champ Stanford. 11-2 with losses to Northwestern and Oregon
2016: Big 12 champ Oklahoma. 10-2 with losses to Houston and Ohio State. No title game.
2017: Big 12 champ Ohio State. 11-2 with losses to Oklahoma and Iowa. Also the Pac12 champ USC. 11-2 with losses to Washington State and Notre Dame
2018: Big 10 champ Ohio State. 12-1 with loss to Purdue. Also Pac12 champ Washington. 10-3 with losses to Auburn, Oregon, and Cal.

This presents us with a pretty clear picture of how the committee operates:

-First, you almost surely need to win your conference. Of 20 playoff teams, only 2 of them made it without winning their conference (2016 Ohio State and 2017 alabama).
-As a follow up to the point above, let’s look at why those 2 non-champs made it. ’16 OSU made it over #5 Penn State because they only had 1 loss compared to 2 for psu. Ditto for ’17 bama who made it over #5 OSU, also because OSU had 2 losses compared to just 1 for bama.
-If you don’t win your conference, you need a lot of help. Mainly in the way of the cases above where other conference winners have 2 losses.
-No team thus far has made the playoffs with more than 1 loss.
-Notre Dame, despite being a media darling or having special privileges, has only made the playoffs once and they went undefeated to do so. Even in a year with 2 losses (“good losses” at that) they did not finish in the top 7.
-The only P5 team to win their league's championship game and finish with less than 2 losses and NOT make the playoffs is Ohio state in 2018. They lost to a bad purdue team and were replaced in the playoffs by an also 12-1 P5 winner OU, whose only loss was to texas.

Unless the committee pulls a 180 and copmletely deviates from what they've done before, or we get some new scenario we haven't seen yet, you can pretty easily see what the teams are going to be based on what we know. An 11-1 non-champ bama/lsu going over a 1 loss P5 champ would mean the committee has completely changed how they do things, and as of this minute there is zero evidence to suggest they would do so.


GurleyGirl
Georgia Fan
Georgia
Member since Nov 2015
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 Online 

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
Good insight. Excellent post.


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VADawg
Georgia Fan
Jacksonville
Member since Nov 2011
18621 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
Baylor in 2014 and Penn State in 2016 are the only teams who have been left out that I could make an argument for. Ohio State beating Wisconsin 59-0 in 2014 was just such shocking dominance though that they had to be put in.

I'll argue that Penn State deserved to get in over Ohio State in 2016 until the day I'm dead. That was absolute bull shite. That was the day the committee announced to the world that head to head results don't mean all that much to them.
This post was edited on 11/7 at 11:58 am


WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
2014 is the only year I think you can make a legit argument against. I wouldn't even say that they "got it wrong", just that you could argue the other way. Baylor was aboslutely hurt by not having a CCG and not truly winning their league, I don't think that can be said enough. They lost a 7-6 team just like OSU lost to a 7-6 team. It also helped that OSU's loss was in week 2 while baylor's was week 7. If they had decided to put Baylor in instead of OSU I'd be saying the same thing...that Baylor deserved it and you could make an argument for OSU. That one was truly a tossup but like you said OSU not only having and winnign a CCG helped but they completely obliterated wisconsin to boot.


2016 I don't really think there is much of a case. The argument will be "head to head should mean something" but you can just as surely say the CFB regular season (which is the most important in sports IMO) needs to mean somethign as well. Sure PSU beat OSU (by 3 points at PSU) but they also had 2 losses, one of which was a "good loss" to michigan while the other was to a pitt team that lost 5 games. You don't get to lose 2 games, including a major turd, and just get a pass.

quote:

That was the day the committee announced to the world that head to head results don't mean all that much to them.


head to head results should be entirely irrelevnt unless all else is virtually even. A 2 loss team, one of which was pathetic, is not idential to a 1 loss team. And ftr the team PSU beat for the big 10 title wisconsin was also beaten by OSU. Waht would really be a slap in the face is to tell the world "hey, we know you lost to a mediocre team that you had no business losing to as one of your 2 losses, but we'll pretend that didn't happen".


