It’s Official: CFP Committee Confirms Playoff is Not the 4 Best Teams:
Let me state this right from the start. This is not a “Alabama should have been in the playoff” piece. I am not going to sit here and argue that. It’s a tough stance to take at this point. As an Alabama grad, would I have loved to see the Crimson Tide in the playoff and give Bryce Young one more chance to chase a title? Absolutely. But I cannot in good, unbiased, conscience argue that they deserved it.
Alabama had the opportunity in the regular season to handle their business and beat teams that they were better than (especially LSU) and did not take care of business. It just seemed like they never got quite in synch as a team and it never all clicked for them, and it resulted in two losses. Was Bryce Young’s limited practice time a factor in the development, or lack thereof, of the offense? Perhaps, but they had to weather that as a team and simply didn’t.
This all being said, if the goal is to take the “best four teams”, then it’s equally hard to argue that Alabama is not one of the four. While Ohio State has one less loss, they got destroyed at home in their biggest game of the season, something that is unfathomable for Alabama. Nick Saban worded it well when he said some teams “show vulnerability when you get beat badly at the end of the season.”
Then there’s TCU, who the committee was put in an almost impossible position with the prospect of kicking out of a team whose one loss was in overtime against a team they already decisively defeated earlier in the year in an extra game while Alabama and Ohio State sat at home. I understand why they were in no matter what. That being said, I also believe Alabama would handle TCU fairly easily on a neutral site.
Saban also shockingly brought up hypothetical point spreads, stating that his team would be favored against all of the other teams in question, which should tell you everything you need to know about which team is better. While it wasn’t that surprising to see Saban lobbying for his team, it was interesting to hear his arguments. They weren’t wrong, they just weren’t strong enough to get Alabama in.
At the end of the day, the CFP committee has sent a clear message to college football. The four team playoff might only exist for one more year after this, but while it does, you better handle your business during the regular season. Because if you don’t, it doesn’t matter how good you think you are, you will be watching the playoff from home.