SvoNotes: Playoff Got It Right With OSU

Art Briles continues to complain that his conference was screwed by a committee that put Ohio State in the playoff over TCU and Baylor, but the evidence shows he's wrong about suggestions class had anything to do with it.

I’m sorry, Art Briles.

I just can’t let this go.

I know this is the drum you’ve been banging since your team didn’t make the playoff last December, and I know it’s your job to stand up for your team, your fans and your conference. Really, you’d be delinquent in your duties if you didn’t.

But you’re wrong. Like, Dr. Cox wrong.

Here’s why.

Fate was against you, not the playoff committee: Let’s face it, it was a weird year in college football. There was only one undefeated team in the major conferences, Florida State, and it was probably the worst of the playoff contenders as far as actual quality of team. (Seriously.)

But there was no conspiracy against the Big 12, TCU or Baylor, each of whom fell short of the playoff in favor of top-seeded Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, Florida State and the fourth-seeded Buckeyes.

It was just a fluke of fate, in many ways, that the Bears and Horned Frogs didn’t make it. First of all, with identical one-loss records (and equally blah strength of schedule ratings) it was hard to tell the two teams apart when it came to playoff deservedness. The teams played a close game, a 61-58 win for Baylor on a last-second field goal, and essentially boasted similar résumés.

In addition, there was a logjam at the top, and someone simply had to be left out. The champion of the SEC was always going to be in, and pretty much everyone agrees Alabama deserved to be there. The same can be said of Oregon, which won a difficult Pac-12 and boasted the Heisman Trophy winner.

Florida State probably didn’t deserve to be in based simply on team quality, but can you imagine the outrage if the lone undefeated team left in a power conference – which had won the national championship the year before – was left out? It just wasn’t going to happen (even though personally I felt TCU was a better team than the Seminoles).

And that brings us to Ohio State. Yes, you can quibble here, but the Buckeyes boasted a tougher strength of schedule and were coming off a 59-0 drubbing of a ranked Wisconsin team in the conference championship game, not to mention 11 straight wins. And history proved the committee right by choosing the Buckeyes, who ran the table to capture the national title.

Could this have been Baylor or TCU? Perhaps. But with each team boasting one loss, it came down to parsing between three good squads for one spot. The team with the best schedule, according to the numbers, got it. And when you're a one-loss team in a field of one-loss teams, it's bound to happen.

And it wasn’t because of brand name: Personally, if I was on the committee, I’d be pretty hacked off to even hear this suggested. If Briles is to be believed, 13 committee members watched college football all season long, ranked teams on a weekly basis, considered stats both conventional and advanced, and then chose to pick the team with the biggest fan base and best history.

I’m just not buying it. The committee was put in the unenviable task of having six worthy contenders and only four spots. It did the best it could – and again, it was ultimately proved right by giving the final, most contentious spot to the eventual champion.

Also, if we’re arguing about history, TCU got rings, Art.

And on the conference championship thing: Last year, it probably did hurt the Big 12 that it didn’t have a title game. One final way to differentiate between Baylor and TCU (again, two very good teams who played similar schedules and played a very close game) would have been allowing one to win a conference title game.

But again, this was a quirk of fate. Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Oregon all won conference title games the final week of the season, but history is littered with examples of how those games can actually hurt a conference. Had any one of those teams lost, as probability would suggest, the Big 12 would have been golden. Instead, it all went against the conference.

What can you do? Blame the football gods, I guess, or rant about how your team didn’t make it because of politics. But you’d probably be wrong to do the latter.


Buckeye Sports Top Stories

\r\n

\r\nI know this is the drum you’ve been banging since your team didn’t make the playoff last December, and I know it’s your job to stand up for your team, your fans and your conference. Really, you’d be delinquent in your duties if you didn’t.\r\n

\r\nBut you’re wrong. Like, Dr. Cox wrong.\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\nHere’s why.

\r\n\r\nFate was against you, not the playoff committee: Let’s face it, it was a weird year in college football. There was only one undefeated team in the major conferences, Florida State, and it was probably the worst of the playoff contenders as far as actual quality of team. (Seriously.)\r\n

\r\nBut there was no conspiracy against the Big 12, TCU or Baylor, each of whom fell short of the playoff in favor of top-seeded Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, Florida State and the fourth-seeded Buckeyes.\r\n

\r\nIt was just a fluke of fate, in many ways, that the Bears and Horned Frogs didn’t make it. First of all, with identical one-loss records (and equally blah strength of schedule ratings) it was hard to tell the two teams apart when it came to playoff deservedness. The teams played a close game, a 61-58 win for Baylor on a last-second field goal, and essentially boasted similar résumés.\r\n

\r\nIn addition, there was a logjam at the top, and someone simply had to be left out. The champion of the SEC was always going to be in, and pretty much everyone agrees Alabama deserved to be there. The same can be said of Oregon, which won a difficult Pac-12 and boasted the Heisman Trophy winner.\r\n

\r\nFlorida State probably didn’t deserve to be in based simply on team quality, but can you imagine the outrage if the lone undefeated team left in a power conference – which had won the national championship the year before – was left out? It just wasn’t going to happen (even though personally I felt TCU was a better team than the Seminoles).\r\n

