8/25/2014 1:10 PM
Posted by moranis on 8/25/2014 10:49:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 8/25/2014 9:32:00 AM (view original):
If by "truly elite" you mean "capable of winning the NC", you're probably right.    I don't think GA/SC has had the horses to beat the SEC West's best over the last few years.  And, if you can't win the SEC, you aren't winning the Natty.     But I think that definition is about to change.   Because now I think "truly elite" should be defined as "Making the final four".     I think any of SC, GA, LSU, Auburn or Bama could make the playoff.    Possibly two of them.   And, just outside that group, TAMU, Mizzou and Ole Miss look pretty damn good and could possibly finish in the top 20. 
Fair enough, but if you are talking about making the playoff, you could reasonably see 4 or 5 teams from the Big 10, Pac 12, and Big 12 all have that shot if the chips fall right for them this year (though early on it will be clear that a few teams just don't have that shot).  I mean I don't think anyone would be surprised if Oregon, UCLA, Stanford, Southern Cal, Arizona St., or Washington, had a season worthy of the playoff, but I certainly wouldn't call all of those elite teams before the season started (and early on some of them will show to not be worthy).  Same in the Big 10 where OSU and MSU look like the clear favorites, but a team like Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, or Michigan might run through their division and prove worthy.  Big 12 has OU and Baylor in the top 10 and KSU and UT ranked in many polls.  Is it unfathomable that one of those 4 might run the table (or end up with just 1 loss)?

Going into the season, you are right a number of SEC teams might make a run at a playoff birth, but I do really think only Alabama and Auburn are what appear to be elite teams (South Carolina has the talent, but they always seem to fail to reach the talent so I just can't be sold on them ever until they prove to me that they can do it).  Obviously that could and probably will change as the season bears itself out, but if you had to pick what you thought were elite teams, I'm not sure many people will go further than the two teams in Alabama from that conference.
I think you're assuming the conference champ from the Big 5 is guaranteed a playoff spot.   I tend to agree but a one loss GA/SC will get in over a one loss conference champ from one of the other 4.    Well, maybe not but they should. 
8/25/2014 1:30 PM
I'm not assuming that the champion of one of those teams automatically gets in because there are obviously 5 conferences, but I do think it is unlikely that a 1 loss non-champion gets in over a 1 loss champion from those conferences unless it is clear the champion played a terrible schedule or the 1 loss non-champion played a murderer's row.  That said, I don't think the 1 loss can be in the conference title game either, so if Alabama and Auburn are unbeaten (except for the one that lost to the other), I think that is where you might see a 1 loss team having a shot at the 4th spot especially if that team is Auburn (they are at Kansas State and have South Carolina and Georgia from the East).  So if they are both unbeaten for their game on November 29th, I think there is a good chance they both make it in (assuming the winner actually wins the SEC).  

So the way I see it this year

1. Florida State
2. SEC champion
3. Big Ten champion
4. SEC #2 or Oklahoma

I think the Pac 12 is very deep with no real great teams, so I don't think a team comes out of it with less than 2 losses (which likely isn't getting in the playoffs).  Outside of FSU, the ACC has no shot, and because of that I think FSU goes unbeaten rather easily.  I think Michigan State or Ohio State have the schedule and enough skill to finish unbeaten (or with one loss), so I slot them in at 3 (this is especially true if MSU goes to Oregon and wins on Sept 6).  The 4th spot will come down to whether or not Oklahoma does what it should and wins out (or loses just 1 early to a good team) if they do they are in, if they don't then it will go to a 1 loss SEC team (if such team exists and if the Pac 12 champ).
8/25/2014 1:35 PM
Speaking of MSU at Oregon and Auburn at Kansas State, some other non-con games to watch are: Virginia Tech at Ohio State; Florida State v. Okie St. (in Dallas); and UCLA v. Texas (in Dallas).

