For the second season in a row, the new College Football Playoff Committee unveiled their first poll of the season in preparation for the season ending 4-team playoff.
And for the second season in a row, it is riddled with controversy and public outrage.
Just to be clear, those of us here at SEC Exposed are not at all outraged. Or surprised. In fact, we predicted it in our “The Narrative” article released in late August. As pointed out in many of our articles over the past 2 years, ESPN is a nonstop daily propaganda machine, peddling new stats and data out every day to support their SEC supremacy claims. And the CFP Committee has proven that their eyes and ears go through ESPN almost exclusively. Something we expected all along to continue. Keep in mind, last season the CFP Committee was fully prepared to ramrod two SEC teams into the 4 team playoff but the final week of the season derailed their intentions when Ole Miss upset 4th ranked Mississippi State and the SEC East went 0-4 against the ACC. That fortuitous final weekend was the only reason the Committee was forced to only take one SEC team and allow Ohio State in. And we all know how that played out.
In the days leading up to this Tuesday’s CFP Committee poll release, ESPN analysts were on TV and Twitter hyping the overrated SEC ad nauseum while trashing the Big Ten and Big 12. New metrics were being created, as we saw everything from Strength of Record to Quality Loss Ratings.
Last year’s gold standard metric of “Game Control” was conveniently rarely mentioned, as this year’s SEC juggernauts were struggling to control nearly every game they played. ESPN even scaled back their FPI hyping as the season wore on because, despite having a preseason FPI top 10 made up almost entirely of SEC teams, their own convoluted measurements were suddenly now calculating that no SEC teams at all belonged in the Top 4! With the conference struggling to find any quality out of conference statement wins outside of Bama’s win over Wisconsin, all ESPN could do is hype SEC teams’ “quality losses.” And apparently it worked. Despite the fact that over 80% in the nation knows that the SEC is once again overrated and overhyped, especially their top teams, the CFP Committee of purported “experts” gave the SEC the benefit of the doubt. Again. And placed multiple SEC teams in the Top 4. Again.
One thing needs to be made VERY clear: the SEC should have lost ALL “benefit of the doubt” last season when their “premier division” (SEC West) went 2-5 in the bowls (including 0-4 against ranked teams) and when their “lesser division” (SEC East) went 0-4 against the oft-ridiculed ACC in the final week of play. For the CFP Committee, or any rational human being for that matter, to continue to give the SEC the “benefit of the doubt” that their conference is harder than all others (and hence that their wins and losses must be weighted more favorably as a result) simply because ESPN and the sports media sheeple who follow them keep saying so is the biggest testimony of bias available to the public!
To be fair, let’s assess the “quality wins” that have occurred out of conference by the SEC, in order of perceived importance:
1) Wisconsin (defeated by Alabama)- 2nd or 3rd team in Big 10 West Division; beaten on a “neutral field” that in actuality was far closer to Tuscaloosa than to Madison; A team not even in the CFP Selection Committee’s Top 25.
2) UNC (defeated by South Carolina)- Currently the division leader in the ACC’s Coastal Division (better known as College Football’s Dumpster Fire Division of the Power 5); Despite losing to South Carolina, UNC outgained them 440-394 and had 3 turnovers (to SC’s none) to only lose by 4 in a game that they dominated.
3) Arizona State (defeated by TAMU)- Currently 2-4 in PAC-12 play, resting in the bottom quarter of the PAC-12 standings; beaten on a “neutral field” that was actually in TAMU’s own home state (Houston).
4) Louisville (defeated by Auburn)- Mid-pack ACC Atlantic team, currently 4-4; lost by 7 to Auburn ALSO at a “neutral site” (Atlanta) but dominated the game by a 404-327 yard margin.
5) Syracuse (defeated by LSU)- Currently bottom dwelling ACC Atlantic team who is 1-3 in ACC play; lost by 10 to LSU but was still very much in the game well into the 4th quarter.
The fact that a one-loss Alabama team is being given the nod ahead of Power 5 undefeated teams like Baylor, Michigan State, OK State and TCU is unconscionable. Or for that matter Iowa, who went ON THE ROAD to defeat Wisconsin, the ONLY quality win on Alabama’s schedule! All this is even more mind boggling when taking into account how TCU absolutely obliterated Ole Miss on New Years Day to the tune of 42-3 (actually calling off the dogs out of mercy in the 3rd quarter)… the same Ole Miss team that had beaten Alabama THAT season too! But if the committee truly is simply going by the “resume” of teams beaten to date this season without giving credit to teams just for being undefeated, then how can they explain Alabama being ahead of Notre Dame? Notre Dame lost by only 2 on the road to the Committee’s supposed #1 team Clemson! They’ve already beaten 4 Power 5 teams from three different conferences, and beaten them handily at that. And they even beat an undefeated team from the conference whose teams have already given the SEC fits this season (AAC).
