As the Playoff looms ever closer and we approach the end of the regular season, one thing becomes clear: nobody deserves to go. Everyone's resume is terrible. Everyone's.
Florida State: The Seminoles might have picked up their highest-quality win of the season Saturday night, eking out a victory over a Miami team that now falls to 6-4. Louisville, Notre Dame, and Clemson each stands at three losses, and the season finale with Florida will only be notable because it's Will Muschamp's last game. When you look at FSU's level of play all season long, you can't seriously expect that the Seminoles would be undefeated if they were in the SEC, but I guess we'll never knooooooowwwwww! [rides away on a unicycle]
Marshall: No. God, no. The Thundering Herd's schedule ranks No. 126 on the Massey Index, and that's out of 128 teams. Marshall has faced exactly one bowl-eligible team thus far, and that was 6-4 Rice. There are no power-conference teams on Marshall's schedule. Even the FCS patsy Marshall faced, mighty Rhode Island, is a robust 0-11. Thank goodness the committee hasn't seen fit to reward this kind of scheduling; it's perturbing enough that Marshall has risen to No. 18 in the AP poll. People, no.
Alabama: Okay, the win over Mississippi State is the best win on the entire list. Ten points for Bama. It just so happens it's Alabama's only win against a currently AP-ranked team. The loss to Ole Miss isn't looking any better, and the only way it might be is if the Rebels win the Egg Bowl, which promptly diminishes the Mississippi State win. LSU and Texas A&M have undergone free falls, and if Bama beats Auburn, congratulations, but that'd be a four-loss, .500-in-the-SEC Auburn squad. Alabama's playing well, but seriously, one win against a ranked opponent.
Teams Making Statements
Alabama, Ohio State moving up Playoff projections
Three weekends out, college football's postseason picture takes slight focus. Get predictions on what we'll get to watch in December and January.
Teams Making Statements
Baylor: Hey, speaking of teams with one-win cases, it's our old friend Baylor, which needed a furious rally to beat TCU in Waco. The Bears beat the brakes off Oklahoma, which has since turned into a mediocre team, perhaps out of spite? Perhaps. We're not mind-readers. The rest of the slate is laughably weak, the easiest that anybody in the top 10 has faced so far. Baylor also lost to a four-loss West Virginia.
Colorado State: Needed rallies to beat two-win Colorado and Boston College, lost by double digits to Boise State, has played nobody of consequence otherwise, and we're done here.
Mississippi State: The unquestioned No. 1 until its season took a hard left into oncoming traffic. The Bulldogs lost by five at Alabama and watched as LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn -- the three-win stretch that vaulted the Bulldogs into national prominence to begin with -- all ate embarrassing losses. Auburn's now the highest-ranked team the Bulldogs have beaten, at No. 16 in the AP, and actually the only currently-ranked win on their resume. MSU now needs help to win the SEC West, and if it doesn't get it, that's one more chance for a quality win that almost every other contender will get that MSU won't.
Ohio State: That loss to Virginia Tech lingers like a fart in a cellar. The best win on the Buckeyes' resume is a thorough thrashing of Michigan State, but the Big Ten was so poor in non-conference play that there's just no comparative merit in MSU's 8-2 record. And man, there's nothing else good on OSU's slate. Navy? Navy did just beat Georgia Southern, we suppose. Whatever. Ohio State is projected to have the worst strength of schedule among all current contenders by the end of the regular season on the Massey Index, and by a pretty substantial margin.
Oregon: The Michigan State win would look a little bit better if it were 2013; as it stands, Oregon beat a team that's probably Citrus Bowl-worthy. Excuse me, Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl-worthy. The rest of Oregon's division is a hollowed-out husk; it is likely Oregon is the only member of the Pac-12 North that manages a .500 conference mark. The UCLA win is decent. But if we're giving credit to the Ducks for beating Utah, let's remember that's a three-loss, second-to-last-in-the-South team we're talking about. Oregon's loss was against Arizona, which has done everything in its power to lose more than the two games it's lost.
TCU: A 21-point win over Kansas State, which is No. 12 in the AP, is pretty good. Beating Oklahoma by four in Fort Worth doesn't look nearly as good as it did six weeks ago, to say nothing of the vanishing act Oklahoma State has pulled. The Cowboys were No. 15 when TCU beat them! FIFTEEN! They haven't won a game since. West Virginia was also ranked when it faced TCU; it also hasn't won since. Also, wasn't it cute when the committee put September win Minnesota into the Top 25? That was fun for the one week it lasted. Combine that with a brutal collapse at Baylor, and the signature wins aren't there for the Horned Frogs, who must now hope that either Baylor loses again or the committee reads "Big 12 co-champion by way of technicality" as "Big 12 champion." Good luck.
There are no two-loss competitors for the College Football Playoff. In fact, how'd you even get in here, Nebraska? SECURITY!
Wait - wait, there might be one. C'mon up.
Georgia: With all due respect to Missouri, which technically still leads the division, Georgia is the only SEC East team that has the talent to conceivably win an SEC Championship (although we're pouring one out for Todd Gurley), and 11-2 with the SEC title might get Georgia in if there's sufficient chaos elsewhere. On the other hand, Georgia is on the perma-trash list through at least 2016 after what happened in Jacksonville. We're sorry, but getting wrecked by lowly Florida -- which was just begging for a reason to give up on its coach, and did exactly that two weeks later -- is inexcusable on so many levels. Now please leave the premises.
That's everyone. We're supposed to pick four Playoff teams from that list of weak resumes. So yes, name a team, and someone can give you multiple reasons why it doesn't belong in the postseason. But when nobody passes the smell test, and you still have to pick four teams anyway. Well, plug your nose and get to it, right? Right.