The CFP Formula Has Been Relatively Simple

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Spartan13's picture

I care if Notre Dame beats Michigan because there is no way of knowing that OSU will go undefeated. If OSU goes undefeated sure I would root for Michigan to lose every game but I have no idea if that will happen or not. Michigan beating Notre Dame hurts the SEC's argument for getting two teams in and boosts every team that plays Michigan. 

2 losses and you dont get in. But we want to be in the best position as a 12-1 conference champ being compared to other 1 loss champs or a 1 loss non SEC champ(Bama/LSU)

It is also false strength of schedule has never came into play. 2014 OSU got in over TCU because of strength of schedule. 2016 OSU was the 3 seed despite not winning the conference because of an insane strength of schedule. and 2018 OSU only played 3 top 25 teams, better sos and we may have gotten in. 

HS
BeatMeechigun's picture

The Bucks made it in 2014 because they demolished Wisconsin 56-0 in a final statement and extra game while TCU and Baylor sat on the couch.  Not because Navy and Minnesota had relatively strong seasons finishing with 8 wins and bc Cincy finished with 9 wins.

2014 was CCG.  Not SOS.

2018 was between an OSU team that lost 49-20 at Purdue and an OU team that lost to a Texas team which they beat in the CCG, not a collective SOS debate - a simply comparison of losses.

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c92996p's picture

"because they demolished Wisconsin 56-0 59-0"

Had to fix that for you, I jealously guard and relish every point of that victory.

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Silver Sniper's picture

I was reaching for that reply button till I saw you already beat me to it. 

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IAMTHIRD's picture

I care as well-

First because it is Notre Dame, who I dislike almost as much as all of the Florida schools and Alabama.  The misery of Miami and Florida State have been a fair consolation for Florida being ranked in the top 10.

Second - if the teams on Ohio States schedule could have the common decency to win all of there other games then we could possibly survive as a 1 loss team unless that loss is to Penn State.

Thus we just need to win, especially against Penn State.

IamTHIRD

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cajunbuckeye's picture

Michigan will beat Notre Dame.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

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Silver Sniper's picture

I’m rooting for TUN to lose for the following reasons:

1) Per the formula, SOS does not actually matter. So beating TUN with 4, 3, or 2 losses won’t harm or help us.

2) Nothing I love more than seeing TUN lose. It invigorates me.

3) Notre Dame already has a loss with no ability to play for a CCG. That will hurt them and they will not get in over any one loss Conference Champs. 

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GoBucksOrDie's picture

Upvote for point #2

Interesting signature line

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RJerome-15Alum's picture

Agreed. TTUN losing should make any Buckeye fan randy!

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cecsix's picture

Disagree on point 1. For one thing, there is no "formula". Perception and "eye test" count.  If Ohio State beats a 2 loss Michigan who has a win over Notre Dame, that's better for perception than beating a 3 or 4 loss Michigan with no signature wins.  It's a marginal difference, sure. It's not going to be the one thing that gets them over the top (if they have a loss), but I'll take all the help we can get.  Notre Dame beating Michigan doesn't help Ohio State in any way, and in fact, keeps ND in the playoff race, at least in theory. If it came down to ND with one loss vs. OSU with one loss in the CCG, The B1G would likely be left out of the playoff again.   

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Wargor's picture

Agreed on this.  Everyone has written off the PAC1-12, but a 12-1 Oregon whose only loss is to a (potentially) strong looking Auburn team in the final minutes of the first week of the season....really hard to keep out.  Clemson, Bama, Oklahoma, and...a 12-1 conference champ.  Not a scenario I feel 100% confident in if we were to lose to Whisky by two scores but still win the conference.  Fairly confident, just not 100%.

SOS doesn't matter a good chunk of the time.  But sometimes it does matter.

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TShell's picture

Schedule strength does come into play in the second criteria and the third. There are 5 major conference champions for 4 spots. Some years it will shake out where only 4 champs are viable selections. But those years where there is a full slate of options, you don't want to be the one with a crap schedule and end up #5.

