Not Alabama. The college football playoff should consist of conference champions. Last season the committee blew it by leaving Penn State out and letting Ohio State in. This season, they should rectify it by letting Ohio State in too. Or USC.
In short, after Alabama lost to Auburn, it all came down to the conference championship games.
So what did we have?
USC, ranked #10 before the weekend, beating Stanford 31-28 to win their first conference championship in the post Pete Carroll era. They’re 11-2 this season, with losses Washington State and Notre Dame.
#6 Georgia beat up Auburn 28-7 in the SEC title game, the Bulldogs first SEC title since 2005. They finish the season with one loss, to Auburn in the regular season.
#3 Oklahoma beat TCU 41-17 in the Big 12 championship game, the Sooners third consecutive Big 12 title, and on the first season after Bob Stoops stepped down. Oklahoma’s only loss this season is to Iowa State.
#1 Clemson, the defending national champions, crushed Miami 38-3 in the ACC title game, their third straight conference title. Their only loss was to Syracuse.
Finally, #8 Ohio State beat undefeated Wisconsin (#4 before the game) 27-21, to claim their first Big Ten championship since 2014. They have two losses this season – to Oklahoma and to Iowa.
So what do we have?
Undefeated: No one in the P5 conference.
One loss: Alabama (didn’t play in the conference title game), Georgia (SEC champions), Oklahoma (Big 12 champions), Clemson (ACC champions), Wisconsin (Big Ten finalists).
Two loss: USC (Pac-12 champions), Miami (ACC finalists), Ohio State (Big Ten champions).
Who is in the discussion: Clemson (A lock), Oklahoma (A lock), Georgia (A lock). The argument is whether to put in Alabama, a one-loss team, over two-loss and conference champions Ohio State and USC.
Yes, Ohio State and USC’s loss quality isn’t great, especially considering they both have one bad loss (Notre Dame to USC, Iowa for Ohio State). However, in terms of powerhouse prestige, the committee doesn’t need to force off a big program for a “nobody here”, if that’s their line of thinking. And Alabama had a weak schedule. It might not be their fault, but those are the facts.
Bottom line? Alabama shouldn’t be in. I think Ohio State have the edge over the Trojans, but it feels like they’re out of the discussion considering their pre-week ranking. Final decision:
- Ohio State / USC