Thursday, December 8, 2016

First Playoff Rankings are Out and They are an Absolute Joke

I understand that this is not what it will look like in early December. I also understand that the college football playoff committee has a tough job ranking the top 25 teams in the country.

What I don’t understand, however, is what goes through their heads when ranking those teams. What kind of criteria are they putting together in that meeting room? Are they really there all day long, as they claim to be, or do they show up drunk at 6:45 PM, point to some teams listed on a board and reveal the ridiculous order 15 minutes later?

Maybe that was a little harsh, but when I saw the rankings and saw where some of the schools were ranked, I immediately thought the committee was on something.

First of all, the Virginia Tech Hokies (6-2) are ranked ahead of West Virginia at number 19.

Am I missing something? Is this the 1999 Hokies that were led by Michael Vick and played Florida State in the title game? Nope. It’s this year’s Hokies. The same team that lost to 4-4 Syracuse. That’s a Syracuse team that gave up 62 points to Louisville, lost to South Florida 45-20, lost to Notre Dame 50-33 and also was trounced by almighty Wake Forest 28-9. Also, Virginia Tech lost to Tennessee 45-24. By three touchdowns. Tennessee is downright terrible this year and is coming off a loss to an even more terrible South Carolina team.

Up next is Penn State (ranked 12th. 12th!!!!!!!)

Ok, so Penn State (6-2) beat Ohio State. That was a good win for them. They were a huge underdog and they pulled it out. Yes, it was because of a blocked field goal return for a touchdown which might happen three or four times a season at most, but that’s not important. The important thing is they won, right? And let’s not mind the fact that since Ohio State’s big win at Oklahoma they have been playing very subpar football and struggled with Indiana and Northwestern.

The committee says they place a huge emphasis on out of conference schedules. That apparently only applies to Big 12 schools although the Nittany Lions did face murderer’s row in the non conference with wins over Kent State and Temple. That’s it. That’s their whole out of conference resume. Kent State AND Temple. Penn State lost their other non-conference game to Pitt and lost to Michigan by 39 points, 49-10. Number 12 ranking, justified.

The Texas A&M Aggies (7-1) filled the number four slot which was predicted since they are in the SEC. That alone trumps any kind of on field work and has for the last 10 years or so. Are the Aggies a good football team? Yes, they are an above average team. But going back to the schedule in the non conference here is the Aggies slate: UCLA (they are currently 3-5), Prairie View A&M, New Mexico State and UTSA. Their best win is at Auburn. But is that enough to edge out the Washington Huskies? The truth is that Texas A&M is ranked high because they are in the SEC and they lost to Alabama by less than 20 (which in today’s college football is the ultimate measuring stick).

The last team I have an issue with is Washington (8-0). I have actually enjoyed watching the Huskies this season as they are definitely on the upswing after being down for the last decade. But having them ranked fifth is debatable. First, they are undefeated and are coming off a good road win against 16th rated Utah. Their non conference schedule is not good, but at least they played a power five team in Rutgers. But the committee chairman explained that the Huskies were ranked below Texas A&M because of Washington’s non conference play. Hello!? Did they even look at A&M’s non SEC schedule (above). That theory makes absolutely NO sense, whatsoever. Secondly, Washington should be ahead of A&M because they are an undefeated, power five conference team and the Aggies have lost. End of story.

Finally, West Virginia. The poor Mountaineers don’t stand a chance in the money grubbing, biased world of college football today.

WVU (6-1) debuted in the poll at number 20 even though the AP poll has them 14th this week. West Virginia’s only loss is on the road to Oklahoma State and although they played terrible, they were still only down by one score with six minutes left in the contest. The Cowboys are 6-2 and probably should be 7-1 because their loss to Central Michigan should have been a 3-point win, but that is another story for another time. Of course, I’m a WVU homer, but they do have some solid wins. None are great, but they are definitely solid. The media could not wait for the Mountaineers to lose so they could find a way to drop them quickly. Jason Sehorn and Joey Galloway have probably booked an all weekend getaway to a resort somewhere so they can sip martini’s and laugh at West Virginia’s expense and at the same time praise a team like LSU for beating no one, but still get ranked 13th all because of that SEC stuff and their interim coach. There are nine two-loss teams ranked ahead of WVU. That should tick off Dana Holgorsen, the whole coaching staff and every Mountaineer fan.

Again, I know these rankings will fluctuate so much that we will not remember where anyone was ranked in this first one. But this one is flat out awful.

Hopefully the Mountaineers have noticed, get that chip back on their shoulder and go out and play like their hair is on fire starting this weekend against Kansas.

Stay tuned.

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