Powerhouse Privilege

Yes folks, it is about that time…..the yearly discussion to decide who gets to play in the college football championship playoffs; the most ambiguous and uneven argument in all of sports.

We are going to hear all of the cases for each combination of these seven teams: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Penn St/Wisconsin winner, Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan. By the way, 35 different combinations, or 7 choose 4.

To be fair, some of the combinations are far more likely than others. For example, Oklahoma is probably out, Alabama is definitely in, and if Washington loses come Friday, this makes the combinations far fewer than before; 10 or 5 choose 3.

Regardless, there are still many different ways to skin this cat called the college football playoff (always hated that metaphor ‘skin a cat’. It is brutal and disgusting. We all need to stop saying it. Have no idea where the origin of this exists. Pretend I didn’t reference this.) And with these different options come different ‘logical’ flows that will, in almost all cases, contradict each other.

For example:

  1. Alabama

  2. Clemson

  3. Ohio St

  4. Penn St/Wisconsin winner

Why? Well, Alabama, Clemson, and Wisconsin/Penn St won their conferences so they are in. Ohio St is in over Michigan because they beat them, Ohio St is over Oklahoma because they beat them, and over Washington due to the ‘eye test’.

Well, Ohio St beat Wisconsin yet Wisconsin gets to go because they won the conference. Oklahoma lost to Ohio St as well but does not get to go yet winning their conference. And this ‘eye test’ shit, well, that is the hand-waving that experts like to use when they want one team over another.

I will not go over all the other combinations and corresponding arguments, but all will contain a ‘winner of conference gets in’ along with an ‘eye test’ that will work against each other.

There is only two sets of 4 that will not be working against its own internal logic:

All Conference Winners

  1. Alabama

  2. Clemson

  3. Washington

  4. Penn St/Wisconsin winner

Not Oklahoma because, well, the Big 12 sucks and doesn’t even have 12 teams.

I pretty much guarantee this will not happen. Why? Because the committee wants Ohio St and the Urb to be in, despite severely violating their own standards and explanations of years past.

This one is more likely:

All Eye-Test Winners

  1. Alabama

  2. Ohio St

  3. Michigan

  4. Clemson

Let me tell you something about the ‘eye-test’. It is a bunch of shit. It is like when people say they ‘go with their gut’. It is someone’s way of not holding themselves responsible for bringing evidence to the table and to justify their decision to others. It is arrogant, ignorant, and dangerous.

Can you imagine a teacher doing this to assign grades? If your son was in my math class, takes all the tests and gets A’s and B’s on all of them, and at the end I grade them at a C. And what would be my reason? ‘Well, I know your son did well on all the tests, but from my eye-test, I didn’t really see him as an A or B student. He just regurgitated back answers and really didn’t fully understand the material. So my guy told me he is more of a C student. I have been doing this for years, so I know what I am doing’.

Yeah, I bet that would not go over well at all.

And it shouldn’t.

So why do we let these ‘experts’ say things like ‘eye-test’ and let them get away with it by just referencing their years of experience? No other job would allow this.

Anyway, if all the favorites win this weekend, here is my bet:

  1. Alabama

  2. Clemson

  3. Ohio St

  4. Penn St/Wisconsin

Sorry Washington. You don’t pass the eye-test. Sprinkle in a little East Coast bias….ok a lot of East Coast bias, and the Huskies are out.

This will go to show that recruiting and location mean a ton in this sport:

Better recruiting classes + better name on the helmet = better perceived team

Perception is reality in college football, at least when it comes down to paring it down to four teams.