Win all your games and it doesn't matter. But, a strong schedule allows a little room for error.

HS
DaiTheFlu's picture

This is exactly how I feel. I think we win out and thus, SOS wont really matter. But it's really hard to go undefeated, so if we do lose a game, wins over several highly ranked teams will help.

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

HS
c92996p's picture

I guess I'm in the opposite camp - it's really hard to go undefeated, so why put yourself at more risk by scheduling teams like Oklahoma when you could just schedule Akron, Bowling Green, and Kent State every year and significantly help your chances of winning out, thereby guaranteeing a CFP birth?

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DaiTheFlu's picture

Because, as weve seen in almost every one of the last several years, you're still likely to drop a game to a mediocre opponent (Va Tech, Iowa, Purdue). 2016 is a great example as to why you schedule well out of conference, as our road win at OU got us in the CFP despite not winning the B1G.

I do see your point, however, and it's certainly working well for Clemson, OU, etc.

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

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2morrow's picture

Actually, I don't think strength of schedule matters at all. If it did, teams playing FCS schools would be punished - and that has yet to happen.

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cecsix's picture

Simply not true.  If OSU hadn't had that Oklahoma win in 2016, there's no way they get into the playoff.  The committee literally cited that as a tiebreaking factor. 

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Independence Village 22's picture

Precedence was set last year when 2-loss Georgia was placed ahead of 1-loss conference champ tOSU. While at the time it didn't mean much it is alarming for future prospects. Also alarming how a 2-loss Auburn and a 2-loss LSU have been placed ahead of lesser loss B1G teams during the season. It shows that the committee heavily values the sec and places the B1G towards the bottom of the heap. Oklahoma and somewhat Texas are in consideration before an equal B1G team. While most years this may not come into play its definitely something to keep an eye on.

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Ohiofoosball's picture

Exactly. The rules are now broken. We have no idea what will happen now.

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Silver Sniper's picture

I had read that that was done to emphasize OSU’s exclusion from the top 4, hoping to make it less controversial since they were 6, not 5. There was the belief that if it had actually come down to GA vs OSU to get in, they would have put OSU in. 

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AtlBuc's picture

Sorry, I have no real interest in the final CFP rankings beyond #4.  They have no bearing on the playoff or any bowl matchups. 

A 1-loss CCG winner has never been left out due to a 1-loss non-champion.  When that changes you can complain about the system being broken.

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cecsix's picture

The rankings beyond 4 are completely meaningless.  If OU had had a second loss, or if ND had a loss, Ohio State would've been in over a 2 loss UGA. That was the committee sending a message with no consequence, but had they had to choose between a 1-loss conference champ or a 2 loss non champ to actually get into the playoff, they would've gone with the one loss champ. 

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Zonabuck's picture

Are you talking about this year?  Because it’s changed from ‘14, ‘15. ‘16 and ‘17 was different, too. 

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Eph97's picture

SOS is irrelevant for the most part unless very unusual circumstances happen like 2016. OSU in 2017 could have got in over Alabama if the win over Wisconsin was more convincing.  This is the year Alabama won't make it. Tua on two bum ankles won't beat LSU and Joe Burrito. OSU, LSU, Clemson, and OU will be it.

Also, the ACC which is considered the worst conference has gotten a rep in every year and last year basically 2 ACC teams got in with ND.

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buckeye_in_WI's picture

Simple formula in retrospect but has been confusing in real time. The language of the committee has changed each year, and to be fair, that's because each season has played out in very different ways. Last year was a perfect storm for 1 loss B10 champ tOSU to get left out because it was the first time we saw 3 undefeated teams. In 2016 and 2017 combined there was just 1. And I think this season is setting up for another year where a 1 loss conference champ could get left out.

SOS could very well come into play this year considering Clemson is likely to end the year with 0 ranked wins. If theres a 1 loss team with a great SOS (say 1 loss LSU with 3 wins vs top 10 teams which could reasonably happen) will be interesting to see how that debate plays out.

