After writing about the CFB Playoff Selection Committee and its ranking of Alabama Football earlier, I decided to dig deeper. After Tuesday night’s rankings were released, I pointed out obvious flaws. I also reminded Alabama football fans and myself that the Selection Committee is made up of competent individuals, doing their honest best to fairly rank teams.
Upon further review, it must be added that with this committee, ‘doing their best’ is not good enough. It is not close to being good enough.
The current Selection Committee, chaired by Boo Corrigan, clearly has a distorted opinion of the quality of football played in the Pac-12. One reason why could go back to the college football world’s early season misperception that the Pac-12 was possibly the toughest conference. Some of that confusion goes back to wildly unrealistic expectations for USC.
When Lincoln Riley was contracted for $110M to coach the Trojans, expectations were USC would be an immediate title contender. In Riley’s first USC season, the Trojans won 11 games and reached No. 4 in the nation. They finished the season losing to Tulane. Despite the bowl loss, the 2023 Preseason AP Poll had USC at No. 6.
Along with USC, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Oregon State were ranked in the preseason top 18 teams. In the early months of the season, a favorite theme of national pundits was the SEC was down and the Pac-12 was ascendant.
Riley, second only to Jimbo Fisher in overrated coaches was not able to deliver. The Trojans are 7-5, with every win over a bad team.
Jumping forward to today, the Selection Committee still holds an inflated opinion of Washington, Oregon State and Oregon. How do we know that? Because Boo Corrigan tells us so.
Alabama Football Fans and Texas Fans
The fanbase with the biggest complaint on the current Playoff rankings is Texas. The committee clearly values Pac-12 wins above wins gained by Texas. When asked about the rankings Tuesday night, Corrigan said,
"Coming out of last week and the way they (Oregon) played an Oregon State team that we really respect as a group, held them to seven points as opposed to 34, which they have averaged on the year. The season (quarterback) Bo Nix is having, 78% completion percentage, they just continue to impress the committee with both the offense and the defense."
The explanation is stunning in its lack of understanding of college football. Oregon State is a decent team. The Beavers might win seven or eight games with an SEC schedule. Bo Nix is having a great season, but as an Auburn fan recently pointed out, he is not doing it against SEC-quality defensive backs.
The Auburn fan is right and has an insight apparently beyond the vision of the Selection Committee.
If (when) Alabama Football beats Georgia on Saturday, and no SEC team makes the final four – blame Boo Corrigan and his confused cohorts who clearly don’t much understand college football.
It would not be right for Texas and Alabama football fans to also blame Bo Nix, but we can throw some blame toward Lincoln Riley.
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