Those games should give us an early idea about some of the real playoff contenders.
8/25/2014 1:43 PM
I agree on FSU(they should roll thru the season) and the SEC Champ.

I think MSU or OSU has to go undefeated to get in.   Otherwise, I see the B10 champion on the outside looking in.
That opens it up for a 1 loss PAC12 champ, B12 champ or SEC#2 as the remaining two.

I do think the process will be interesting.   Say GA or SC goes undefeated but gets smothered in the SEC championship.   Would that be considered a sub-playoff game? After all, they just got crushed by the SEC champ who is in the playoff.  What would make anyone think they'd do better in the playoff?

One thing I find interesting is that injuries to key players is supposed to be in play.   Say FSU crushes everyone but Winston breaks his leg late in the ACC championship.   Is FSU still a playoff team?
8/25/2014 1:54 PM
And, yes, I know you're a B10 guy who can't fathom them being left out.    But the B10 is on par with the ACC right now and MSU/OSU is FSU/Clemson.   Until Miller went down.    Now the B10 doesn't have a Clemson.   Again, it's not OSU/MSU's fault that the rest of the conference is in a down period, it's just a fact.  And that's why I think a one loss B10 champ could get left out. 
8/25/2014 3:42 PM
If Michigan State wins at Oregon and wins the Big Ten with 1 loss, I think they make it in (unless 4 other major teams are unbeaten).  At Oregon would presumably the biggest non-con win of any team in the country and might very well be one of the best wins period.  They do also get Nebraska from the other side of the conference and are now in the division with Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State so would likely have a fairly solid grouping of victories in their schedule.
8/26/2014 8:46 AM
A win over Oregon would be big.   But a late season loss to Rutgers, Maryland or even Penn State would negate that.  And MSU figures out a way to lose to someone they shouldn't.    That said, there's probably zero chance the SEC has a one loss team in addition to the confernce champ.   GA/SC play one another so there's a loss.  And both lose a game they shouldn't every year.    And, obviously, the teams from the West play one another. 
8/29/2014 6:41 AM
there goes South Carolina.  Crushed at home.
8/29/2014 8:40 AM
Yep.   As I said, they lose a game they shouldn't every year.    But, if their defense doesn't find a way to rush the QB/cover the receivers, they're gonna lose a lot of games.  


That said, suppose they go undefeated the rest of the way and beat an undefeated Alabama(who crushes everyone before the SEC championship) in the SEC championship, do they get a spot?  Does Alabama?
8/29/2014 12:34 PM
Yes and yes.  Any SEC team who goes unbeaten except the SEC championship should be in the 4, every time.
8/29/2014 1:09 PM
If you lose a conference title game, you don't belong in a 4 team playoff.  
8/29/2014 1:23 PM
Because you can't possibly be one of the 4 best teams in the nation?
8/29/2014 3:19 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 8/29/2014 1:23:00 PM (view original):
Because you can't possibly be one of the 4 best teams in the nation?
no because you don't deserve it.
8/29/2014 3:29 PM
Isn't the objective of this playoff to pit the 4 best teams against one another?
8/29/2014 10:41 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 8/29/2014 3:29:00 PM (view original):
Isn't the objective of this playoff to pit the 4 best teams against one another?
we go through this every year, it is about the most deserving based on the season and certain criteria, not necessarily the best. It is that way in every single sport (i.e. the Suns were 10 wins better than the Hawks in the NBA last year, Hawks were in the playoffs, Suns were not - 10-6 Arizona missed the playoffs while 8-7-1 Green Bay made them - it is why every conference champion makes the NCAA tournament). Now sure ideally the most deserving are in fact the best, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you are coming off of a loss in your conference title game you don't deserve to be in a 4 team college football playoff. That is just my opinion. I'd have a hard time putting a team in there that lost its last game period so like if Auburn loses to Alabama in the last game of the season, I would have difficulty putting Auburn in the 4 team playoff (I wouldn't foreclose that possibility, but it would be a special circumstance).
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