VADawg
Georgia Fan
Jacksonville
Member since Nov 2011
18621 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

head to head results should be entirely irrelevnt unless all else is virtually even. A 2 loss team, one of which was pathetic, is not idential to a 1 loss team. And ftr the team PSU beat for the big 10 title wisconsin was also beaten by OSU. Waht would really be a slap in the face is to tell the world "hey, we know you lost to a mediocre team that you had no business losing to as one of your 2 losses, but we'll pretend that didn't happen".


My argument for Penn State over OSU was that both won 11 games, Penn State won the conference, and they won head to head.

Pitt also beat Clemson that year. They weren't a bad team.


WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

My argument for Penn State over OSU was that both won 11 games, Penn State won the conference, and they won head to head.


and all of that may be true but it completely leaves out each team's losses which make up a massive part of your resume.


Peter Buck
Georgia Fan
Member since Sep 2012
8394 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
The lie is that they get the 4 best teams. They don’t.


WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

The lie is that they get the 4 best teams. They don’t.


of course they don't, that's not their job either. Their job is to pick the 4 most deserving/best resumes. If it was only to put in the "4 best teams" then why not go ahead and put the winner of bama/lsu in this MOnday? Or OSU right now? Can anyone make a decent, rational argument that those teams wouldn't be 2 of the best in the country and have been all season?

"best" is subjective and lends itself to the dreaded "eye test". Whereas most deserving is a lot more black and white and based on actual results. I'm damn glad they don't try to peg the 4 best teams.


meansonny
Georgia Fan
ATL
Member since Sep 2012
9284 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
I agree about Penn state in 16.

Nothing in the original post is wrong.

But here is my beef with the current process (and is illustrated in the original post).

There is absolutely zero strength of schedule component. The closest thing to a SOS component is winning a conference championship game (which is what sucks for penn st in 16).

Why does the lack of SOS component suck?
Because the entire concept of getting into the playoffs is based upon avoiding losses.

Why schedule anyone good if the entire point of the process is to only never lose?
I love UGAs scheduling. But it is assinine in the world of "never lose".

Even if we had the talent in 2008 to compete with Bama, we flew to Arizona the week before that game. It was a memorable game and a great trip. But it did nothing to prepare us for Bama in what we created as a short week due to the travel. Hell.... everyone cherry picks bye weeks before those types of games these days.

I hate the current system.
Instead of tallying losses, the system should tally wins.

Stack em up side by side and let the best one in to the playoffs (regardless of losses because that is the only way to truly affect better scheduling).

How many top 10 wins do you have?
How many top 25 wins do you have?
How many P5 opponents with winning records did you beat?

Penalizing losses the way that we do penalizes scheduling. And that shouldn't be the point of this every year.


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WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

There is absolutely zero strength of schedule component.


I see what you're saying but don't necessarily agree. AU in 2017 is a perfect example. Obviously we won but had they beat us in the SECCG they would have been a lock to make the playoffs even with 2 losses (something no team has yet to do). This is wiht an early season loss to clemson and a mid-season loss to a 4-loss LSU team. So why woudl they have been a lock while a 2019 UGA that could hypothetically lose to AU, beat bama/lsu in the seccg, and win the SEC wiht 2 losses not be a mortal lock? Because in the last 4 weeks of the season AU would have beaten #2 UGA, #1 bama, and a top 10 UGA in nearly consecutive weeks. Despite 2 losses they would have still gone based on their elite level wins.

quote:

Why schedule anyone good if the entire point of the process is to only never lose?


I agree and have said that my entire life, not just since 2014. The goal is to win all yoru games, so it makes no rational sense to schedule harder ones than you have to.

quote:

Instead of tallying losses, the system should tally wins.



You can't just ignore losses though. Especially when you have 12-13 games in your season each loss is massive.


meansonny
Georgia Fan
ATL
Member since Sep 2012
9284 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

see what you're saying but don't necessarily agree. AU in 2017 is a perfect example. Obviously we won but had they beat us in the SECCG they would have been a lock to make the playoffs even with 2 losses (something no team has yet to do). This is wiht an early season loss to clemson and a mid-season loss to a 4-loss LSU team. So why woudl they have been a lock while a 2019 UGA that could hypothetically lose to AU, beat bama/lsu in the seccg, and win the SEC wiht 2 losses not be a mortal lock? Because in the last 4 weeks of the season AU would have beaten #2 UGA, #1 bama, and a top 10 UGA in nearly consecutive weeks. Despite 2 losses they would have still gone based on their elite level wins.


