By James Galvin
For the first time ever, college football fans are going to get what they want once the season ends, and that’s the playoffs. No more bowl games that seem to include every team in the nation, but instead, four teams will be entered into a tournament to determine the National Champion.
Despite being what ‘fans want,’ the controversy and ‘snubs’ continue to exist. The AP Top 25 Rankings in college football include 25 teams, but yet only 4 are going to make it into the tournament for the National Championship.
The worst spot a team can be in is Number 5. Think about that, the worst spot for a college football team to be in is to be considered the 5th best college football team in the nation.
Despite how ridiculous it sounds, the top 4 style has created a lot of hype for the NCAA, and almost every game that includes a ranked team has been exciting to watch, since so much hangs in that balance.
The question now becomes, which teams are in the coveted ‘top 4?’ Well, if you ask the panel that determines which teams make the tournament and which teams don’t, they have an answer.
According to ESPN.com, the current College Football Playoff Rankings have Mississippi State at the top of the list, followed by Oregon, Florida State and TCU. This leaves Alabama in the ‘worst’ spot as being considered the 5th best team in the nation.
I however, see things a little differently than the ‘experts.’ A team’s win-loss record is important, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in determining who’s in and who’s out, especially in college football. That’s why I believe the standings should currently undergo a certain change. My top picks are:
- Mississippi State
- Arizona State
- Florida State
That’s right, I believe the team with the longest winning streak currently in college football, and the team that’s the defending National Champions, the Florida State Seminoles, should be the ‘worst’ team, sitting at the number five spot.
Let me explain. Yes, I know Florida State is undefeated, but they play in the ACC, which is a conference that is significantly weaker than the SEC, where Alabama plays.
The Seminoles have had, in my opinion, too many close calls this season. For example, the Seminoles barely survived games against Clemson (albeit without their star QB Jameis Winston), Notre Dame, and let’s not forget the opening game of the season, Oklahoma State.
All three of those teams would have been derailed by any of the teams in my current Top 4, especially by the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Let’s also combine those close victories with the fact that the Seminoles this season have only played one team ranked inside the Top 20. That team was Notre Dame, and it took a massive second half comeback for the Seminoles to pull that one off.
At the end of the day, the way college football works is that the Conference a team plays in means everything, not the record. Yeah, Florida State is undefeated, but the ACC is a weak conference, while the SEC is undoubtedly the toughest in the sport.
That’s why the Alabama Crimson Tide shouldn’t be punished for their loss to Ole Miss (who at the time were undefeated, ranked inside the Top 15, and playing on their home field), but instead Alabama should be rewarded with their impressive victories over much stiffer competition than what the Seminoles have faced.
That’s why at this point in time, the Crimson Tide should be in the playoff mix, while the Seminoles are on the outs. However, that could all change next weekend when Alabama takes on Mississippi State. After that, who knows what is going to happen.