The outspoken @TimBrando recently had this say, and it’s ruffled some feathers from Tuscaloosa to College Football Playoff offices.
“There’s absolutely no way in hell Alabama doesn’t get in the playoff,” says @TimBrando.
“And don’t tell me they’re not privileged … They’ll shame Georgia’s schedule but not Alabama’s.
It’s sickening and pathetic but nobody wants to take on Nick(Saban).”
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) July 2, 2018
Wow – that’s a bold statement. Brando isn’t wrong, and it speaks to the bigger issue with the College Football Playoff. Alabama vs Auburn was being replayed the other evening, and there’s no way if you watched that game that Alabama was a top 4 team in the month of November. Auburn manhandled Alabama in a game not as close as the scored indicated. Alabama got into playoffs beat Clemson and Georgia, and doesn’t have to to apologize for anything. That said they benefited from a weak schedule, while Auburn was basically penalized for playing an extra game – as they lost to UGA in the SEC Title Game. Ohio State paid for playing and losing to Oklahoma.
We’ve blogged about it before – the lack of emphasis on schedule strength. Coaches like Penn State’s James Franklin have alluded to scheduling down too. Brando focused in on Alabama, but now he’s giving media credible voice in the growing problem with the College Football Playoffs. This isn’t Clay Travis or Skip Bayless talking.
The real question is what can College Football Playoff do about this?
In the short term –
There needs to be more emphasis on winning a power 5 conference. 25% of playoff participants have been non conference champions the last 2 years. When you have 5 Power 5 Conferences, that’s tough to explain away.
Like we’ve previously blogged, we’ve had 3 years in a row where a team was left out of the playoff due to an out-of conference loss. This can’t happen that often.
2015 – #6 Stanford won the Pac 12, but lost to 16-6 to Northwestern
2016 – #5 Penn State won the Big 10, but lost to Pittsburgh 42-39
2017 – #5 Ohio State won the Big 10, but lost to Oklahoma 31- 16
When comes to playoff entry the committee can weigh conference champions significantly above non-champions unless there is clear difference that the non-champ is superior – At least 2 a game difference. A non-champ would need to have least 2 fewer losses than a power 5 championship team.
This would eliminate the fear of scheduling up as well. It’s really not that complicated.