The first college football playoff teams haven’t even been picked yet and the system is already under fire for the criteria the election committee has been using to rank teams.
This has led many to wonder why the playoff needed a committee at all and if the playoff system should have just picked the top four teams using the old BCS ranking.
Well, it turns out that the old BCS system would have the same four schools but with one major difference. Florida State, who is no. 4 in the playoff ranking and in danger of falling out of the playoff picture, would be second in the BCS ranking with a clear gap between themselves and third-ranked Oregon.
Here is how the top seven teams would likely be ranked under the BCS system as calculated by Natalie Pierre of AL.com (with current playoff ranking in parentheses):
- Alabama, .96431 BCS points (1)
- Florida State, .95977 (4)
- Oregon, .92933 (2)
- TCU, .86107 (3)
- Ohio, .81466 (5)
- Baylor, .79579 (6)
- Arizona, .68736 (7)
So far, the only difference the BCS ranking would have produced are the semifinal matchups. Florida State would face Oregon in the first round instead of Alabama as they are set up in the playoff ranking.
But that could change if the committee decides to move Ohio State ahead of Florida State next week or Baylor ahead of TCU.
It should be noted that this is an approximation of the old BCS formula. The AP poll was substituted for the Harris Poll which no longer exists. Also, two of the computer rankings have eliminated slight modifications they made to their formula under the BCS system.
Still, the BCS approximation should be pretty close as each computer ranking represented 5.6% of the final ranking and the Harris Poll and AP poll had the exact same top nine teams after the regular season last year.
At the end of the day, the playoff committee is an interesting idea but it is still just another poll.
The upside of this poll is that all the members are discussing individual teams in detail each week which should help to educate everybody involved. The downside is that this poll has fewer voices than traditional polls which puts more weight on any conscious or subconscious biases the voters may have.
That could be end up being a problem.
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