The College Football Playoff selected the four teams to compete for the National Championship. Was anyone surprised?
The College Football Playoff Committee’s Selection Sunday unveiled the four teams included in this season’s playoff: powerhouse programs Alabama topped the list, followed by Clemson at number two, Ohio State coming in third, and the slate rounded out with Notre Dame at number four.
- The semifinal games pair Alabama versus Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl and Clemson taking on Ohio State in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. Alabama and Clemson are the favorites.
- Several teams with legitimate arguments to be included were left out: Texas A&M, which the chairman of the selection committee argued had a “similar resume” to Notre Dame, was not selected because Notre Dame had “an additional win over a ranked team”, despite Notre Dame losing to Clemson by 24 points in the ACC championship game.
- Prior to the selection announcements, Dan Wolken of the USA Today network argued undefeated Cincinnati, which comes from a Group of Five conference, deserved a spot, telling the committee to ‘have the courage to tell the establishment programs that they didn’t do enough to earn their place.”
- Wolken criticized the selections after their announcement, saying it feels like the movie “Groundhog Day” with similar teams selected year in and year out.
- ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit and Paul Finebaum agree, saying the annual predictability is hurting the game and the playoff should be expanded to eight teams.
- Brian Kenney believes changing the NCAA rules preventing athletes from profiting off their name and likeness can do more to help smaller programs attract top-tier talent, saying a “big fish in a small pond” can be an advantage for players of a quality that typically only sign with a handful of big-name programs.
- Rodger Sherman criticized the selections at The Ringer, saying a team’s loss effectively doesn’t matter anymore, “so long as that team is in the right conference”
- ESPN’s Andrea Adelson slammed the committee for making their selections, criticizing them for moving a two-loss Oklahoma over undefeated Cincinnati.
- Billy Witz slammed Ohio State in the New York Times, saying the program was given “valet service to reach the playoff” after the Big Ten season was curtailed, two games were canceled by opponents, and the Big Ten Conference amended its rules to allow Ohio State to play in the Big Ten Championship.
- The New York Post similarly lamented the predictability, saying undefeated non-Power 5 teams were excluded, “the little guy with no shot.”
- Fox News reported on Texas A&M’s reaction to the selection committee snubbing them while touting Notre Dame’s inclusion, quoting a selection committee member as the Fighting Irish having “earned its way.”
- Prior to the playoff announcement, The Daily Caller cast doubts on Notre Dame deserving a spot in the playoff.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020