College football playoff committee gets the picks right

The system worked. That’s the biggest thing to take away from the college football playoff selection committee’s job over the weekend.

On Saturday the final college football games of the regular season were played, and Clemson, Georiga, Alabama and Oklahoma are the four teams that will move on to the four-team playoff next month. Those four teams are pretty clearly the best teams, and the teams left off of the list have little room to complain (although that has never stopped anyone before.)

Each team in a power-five conference had a chance to play itself into the playoffs, and that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

The first two teams left off of the list are Ohio State and Wisconsin, and as always the two teams are screaming bloody murder about being left off. It has become a college football tradition that the first team left out of the playoffs does this, and this year isn’t any different.

Despite that, Ohio State and Wisconsin each had chances to play into the playoffs, and blew it. The Buckeyes weren’t punished for losing to Oklahoma early in the season, and rightfully so, but playoff teams don’t lose to Iowa by 31. The Badgers had a chance to play itself into the game, and blew it against Ohio State on Saturday. 

Each team had a chance, and blew it.

The option of expanding to an eight-team playoff probably wouldn’t solve that. I’m not against it, because it just means that there would be more football, but there’s always going to be the first team left out.

It doesn’t matter whether that team is the third, fifth, or ninth-ranked team in the country. The first team out will always feel like it was jobbed.

The committee is intentionally vague about what its guidelines are. As far as I can tell, there aren’t guidelines to how it comes up with the rankings. The goal is to pick the best four teams, and debate.

Part of that has to do with the eye-test, and that leaves it open for interpretation. That can be stressful, but that’s what the fans wanted. There was a perfectly fine system that took the human element of the bowl season out when college football had the BCS.

By going away from the BCS, that said that the eye-test would be a part again. And as far as the naked eye can see, the committee did a solid job of that this season.





Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or

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