Alabama Football and Georgia Bulldogs’ fans enjoyed their team’s success on New Year’s Eve. A portion of many other fanbases, plus many in sports media went into a tizzy. Causing so much fret was two SEC teams playing for a national title.
Rather than entering the debate directly, a post-CFBP semi-final, ranking of teams is in order. The performances of teams in other bowl games are not considered. Instead, this exercise ranks how teams should have been ranked after conference championship weekend.
The ranking below is grounded in reality despite not being data-driven or being based on anyone’s sophisticated algorithm. Outside of the SEC, no one will agree with the rankings. They will unfortunately be wrong.
Debates over seeding again dominate conversations, suggesting that somehow Alabama Football and Georgia got unfair, seeding advantages. Perhaps such buffoonery has entertainment value, but any suggestion that certain other teams were more deserving of a Playoff slot is nonsense.
The ranking below reflects a common situation. This season, as in most seasons, only two teams were good enough to play for a National Championship. On Dec. 5, to reflect that, the college football selection committee rankings should have been:
1.) Alabama Crimson Tide
2.) Georgia Bulldogs
5.) Michigan Wolverines
6.) Ohio State Buckeyes
Then draw team names out of a hat from a list of Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Baylor and Oklahoma State to fill out 10 spots. Yes, 10 spots with eight teams. That is necessary because Alabama Football and Georgia, are so much better than any other team. To be even more accurate, leave spots five and six open as well. Put Michigan at No. 7 and Ohio State at No. 8. Then draw team names to rank the remaining teams 9-12.
Like it or not, this is the frequent reality of a college football season. Two or maybe three teams are legitimate National Championship contenders. ‘Haves’ or ‘have nots’ – all the rest, are pretenders.
CFB Playoff Semi-Final History
Reviewing the now eight seasons of CFB Playoff semi-finals proves the point.
- 2015 CFB Playoff – FSU lost by 39 points to Oregon in a semi-final. The Ducks were no match for Ohio State in the National Championship and lost by 22 points.
- 2016 CFB Playoff – Oklahoma lost to Clemson by 20 points and Michigan State was embarrassed by Alabama 38-0.
- 2017 CFB Playoff – Alabama cruised to a 17 point win over Washington and Clemson blanked Ohio State, 31-0.
- 2018 CFB Playoff – Alabama beat Clemson by 18 points in a semi-final.
- 2019 CFB Playoff – Clemson beat Notre Dame by 27 points in a semi-final.
- 2020 CFB Playoff – LSU beat Oklahoma by 35 points in a semi-final.
- 2021 CFB Playoff – Alabama beat Notre Dame by 17 points and Ohio State beat Clemson by 21 points.
- 2022 CFB Playoff – Alabama beat Cincinnati by 21 points and Georgia beat Michigan by 23 points.
See CFB Playoff game history here.
Do not be distracted by the every season complaints that a certain other team or teams were more deserving of being in the final four. That is not the problem. The real problem stems from a collective yearning for parity in college football. Unless parity is more important than rewarding merit, college football will continue to be dominated by a small number of teams every season. And in that small number of teams, maybe three or four will be legitimate National Championship contenders.
There will be another season when, like the 2020 CFB Playoffs, Alabama Football does not deserve to be in the Playoff field. Fans of other schools, take note, very few Crimson Tide fans whined about the exclusion.