The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Well, F(S)Uck

That was about as bad as it gets. I think it literally is as bad as the 2005 USC (Bush Push) game. We had the victory, only to have it taken away from us by factors beyond our control - in this case the refs.

While this game convinced me that we could go toe-to-toe with any team in the country, I think the media and Playoff committee may see it differently. We dropped to #7 in the AP Poll and #8 in the Coaches Poll. I realize that these polls are now meaningless for determining a champion or playoff team, but they are a pretty good indicator of how the teams stack up.

The Playoff picture is coming into focus now. Barring more than a few miraculous upsets (which certainly could happen), the inaugural College Football Playoff looks like this:

1. SEC Champ
2. FSU
3. SEC West Runner-up
4. Wide Open

While the #1 seed could go back to FSU should the SEC champ incur a loss, those two will be #1 and #2. The runner-up in the SEC West will get the #3 seed. Likely it will be a 1-loss team, but a 2-loss runner-up likely gets the nod anyway, although they would get the #4 seed. The SEC East champ will be eliminated with the extra loss in the SEC Championship.

So that gets us to the interesting part. Right now, the teams in contention are Michigan State, Oregon and Notre Dame. The AP and Coaches polls have these teams completely flipped, so good luck trying to decide who gets in if each win out. I think a 1-loss conference champion from either the B1G or Pac-12 would get the nod over ND. Conference championships are a playoff criterion. (As an aside, the Big 12 is out. Horrible conference with no defense, and down in the rankings.)

So if ND wants to make the Playoff, we have to hope for 2 things: a loss by Michigan State and a loss by Oregon. Then, we take care of business and win out. There is no way we jump either with 1-loss no matter what our strength of schedule is. They won't easily leave 3 of 5 Power 5 conference champs out of a 4-team playoff.

There is one wrinkle left. I could see Ohio State leapfrogging us if they win out and win the B1G. Keep an eye on that.


Kevin said...

There's so much left to play in the SEC and Big 10, and especially ND, that there's too much to consider. I think the SEC West will cannibalize itself. Between Miss St, Ole Miss, 'Bama, and Auburn, not to mention A&M, those teams are all still playing each other. While I agree with most of what Ted said, I don't think a 2-loss SEC team will take a #3 ranking. Unless there aren't any 0- and 1-loss teams left, there will not be consideration for a 2-loss team. If there has to be a 2-loss consideration, then an undefeated Marshall will likely come into play.

I don't know if it's good news or not, but Archie Manning will no longer be on the Committee. He's have surgery and won't be able to travel, so he's leaving and will NOT be replaced. So it's only a 12-member Committee now.

ian said...

Archie missing doesn't matter because he would've had to recuse himself with Ole Miss if they were in the discussion.

One of the SEC West teams making it through the regular season with 1-loss only to drop in the SEC Championship wouldn't help ND's chances. So SEC East taking the crown would be bad, as it would open the door for a 1- or 2-loss SEC West team. A 2-loss SEC East team is out.

Oregon and Southern Cal do not meet in the regular season. A 2-loss Southern Cal (1 loss to ND) could knock a 1-loss Oregon out of the playoffs in the Pac-12 championship. No way a Southern Cal with 2 losses, one being to ND, gets in. So I'll hope for that. A 1-loss Oregon would be hard to pass up.

On the BIG side, Mich St and tOSU will knock one or the other out in a few weeks. Everyone else in that conference is a chump. I don't think a 1-loss BIG champ gets the nod over ND, regardless of the politicking that will be done by Delaney. Notre Dame will have the superior resume, provided they can win out.

FSU should win out at this point and I think ND has to root for that, as much as it pains me. But FSU could lose to Louisville next week, or somewhere else, and everything gets blown up.

So all I know that I need to root for is 1) Notre Dame winning out and 2) FSU winning out to make ND's 1 loss look better. Everything else is noise and the chaos should be exciting. They sure picked a fucked year to start the playoffs...