The College Football Selection Committee released their Top 25 (version 3) on Tuesday night. I released my set of 3 rankings on Sunday afternoon. The Top 4 were identical in the Committee rankings and my Billingsley Personal poll, which is how I would have voted if I were on the Committee. So for this week anyway, I have nothing but praise for the Committee’s bravery in jumping Oregon over Florida State and placing TCU over Alabama . It gives me hope they might actually be accomplishing something of great value behind those closed doors, but we have 4 more weeks to go before the final verdict is in. I guess, in spite of all my concerns and worries, I have to say the Committee is doing a pretty good job so far. I cringe when I say that because I know my opinion could easily do a 180 come December 7th.
My personal decision to rank Oregon ahead of Florida State was an easy one. The Ducks have played a far superior schedule (#12 to #41), and have performed more impressively in those games. The decision to rank TCU ahead of Alabama was very difficult, and, as Jeff Long put it, “razor thin”. But the bottom line, at least for this week, TCU’s performance over Kansas State was more impressive. In making a comparison between the two, these were the strong points I considered; both have one loss, both lost to high ranked opponents on the road(#9 Baylor, #11 Ole Miss) and strength of schedule is almost identical (#19 for TCU, #22 for the Tide). Alabama’s win being in overtime was not a factor against them. I think the fact they were playing in one of the most hostile environments in College Football far outweighs the fact it went into overtime. In fact, it was almost enough, in my mind, to sway things in the Tide’s favor.
My biggest disappointment this week really, has been listening to the commentaries of various sportswriters and broadcasters in an uproar that Baylor is not ranked ahead of TCU. Not a single computer program in America is more sensitive to head to head competition than the Billingsley Report. It is the very core of the system. However, along with that built in comparison, there is some common sense programmed in as well. I think the nation’s journalistic elite must have a very short memory. They are somehow forgetting Baylor lost to West Virginia. That, my friend, was no one’s fault but Baylor’s……it’s certainly not the Horned Frog’s fault. Right now there is no justification for Baylor being ahead of TCU. It’s Baylor’s responsibility, through strength of schedule, to overcome that loss to an inferior team. And the schedule comparison is certainly in favor of the Horned Frogs which hold a huge advantage, #19 to #61. That may change, as Baylor still has to play#46 Oklahoma State, #80 Texas Tech and #18 Kansas State, which is a superior schedule to TCU’s #98 Kansas, #99 Iowa State and # 41 Texas. A late surge in strength of schedule and a declared conference championship (based on the head to head game) for Baylor may be enough to switch the two, but certainly not at this stage.
At this point in the season I only know one thing for sure…..if I hear the phrases “body of work” or “eye test” one more time I’m going to vomit all over ESPN. Translated, they both mean “this is the way my human biased mind sees it”. Of course, having said that, you must realize the Billingsley Personal Poll is a “superior eye test”. I’m sure that makes you want to vomit too. This week’s projections below.