The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

College Football is Rigged

On the day of the FIRST EVER College Football Playoff Rankings, I thought it would be fun to jump all over ESPN and the SEC, who may have 3 top 4 teams in the rankings tonight. Let's do an exercise tracking the SEC teams over the first 10 weeks of the season. I'll stick with the AP Poll, since the Coaches Poll is a bunch of self-serving bastards!

So what is the point? It's this: that you can't overcome the SEC because the rankings don't allow it. 8 ranked teams to start the season stacks the deck. Then, they climb in the rankings by destroying powerhouses like Lamar, SMU, Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, LA Lafayette, Sam Houston, and more. When they finally get around to playing each other, a loss doesn't hurt because, "SHUCKS, we lost to a great SEC team". Texas A&M is a great example. They flew up the rankings by beating currently unranked South Carolina and then Lamar, Rice and SMU - IN CONSECUTIVE WEEKS!!! When they finally played an actual team in Miss State, they lost and dropped to 14. It took 3 straight losses to finally get them out of the rankings.

I don't see the SEC tearing up anyone from any other Power 5 conferences this season. They lost the few Power 5 matchups they played (Tennesse to Oklahoma, Missouri to Indiana). There is no way to say they are any better than any other conference in the NCAA. Do you want to claim past performance by the SEC in the BCS? Okay, how do you then account for upstarts Ole Miss and Miss State? If we want to use past performance, then these guys were #18 and unranked preseason, with long histories of futility. Suddenly, they are the darlings of the SEC, and we should just assume they are great? You can't have it both ways SEC fans! If you want past-performance to matter, than you have to discount schools that previously stunk.

Look, I'm not stupid. I realize the SEC has some good teams every year. However, most of them are extremely flawed. If you really look at it, the SEC is Alabama, an all-time great dynasty right now. Occasionally, an upstart Auburn or LSU sneaks through, but the conference as a whole is no better than any other.

What really gives it an edge though is money. The head coaches make more than anyone else (Saban earned $7M this year AND got a $3M house paid for by boosters). The assistants make more than most head coaches (why Biliema left Wisconsin). We also know the players get their share. Too many stories about Cam's dad and players flashing cash in selfies to ignore. Where there's smoke, there's fire. Finally, the Universities just THROW cash at the football programs. 

So we'll see what happens tonight. I predict Miss St, FSU, Alabama and Auburn are ranked at the top. ND will be in the pack of 1-loss teams that have to keep their fingers crossed. I think Oregon will edge us for #5, and we'll slide in at #6 ahead of Michigan State.


Teddy said...

And we're out. #10???

Kevin said...

Those three SEC teamms cannot all make the playoffs. 'Bama and Auburn currently have a loss. Games still to play are:
1) Miss St. vs 'Bama
2) 'Bama vs Auburn

Other potential losses:
- Auburn plays Ole Miss
- Auburn vs Georgia
- Miss. St plays Ole Miss
- SEC Championship

So there's at least two losses among those three playoff SEC schools, and maybe more. I would contend that any 2-loss team, even in the mighty SEC, won't make the playoffs. However, I would also argue that Miss St. and Ole Miss will end up with 2 losses each.

I think Alabama wins the SEC, and Auburn or Miss St. could sneak in as a second SEC West team that didn't play in the SEC Championship. But the SEC will NOT get three teams - that I guarantee.