\r\nAnd that brings us to Ohio State. Yes, you can quibble here, but the Buckeyes boasted a tougher strength of schedule and were coming off a 59-0 drubbing of a ranked Wisconsin team in the conference championship game, not to mention 11 straight wins. And history proved the committee right by choosing the Buckeyes, who ran the table to capture the national title. \r\n

\r\nCould this have been Baylor or TCU? Perhaps. But with each team boasting one loss, it came down to parsing between three good squads for one spot. The team with the best schedule, according to the numbers, got it. And when you're a one-loss team in a field of one-loss teams, it's bound to happen.\r\n

\r\nAnd it wasn’t because of brand name: Personally, if I was on the committee, I’d be pretty hacked off to even hear this suggested. If Briles is to be believed, 13 committee members watched college football all season long, ranked teams on a weekly basis, considered stats both conventional and advanced, and then chose to pick the team with the biggest fan base and best history.\r\n

\r\nI’m just not buying it. The committee was put in the unenviable task of having six worthy contenders and only four spots. It did the best it could – and again, it was ultimately proved right by giving the final, most contentious spot to the eventual champion.\r\n

\r\nAlso, if we’re arguing about history, TCU got rings, Art.\r\n

\r\nAnd on the conference championship thing: Last year, it probably did hurt the Big 12 that it didn’t have a title game. One final way to differentiate between Baylor and TCU (again, two very good teams who played similar schedules and played a very close game) would have been allowing one to win a conference title game.\r\n

\r\nBut again, this was a quirk of fate. Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Oregon all won conference title games the final week of the season, but history is littered with examples of how those games can actually hurt a conference. Had any one of those teams lost, as probability would suggest, the Big 12 would have been golden. Instead, it all went against the conference.\r\n

\r\nWhat can you do? Blame the football gods, I guess, or rant about how your team didn’t make it because of politics. But you’d probably be wrong to do the latter.\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"I’m sorry, Art Briles.

I just can’t let this go.

Art Briles: “If Baylor or TCU had an older brand name, one of us would have got in the @CFBPlayoff

— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 22, 2015

I know this is the drum you’ve been banging since your team didn’t make the playoff last December, and I know it’s your job to stand up for your team, your fans and your conference. Really, you’d be delinquent in your duties if you didn’t.

But you’re wrong. Like, Dr. Cox wrong.

[YOUTUBE:WrjwaqZfjIY]

Here’s why.

Fate was against you, not the playoff committee: Let’s face it, it was a weird year in college football. There was only one undefeated team in the major conferences, Florida State, and it was probably the worst of the playoff contenders as far as actual quality of team. (Seriously.)

But there was no conspiracy against the Big 12, TCU or Baylor, each of whom fell short of the playoff in favor of top-seeded Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, Florida State and the fourth-seeded Buckeyes.

It was just a fluke of fate, in many ways, that the Bears and Horned Frogs didn’t make it. First of all, with identical one-loss records (and equally blah strength of schedule ratings) it was hard to tell the two teams apart when it came to playoff deservedness. The teams played a close game, a 61-58 win for Baylor on a last-second field goal, and essentially boasted similar résumés.

In addition, there was a logjam at the top, and someone simply had to be left out. The champion of the SEC was always going to be in, and pretty much everyone agrees Alabama deserved to be there. The same can be said of Oregon, which won a difficult Pac-12 and boasted the Heisman Trophy winner.

Florida State probably didn’t deserve to be in based simply on team quality, but can you imagine the outrage if the lone undefeated team left in a power conference – which had won the national championship the year before – was left out? It just wasn’t going to happen (even though personally I felt TCU was a better team than the Seminoles).

And that brings us to Ohio State. Yes, you can quibble here, but the Buckeyes boasted a tougher strength of schedule and were coming off a 59-0 drubbing of a ranked Wisconsin team in the conference championship game, not to mention 11 straight wins. And history proved the committee right by choosing the Buckeyes, who ran the table to capture the national title.

Could this have been Baylor or TCU? Perhaps. But with each team boasting one loss, it came down to parsing between three good squads for one spot. The team with the best schedule, according to the numbers, got it. And when you're a one-loss team in a field of one-loss teams, it's bound to happen.

And it wasn’t because of brand name: Personally, if I was on the committee, I’d be pretty hacked off to even hear this suggested. If Briles is to be believed, 13 committee members watched college football all season long, ranked teams on a weekly basis, considered stats both conventional and advanced, and then chose to pick the team with the biggest fan base and best history.

I’m just not buying it. The committee was put in the unenviable task of having six worthy contenders and only four spots. It did the best it could – and again, it was ultimately proved right by giving the final, most contentious spot to the eventual champion.

Also, if we’re arguing about history, TCU got rings, Art.

And on the conference championship thing: Last year, it probably did hurt the Big 12 that it didn’t have a title game. One final way to differentiate between Baylor and TCU (again, two very good teams who played similar schedules and played a very close game) would have been allowing one to win a conference title game.

But again, this was a quirk of fate. Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Oregon all won conference title games the final week of the season, but history is littered with examples of how those games can actually hurt a conference. Had any one of those teams lost, as probability would suggest, the Big 12 would have been golden. Instead, it all went against the conference.

What can you do? Blame the football gods, I guess, or rant about how your team didn’t make it because of politics. But you’d probably be wrong to do the latter. 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