NCAA Playoff Panel Weekly Poll Will Be Painful

It was announced that beginning in late October, the College Football Playoff selection committee will release a weekly poll of the Top 25 teams in the country.  It may allow the committee to avoid making a major mistake when they ultimately choose the four teams they consider most deserving of inclusion in the playoff by getting a read on the public's response and analysis of who the best teams are.  It guarantees an increase in the volume of criticism they will receive, which will undermine their credibility.


Why 25?
If they've got only four teams to select, why get into who's #23?  It's understandable why they'd go beyond just 4 teams, but 10 or 15 seems like more than enough.  Most if not all of these committee members lead busy lives (five are active athletic directors).  Do they really have time to scout 25+ teams each week to determine what order they should be ranked in?  At best, they'll just crib from the AP and Coaches' polls.  Perhaps, they'll even give some respect to an objective computer poll as the basketball committee does with the RPI.  At worst, it will be a half-assed, ill-informed weekly demonstration of how poorly the group performs at ranking teams.  It was going to be hard to get four teams right, but 25?  Darn near impossible.

The Cacophony
Over the past decade or so there's been a proliferation of TV and radio shows designed for people to disagree loudly with one another about sports topics.  Beginning in late October, this list will provide fodder for this group.  The critics won't just stop at picking apart the rankings, you can bet they'll go after the committee.  They'll parse every quote and assign motivations (real or otherwise).  All of this will assail the credibility of the process from the start.  Sure, waiting to share anything prior to bowl selection, has its perils.  But don't be fooled, it has it's advantages too.

The Motivation
Given the drawbacks of releasing a weekly Top 25, why do it?  Sadly, it screams of marketing.  As the World Series comes to a close and with football season well underway, football dominates (though you could argue it does all year anyway).  Still, the NCAA competes to some degree with the NFL.  This list will draw more discussion and thus more attention to NCAA football.  There's no such thing as bad press as they say.  Better to be maligned than ignored, the logic would say.  Even more cynically, you could argue that criticism is what will ultimately be used as a basis to expand the field to 6, 8, 12, or 16 teams.  That's probably inevitable, but you need people screaming about slighted teams to make it happen.  The weekly poll will amplify the noise.  It also provides a way to hype up games played between top 4 teams and the rest.  Saying #3 is playing at #16 means more than just saying #3 is playing a road game.

For a program like Nebraska, which doesn't appear ready to crack the top 4 any time soon, this could perhaps be considered welcome news.  It's a way for a program to get some attention even when they aren't contending for a national title.  Still, it's hard to look forward to a poorly-crafted but all-important list to start coming out each week.     

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Comments 10 comments so far

Hey, if the college football players are now to be considered “employees” and entitled to unionize and be paid a salary, have a large pool of teams post-season, make them play an extra 3 or four games.  Also, in lieu of room and board, tuition, tutoring, etc., which can be worth anywhere from $25K to $75K per year depending upon where they are at school wise, just pay them a salary, forget about being “student athletes” and let’s make them put on a show and really make them earn their money.  If they underperform, fire them.  AFter all, they must be stupid to think playing college football for a college degree is a fair exchange.  If they are that stupid, they clearly shouldn’t be attending college.  They can hang out with the janitors during the off season.

I don’t see the need to 25.  In late Oct, #23 is not going to get into the playoff, but #12 might if there is chaos the last month of the season - which there usually is.

The main thing that will happen is when X B1G team is #4, people like that penis with big ears, otherwise known as Paul Finebaum, will be saying, “Yeah, but it’s the Big Ten.  We can’t take those teams seriously.”  And then I will get mad, and possibly get arrested.

Bad idea. :)

Have an 8 team playoff in December with a national title game in January.  All other teams will be in bowl games prior to national championship game.  That way, with 8 teams involved, no one can complain about excluding a legitimate contender.

4 teams seems a bit extreme.

I think if the ranking is legitimate it is nice to look and see what is possibly the best game to watch on TV if say #4 is playing #14 rather than #4 is playing ????

“If they’ve got only four teams to select, why get into who’s #23?”


“Over the past decade or so there’s been a proliferation of TV and radio shows designed for people to disagree loudly with one another about sports topics.  Beginning in late October, this list will provide fodder for this group.”

I was a ‘fear’d you was gonna say that.  Gives Las Duas Amigas more fodder as to their ginormously boring and redundant diatribes as to why BOP won’t make the top 4 this year or any year…  Maybe, if we’re lucky, they will call in to a radio sports show and torture the folk with their mind numbing repetition of ‘theme’ there.

Never say ‘never’, though, just axt Sparta.

“ that penis with big ears, otherwise known as Paul Finebaum.”

NOOOOO, you di’n't!  OMG, boredom just hit me in the face like a ton of bricks with the mention of that, that…..‘guy’.

Well, FTR, we have found a place of 100% agreement….as to, the penis w big ears, maybe the biggest…er, ears…

Guess that’s why it has a ‘head’, the penis, you know…for the ears….

I wish they would just list ten teams that they feel are in the running, without ranking them until the end. That way they wouldn’t have to worry about jumping #6 over #4 and getting everyone’s undies in a bundle.

What on earf are u peeps yappin’ about?!  Evry year a ‘sleeper’ team or 2, or 3, crash the party at the top, taking everybody off guard—think, ‘sparta’(‘13), think ‘auburn’(‘13).  And, some teams that start out high, end up in the turlet.  so, i don’t get all the fuss about 25 teams, of course you need 25 teams considered, otherwise, well, they aint considered.

The problem with releasing a top 25 is that Espn will talk 247 about them leaving this or that SEC team out until the public opinion sways and those guys making up the top 25 get swayed into certain teams.  If the want to follow the basketball template do it like basketball . set up criteria   strength of schedule etc, and leave it at that.. This could end up being a mess

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