When the BCS was finally replaced with the Playoff, all our problems were solved and gone forever. Never again would a bunch of stuff go into a mysterious room, mix together in some way, and then walk out with a ranking, which would be used to match up college football's biggest bowls.
Now we have a far superior system. Now a bunch of stuff goes into a mysterious room, mixes together in some way, and then walks out with a ranking, which is used to match up college football's biggest bowls.
Look at the top four here (every New Year's Six bowl would've been the same too, assuming Auburn's still the second-highest SEC team):
One great thing about the BCS: We knew the exact recipe, even if the ingredients were bad, and thus we can still simulate it, because all the stuff still exists.
Its formula changed a few times based on overreactions to public whims and other factors, but by the end, it was one third Coaches Poll, one third Harris Poll, and one third computer mishmash.
The Coaches Poll is poorly informed and voted on by people with financial conflicts of interest, the Harris Poll is even worse, and the computers were both neutered by being forbidden to use margin of victory and shady because they were literally just lists sent over by statisticians ... but still, we knew what happened once those components arrived.
For those who wish we had the old BCS standings instead of a committee... pic.twitter.com/NEBCW6ln8k— Brad Edwards (@JBradEdwards) December 5, 2016
These days, all we know is that a dozen people go in a room and decide which teams they think are best. We know they look at rudimentary strength-of-schedule metrics, and we know they look at head-to-head, conference titles, and performance against common opponents. Emphasis on "look at," because we don't know how important those things are (2016 taught us head-to-head and conference titles aren't as important as not losing two games!).
The Playoff means we have four teams instead of two. Everybody likes that part. It means in some years without a no-doubt No. 1, such as 2014, we make sure the actual national champion isn't stashed away in some other bowl. It also means we spend a whole lot of time wondering about what shadowy figures think, when the result is gonna be about the same as if we just left it to some computers and some voters who don't really even care.
Lamar Jackson has his four Heisman co-finalists. Two players from a non-Playoff team made it, and a linebacker with a few snaps on special teams and offense made it, and nobody from Bama's defense made it, but that's fine.
This was a cool moment between those two Oklahoma Heisman finalists, though.
Bill Connelly's numbers pick every bowl game, forecasting very few blowouts on the schedule.
Purdue did a good? Purdue did a good! Purdue hired WKU head coach Jeff Brohm, who's basically Bobby Petrino without all the Bobby Petrino.
If Willie Taggart lands a job at Oregon or elsewhere, USF's list will be topped by Lane Kiffin.
Arkansas State's Blake Anderson joins Cal's Sonny Dykes as what appear to be Baylor's top two candidates.
Three of four Playoff teams are elite recruiters. You can guess which one isn't.
Fun fact: Every SEC team besides Bama finished with four or more losses. It just means four.
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