I think on paper what you're saying makes sense but it has been far from simple watching this happen from year to year. The committee has seemed very secretive with their process always with guarded responses in interviews. I think they do this on purpose because they know no year is like a prior one. If they came out in 2015 and said "you have to win your conference to really have a good chance at making the playoff" then have 2 straight years where a non-champ makes it followed by the next year a 1 loss champ get left out, they'd look pretty foolish.

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rdalchemy's picture

Just to save you some time and contemplation. Clemson loses to Pitt and is eliminated. LSU beats Alabama, wins the SEC over a two loss Florida, Oklahoma wins its patsy conference, setting up OSU vs LSU (Burrows and Fields) and OU vs Alabama (Hurt and Tua). The football gods and TV executives have decreed it.

Zbuddha

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Ohiofoosball's picture

Clemson will be 30 point favorites against Pitt. Nearly impossible they lose that game (or any other)

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BuckeyeJuggernaut's picture

Uhh... same thing they said to Illinois.

#AnyGivenSaturday

 #PlayForChase • BuckeyeJuggernaut.com

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Kernfan's picture

OSU being left out with one loss, and behind 2 loss Georgia, was caused by how nasty that loss was (29 points to an average Purdue team).  The perception of the BIG 10 probably is also not helped that the last playoff points scored by the conference was OSU romping over Oregon, 0 points the last 4 years.  OSU's perception is further hurt with the embarrassing losses to Purdue and Iowa the last 2 years.  I think if LSU and Bama play a close game, and the winner wins the SEC and the loser just has one loss, the loser may beat out a one loss OK or OSU/other BIG 10 champ and would almost certainly beat out a 1 loss PAC champion.  A one loss ND might as well so I'm rooting for TTUN this weekend (not that hard since I hate them both).

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Ohiofoosball's picture

Correct, and this is exactly the fear. If Osu loses even one game, they are in MAJOR trouble. Because one loss lsu and Bama are going to be ranked ahead of them by the committee. It’s a fact, and we all know it. 

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mittenst8buck's picture

Right...if LSU beats Bama and then a 1 loss UGA goes on to beat an undefeated LSU in the conf championship...we are gonna see 2 SEC teams in UNLESS Ohio State, Oklahoma and Clemson are all unbeaten

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Joebobb's picture

SOS matters, but.....

the schedule is set pretty much 3 years in advance so......

Just win. Win out. don't lose twice.

Control the things you can control. You have no control how your opponents will play in all their other games. You have no control over their injuries or how they rebound from a loss to you. Therefore, all that really matters to you is to take care of your own business. If you take care of your business, the other things take care of themselves. If you worry too much about things beyond your control, then chances are, you will be too preoccupied to take care of your own business.

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Eph97's picture

9 conference games vs. 8 is huge too. Those Iowa and Purdue losses could have been Kent State and Miami of OH wins. That meant making the playoffs both those years.

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StronglyTyped's picture

The only way OSU has a chance at making the playoffs is if they lose to Penn St. by fewer than 28 pts. A stand like that would be a huge (moral) victory for you, and would surely impress the voters.

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Strongly Typed - I left this in response to one of your other comments, but repeating here in the unlikely event you actually come back.

You're relatively new around here (one year old account and only started commenting today - not gonna call it a sleeper account, yet), so consider this your warning. We welcome fans from other teams, and in fact have had some great contributors even from our rival team up north. 

Please take the time to review the site's commenting policy before you post anymore comments. If you've come here just to troll, you aren't going to last very long. If you'd like to talk football, we're all about it.

https://www.elevenwarriors.com/help/commenting-policy

For my fellow 11Ws, please don't feed the trolls, and exercise your right to (down) vote appropriately.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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bd2999's picture

I think these are guidelines, but you would need SoS etc. to sort out one loss teams etc. That is how it worked in the past. Those other things matter more if you do not win out. Quality wins should probably matter the most, but bad losses matter quite a bit too.

HS
I'm Ron Burgundy's picture

Hah, you proceed to list the exact scenarios and reasons why SOS matters, and then say it doesn't. Now I agree we don't need to get too torn up about whether Cincy finishes with 10 or 11 wins, and if random so and so teams beat others, thus moving SOS decimal points around.