And what about Memphis? Granted, the AAC is not in the Power 5, but Memphis did solidly beat Ole Miss by double digits… the SAME team that beat Alabama IN Tuscaloosa! Forget the fact that Memphis isn’t the only AAC team schooling the SEC (Houston vaporized Vanderbilt 34-0, scoring more points than any SEC team has on them this year AND giving them their only shut out of the season)! Memphis did what Alabama didn’t AND they are undefeated? What resume could POSSIBLY negate that simple fact? There is no “eye test” more convincing than THAT!
The bias isn’t impervious to negatively impacting SEC East teams either. Even Florida was disrespected in this first poll, being placed at 10th despite the fact that they completely BLASTED Ole Miss (again, the team that beat Bama in their house) and only lost a game to the Committee’s supposed #2 team LSU. Unless this is a stop-loss protection effort by the committee in case the Gators, the likely SEC East Champs, drop a loss to the Seminoles on Thanksgiving weekend… so then they can say like they did last year, “Oh well, the SEC East isn’t that good anyway, it is the SEC West that rules football!”
How can this committee explain logic that defies their own rankings? Either none of them watched the games or they simply followed ESPN’s directions to the T.
We aren’t saying that Alabama in the end isn’t the best team in the SEC. It is our opinion (and has been since the season started) that Bama will win the SEC. And if they do, EVENTUALLY they SHOULD be given solid consideration to represent the SEC in the playoff as a one loss team when the smoke clears. But to put them at #4 NOW, when they have not beaten a currently ranked team YET, is not only preposterous, but it smacks of collusion and intentional manipulation of the college football playoff itself. Whether people want to believe it or not, the placement of these rankings DOES matter toward the end result. It sets up a higher likelihood that two teams from the SEC will make it into the playoff, which is why we believe the committee did it. The SEC pumpers are counting on this current setup to play out in one of three favorable scenarios for the conference…
Scenario 1: Should Bama beat LSU, as we believe they will, LSU likely won’t drop lower than 6 (remember, quality losses are important!). Bama will then leap into the #2 spot following their first victory over a currently ranked team. If Bama sweeps the rest of the powderpuff schedule to win the SEC (as we expect they will), they will surely be given the #1 seed in the playoff (thanks to preconceived bias reflected thus far by the committee about SEC greatness). LSU likely too will win the rest of their games, and since they won’t have to play the elusive conference title game, they will likely slip into the #4 slot just in time to set up the LSU-Bama rematch and hence GUARANTEE an SEC team in the final title game.
Scenario 2: Should LSU beat Bama, this could create a more troubling conundrum for the SEC. However, since the committee overranked Bama so highly, their fall won’t likely put them any further than #10. This still gives the Tide enough time to climb back into the Top 4, but they will need some help with teams getting upset above them. Meanwhile LSU would leap to #1 by beating Bama and breeze through the rest of their powderpuff schedule to lock up the #1 seed. Again, the possibility of the LSU-Bama rematch in the playoff would still be viable, but again they would need some help. This is clearly a scenario that won’t play out easily for the conference, so count on it that the SEC knows this and will take whatever steps necessary to prevent it. (If I were an LSU fan this weekend, I would be watching the refs very carefully, as we are certain that SEC will make it very clear to their officials which team needs to win this game Saturday.)
Scenario 3: As we noted earlier, Florida is being kept mysteriously far from the Top 4, but we believe there is a reason for this. The committee (who made their disrespect and dislike for the Seminoles very obvious during last season’s weekly poll releases) clearly is weary of FSU sneaking into the playoff should they defeat Clemson and then somehow knock off the SEC East champs in the final week. Any loss by UF to FSU in general would be catastrophic to the Narrative, no matter if FSU is playoff eligible or not, so the committee will keep Florida at a distance until the FSU-UF game. However, if Florida does defeat Florida State in the Swamp later this month, the committee will likely leap the Gators over multiple teams and into the Top 4 just in time for the SEC championship game. This will be their assurance that, should UF upset the SEC West champ, they will surely leap into the #1 seed in the final ranking release.
Note that ALL 3 scenarios assure that the SEC champ is the #1 seed… the seed that assures the SEC practical home field advantage in the first round! There is ALWAYS a method to the madness…
But as we learned last year, when the CFP Committee tried to preemptively stack the deck by placing THREE SEC teams in their first Top 4 release, NOTHING is guaranteed. Just like last season, spoilers are lurking and could ruin everything for the overhyped conference.
