There’s hardly any difference between the College Football Playoff rankings for week 13 of the 2015 College Football Season and the hypothetical BCS standings, both having the same top four: Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa, while Michigan State, Stanford and North Carolina are waiting for their chance to get in.
There are other teams in the top 10: Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida State. The BCS standings have TCU in there as well. But it doesn’t matter. Ohio State might be looking to get in, but without a conference championship game to play in (Iowa vs Michigan State in the Big Ten) they shouldn’t be getting in. One might think that if Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma lose their games, it opens up a seat for the Buckeyes. From a BCS logic standpoint, it works. From a committee? How do they make their decisions anyway?
College Football Playoff Rankings
Maybe that’s the most frustrating part about the entire committee thing. Why are this year’s Oklahoma better regarded than TCU & Baylor last season? Is it just their brand name or is it about how impressive they’ve looked; enough to make everyone forget about their loss to a 4-win Texas team? Will not being part of a conference championship game hurt ’em, or depending on the winners and losers actually help them improve their standing and make the playoffs?
Alternative BCS Standings
These hypothetical rankings were made by taking the AP Poll as part of the human factor instead of the Harris poll which doesn’t exist anymore. Combine that with the Coaches poll to the results provided by six different computers (Anderson & Hester College Football Computer Rankings, Billingsly Report, Colley Matrix, Massey Ratings, Jeff Sagarin’s College Football Rankings, Peter Wolfe’s Rankings) and you get more or less the BCS.
The thing with the BCS is that we know why teams end up being where they are. It sucked when there were just two teams playing for a national championship game, but in a four-team playoff it makes a lot more sense. Clemson are in the top 4 of all metrics, human and computers. Alabama are number 5 on the A&H, but good in the others. Oklahoma have just one computer system putting them out of the top 4. Iowa have three such ratings (even #14 on Sagarin) but they’re number one on two others. Michigan State edge out Ohio State just because of the human voters, nothing else.
The big question is who can still make the playoff and who can’t? Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Iowa, Michigan State, Stanford and North Carolina can. Stanford and the Tar Heels aren’t in just by winning, but they’ll get enough of a boost if Clemson (beaten by UNC) and maybe also Alabama lose. Florida? A two-loss Florida team, even as SEC champions, aren’t getting into the playoff. They’re number 18 on the committee poll. They won’t make them jump 14 spots in one week. Ohio State? I believe in the conference champions only line, but in terms of quality, they’re probably better than both Iowa and Michigan State. Too bad we’re probably not going to see them prove it this year.