Alabama Football: Time for CFB Playoff Selection Committee to act

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: CFB Selection Committee should admit a one-loss SEC Champion will rate above other undefeated Power Fives.

It is never too early for Alabama football fans to talk about CFB Playoff spots. Only this season, the virus has changed schedules so drastically, having a Playoff discussion before one Power Five has begun play may appear too soon. But it is actually those schedule changes that make it critical for the Selection Committee to make bold plans.

The first Selection Committee Rankings for the 2020 season will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Committee members would probably like to avoid any comments before then. Staying quiet would be a serious mistake. The Committee needs to define what it takes in terms of minimum games played to qualify.  The minimum could be eight – even seven or perhaps six – but not four, as some have suggested. The other discussed option among media pundits is expanding the Playoff field for one year.

If either accepting four games played as a minimum or the field is expanded, the Committee will have failed. The foundational purpose of the Selection Committee is to pick the four best teams. With only a couple of exceptions, the Committee has successfully executed the task. There is no valid reason for veering away from the same goal for the 2020 season.

Let’s consider some potential conflicts come late November and December. The Big Ten plans to play 10 games. The PAC 12 will at best, play only seven. The B1G has a provision to declare virus-canceled games as ‘no contest’ results, meaning no win and no loss. An undefeated Big Ten Champion, having played at least eight games, should be in the Playoff field. IF the Committee views it as one of the four-best. It can also be argued a 7-1, much less, 6-1 B1G Champion, should not qualify over a one-loss, not SEC Champion.

Then there is the PAC trying to squeeze in seven games in seven weeks of play. If the eventual PAC 12 Champion is forced to cancel a game, even if finishing 6-0, a 10-1 SEC team will have incurred a far more difficult path to the Playoff. Selecting the four-best should have always trumped any conference championship.

The Selection Committee has a most difficult task. It will be unable to satisfy one or more teams in one or more conferences. All the more reason, why it should not wait until Nov. 17 to start explaining its thinking. Reminding the college football world the final goal is choosing the four-best teams is a start. Beyond that, the Committee should not dodge questions. If asked can a 10-1 team with no conference championship make the field over a 6-0 or 7-0 Power Five Conference Champion – the Committee should simply answer, yes.

Week 8 SEC Power Rankings. dark. Next

Alabama football fans and Georgia football fans (and others) want an answer from the Committee before conference championship games. Hopefully, Alabama football will take care of business and not depend on the sound judgment of the Committee. But just in case …