Potential Spoiler 1: Ole Miss
-The Rebels may return to spoil the plans just like they did last year when they upset Mississippi State at season’s end. Had they not won that game, more than likely the biased clown committee had Miss State in position to take the #4 seed, which would have guaranteed an SEC champ in the title game against Oregon. This year, Ole Miss could play spoiler in a much more catastrophic way for the SEC… by WINNING the West! Ole Miss actually controls their own destiny at this point. Despite their shellacking at the hands of Florida and their double digit loss to big, bad Memphis, Ole Miss needs only win out their schedule and they reserve their ticket to the SEC title game. Their road is formidable, however the SEC has proven to be a rather mediocre bunch this season and the Rebels have just as much of a chance at winning out as any of the others do. If Ole Miss wins the West and avenges the Gators in the SEC championship game, all while Memphis rolls undefeated to an AAC title, the SEC champ could very well have to be left OUT of the playoff picture. This is the worst case scenario for the SEC and likely could have ESPN executives (whose company is hemorrhaging money by the millions more and more each day) jumping out of tall buildings.
Potential Spoiler 2: Florida/Florida State
-The Gators are stringing together solid wins over a mediocre bunch of SEC teams after a sluggish start to their season. They have all but locked up the hapless SEC East and will likely be facing the Bama/LSU winner (presuming Spoiler 1’s scenario doesn’t materialize). This presents a very unsettling situation for the conference pumpers, as Florida already demolished the currently West-destiny controlling Ole Miss Rebels. The Gators have already proven they can compete with the best the West has to offer. Another doomsday scenario for the SEC would be for Florida to LOSE at home to FSU the week before BEATING the SEC West champ for the conference title. FSU is nowhere near the team they were in 2013 or for that matter who they were in 2014, and most likely should be double digit dogs for that game. The Seminoles are a team with a shifty identity due to their youth. But let’s not forget, Jimbo Fisher has a loaded house of 4-5 star recruits who also were recruited by the SEC’s best, and they’ve proven in Fisher’s tenure that they can hang with ANY team that the SEC has to offer. If the Gators lose to FSU before winning the SEC, the conference could be left WITHOUT a SEC champion in the playoff. Again, high buildings would need to be off limits to ESPN executives in that situation.
Conjecture aside, despite the media’s annual unfounded assertions that the SEC is best because they say so, the fact remains that the conference as a whole has NOT proven that it is better than any other conference. While the jury is still out as to whether the SEC has the nation’s best team, it would be impossible to know that up to this point based on anything they’ve done. While Jeff Long attempts to explain away the SEC bias by insulting the Big 12 and Iowa, or by rattling off ESPN metrics that attempt to verify SEC greatness, the truth is in the tape and the tape doesn’t lie! Arkansas (ESPN’s preseason FPI wonderteam) has already taken it on the chin to both Toledo and Big 12 whipping post Texas Tech. The media hype-machine’s favorite Auburn, overrated preseason at #6, escaped FCS team Jacksonville State by the skin of their teeth in overtime and is at risk at 4-4 of not even becoming bowl eligible. Kirk Herbstreit’s boner-inciting Tennessee Volunteers, another FPI wonderteam flop, lost at home to Big 12’s Oklahoma. Ole Miss blew a 14-0 start at Memphis to end up losing by double digits to a team that barely escaped Bowling Green and USF! Missouri eeked out a 9-6 win at home over the elite Connecticut Huskies! And don’t even get us started on Vandy, who dropped two out of conference matchups including a 34-0 drubbing at the hands of Houston. (Yep, the same rugged Houston Cougars who lost 27-7 to almighty UTSA last season but are undefeated in the AAC to date.) These are the types of dumpster dwellers that teams like Alabama and LSU are beating up on and getting media praise for week after week. If “Strength of Results” were a legitimate metric, LSU and Alabama don’t have a leg to stand on.
College football fans and non-ESPN controlled sports sites around the nation lit up the internet and social media on Wednesday airing out their shock, if not utter disgust, at the obvious efforts by the CFP Committee to stack the deck with contenders from an unworthy mediocre SEC conference in this season’s college football playoff…
Instead of creating amusing videos to disrespect an Iowa team who should actually be praised for an inspiring turnaround season, or enacting plays where they mock all coaches of the non-SEC contenders, perhaps the ESPN College GameDay crew should start putting together another Fowler-esque diatribe about how stupid and idiotic we college football fans are for thinking they have SEC Bias. Because our numbers are growing. And ESPN, with their obedient CFP Clown Committee, are losing credibility more and more each day.