You just made my point for me.
If you stack up quality wins, they have a great chance at being in the conversation. Better than Bama (who did get in).

quote:

quote:
Instead of tallying losses, the system should tally wins.


You can't just ignore losses though. Especially when you have 12-13 games in your season each loss is massive.



In order to encourage better scheduling, you have to ignore losses. Otherwise, you are still rewarding teams who do not aggressively schedule and hurting the teams who lose players through attrition of those tough battles.


Broncothor
Georgia Fan
Member since Jul 2014
2687 posts
 Online 

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
I think I agree with both of you. Great analysis on the selection history so far. And I also agree, that under the current system, playing top competition for OOC games is not rewarding (except for the national exposure for recruiting).


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WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

You just made my point for me.


Yeah I think I misread or misunderstood you at first. That AU situation was an anamoly though, I imagine it's extremely rare to face 3 top 10 (and 2 top 2) teams in the final 4 weeks. And I do agree that mega-elite wins should trump decent losses, which both of AU's were. I don't necessarily agree that great wins should trump woeful losses though, in the case of 2017 ohio state. They could have a number of high profile wins but you can't lose by 30 to a pathetic iowa team and not have it mean something.


meansonny
Georgia Fan
ATL
Member since Sep 2012
9284 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
Great discussion. I disagree (make up for losing to Iowa by beating clemson or beating oklahoma state and Oregon)

Cheers


WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
bump

If history is any indication, alabama and PSu have both blown their shot at the playoff unless they get some help from other conference winners.

As of this minute it appears that clemson, ohio state, Minnesota, oregon, oklahoma, lsu, and uga are in the drivers seat, which will obviously continue to shake out as the season goes on.
This post was edited on 11/10 at 1:57 pm


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HTDawg
Member since Sep 2016
5450 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

of course they don't, that's not their job either. Their job is to pick the 4 most deserving/best resumes.


They don't do that either. They will pick the ones they want that they think will be best for TV and advertisers. If "most deserving" was a reason, Bama wouldn't have been given the benefit of the doubt when they didn't even win their own division. They've done that twice. They'll try to put Bama in this year. The only thing that will kill that is if we beat LSU.

quote:

If history is any indication, alabama and PSu have both blown their shot at the playoff unless they get some help from other conference winners.


You've been around long enough to know they will try their damnedest to get Bama in. The TV talking heads will start pumping that argument.
This post was edited on 11/10 at 1:07 pm


WG_Dawg
Georgia Fan
Atlanta
Member since Jun 2004
74304 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
quote:

They will pick the ones they want that they think will be best for TV and advertisers


this is a ridiculous take based on nothing

quote:

If "most deserving" was a reason, Bama wouldn't have been given the benefit of the doubt when they didn't even win their own division


so an OSU wiht 2 losses (compared to 1) including a 30 point beatdown to a 5-loss iowa was more deserving? I'd love to hear an explanation for that.

quote:

They've done that twice


who has done what twice?

quote:

They'll try to put Bama in this year. The only thing that will kill that is if we beat LSU.



you have zero idea what htey'll do, and your 2nd point isn't based in any reality whatsoever.

quote:

You've been around long enough to know they will try their damnedest to get Bama in


once again, you're wrong. YOu are talking based on your emotions and the thought that bama somehow has some kind of built-in free pass, which simply isn't true. Teh committee hasn't done their damndest to put anyone in besides teams that have proven to be in the most.

quote:

he TV talking heads will start pumping that argument.


they can do that all they want. The sports media has zero influence over the committee.


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bunkerhill
Georgia Fan
Georgia
Member since Oct 2017
214 posts

re: Year by Year Decisions by the CFP Playoff Committee
The CFP Playoff Committee alludes to it being the four "best" teams but they talk in terms of it being the four "most deserving" teams. I guess if i were in the committee I would have to apply a lot of "eye test" to the process.

I watched the PSU/Minn game yesterday and both teams are pretty good, I thought there was a lack of speed by both squads, especially on defense. That translates to giving up a lot of points playing in the SEC.

So far Ohio St has looked to be the most complete team, but I don't know how good their competition has been. To me the winning percentage of your competition does not tell the entire story about strength of schedule.


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