But just last year, OSU became the new exception to your #2 rule.  Therefore some of this stuff matters.  TTUN beating ND is clearly clearly better for OSU in the long run.  Eliminates ND, props up TTUN, and of much less importance devalues an SEC contender in Georgia's best win.

Of course going undefeated is the only guarantee, but such a small percentage of teams have pulled that feat off, what you need to be prepared for is winning the beauty pageant between other 1 loss teams.  Having better quality wins and SOS does actually matter in these scenarios.  It certainly doesn't hurt the cause.  I think that's the argument to make here to all these people who say what other teams do doesn't matter.  It might not be the deciding factor come selection day, but it doesn't hurt so why not have a rooting interest.

Honestly it is one of the bedrocks that makes CFB so fun and interesting.  We all love watching the Buckeyes, but any given Saturday there are 3-5 other games that have some minor implications towards the end goal of the season.  Which makes watching those games with a genuine rooting interest that much more fun.  CFB would be pretty boring if I took the stance that none of the other games mattered and I didn't care what happened in them.

HS
BeatMeechigun's picture

18 of 20 playoff teams have been undefeated, or 1-loss CCG winners. 
 

Since the onset of the playoffs, 19 teams have accomplished those scenarios and 18 made the playoffs. The lone exception was Ohio State last year. OU got in over OSU by defeating the team that beat them and by not losing 49-20 to an unranked team.

The other two playoff teams (2016 OSU and 2017 Bama) had fewer losses than the other contenders.

SOS has yet to factor into the debate. It’s still all about fewest losses.

HS
I'm Ron Burgundy's picture

You're generalizing too much.  If OSU had 5 top 25 wins and OU had only 1 last year, then SOS would have mattered.  Since OSU and OU had very similar SOS last year, you are right, it did not matter.  It absolutely did matter for OSU in 2016.  They do not get in without their 3-1 record against the committee's final top 8 ranked teams.  3 of which were on the road.  To simplify and say they only got in because the other teams had more losses is a stretch.  They would not have gotten in if instead of a non-conf win at #5 or #6 OU, they had played an FCS team.

Bama got in in 2017 because Bama. That was the logic there.  They are exempt from the criteria.

My point remains about being able to enjoy CFB more though. The "who cares what any other team does" approach is lifeless and sad.  It's the NFL is what it is.  That's why I can't typically watch more than 15 mins of a random NFL game that doesn't involve my favorite team.  CFB however, I'm usually making a mental list of 5-6 games I want to watch every Saturday.  Why?  Because I actually do care who wins, or want to see the other top teams myself so I can form an opinion on them.

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BeatMeechigun's picture

Fully agree on your point that it makes college football much better than the NFL that each game matters and can influence the bigger picture (2015 TTUN-MSU punt  certainly comes to mind). 

Just saying the playoff path is much more generic than we assume and we probably (definitely) add more drama than is warranted by debating all possible scenarios when the season is only half over. ESPN lives off the fodder and debate, but ultimately being NC has come down to the age old principal of don’t lose and definitely don’t lose twice. Agree that OSU’s signature wins in 16 were great but as a 1-loss team, OSU’s inclusion was never in jeopardy and even had the win over OU been over BG, the Bucks were in with just a single borderline fluke loss over two 2-loss teams. Sure there were some taking heads that suggested a 2-loss PSU deserved a crack despite losing to PITT and getting destroyed by TTUN but it was never close. That talk was all for ratings. 2015 and 2016 were probably the cleanest-cut fields. 2014, 2017, and 2018 had >4 contenders.

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Eph97's picture

For all those people that say "win all your games and none of the rest matters", how many times has OSU done that? In my life its been one time in 2002. 2012 the team had 2 more games that it didn't play in, B1G title game and potentially BCS title game, so that doesn't really count.

Point being, count on taking a loss somewhere and the "eye test" bs does indeed matter for playoff chances. It certainly mattered in 2014 and it took 59-0 to get in over TCU and Baylor.

HS