The College Football Playoff's Biggest Mystery Is Going To Be A Huge Problem

Ohio StateTommy Gilligan/USA TODAY SportsWill Ohio State get a bonus for winning the Big Ten?

With just two weeks of games left, the college football playoff committee has released its latest rankings with no major changes at the top.

  1. Alabama
  2. Oregon
  3. Florida State
  4. Mississippi State

But while the top teams remain unchanged, there is still one major mystery and two schools are probably going to get screwed big time.

The Championship Bonus

We still don’t know how the committee is going to weigh conference championships.

At the very least there is a very good chance that if two teams have similar resumes, the committee is going to give the edge to a team that has won its conference championship, a sort of Championship Bonus.

So while Mississippi State is currently ranked fourth, they could eventually get bumped by one of the three teams directly below them as those teams will potentially have that “championship bonus.”

Bad Maths

While winning a conference championship makes for a nice bonus, it creates an even bigger problem.

There will be more champions in the so-called Power-5 conferences than there are spots in the playoff.

Complicating matters is that the Big 12, without a conference championship game, has said that if Baylor and TCU finish tied, they will be crowned co-champions. That means six of the top seven teams in the country are on pace to be conference champions.

With so few head-to-head matchups and so few interconference games and common opponents, the committee is ultimately left with the task of deciding which of the five conferences is the weakest when they have to decide which champions to leave out.

If we assume Alabama wins out and Florida State remains undefeated, the committee will then be forced to pick between the other four conference champions as well as potentially 1-loss Mississippi State for the final two spots.

In other words, the first college football playoff is going to come down to the highly subjective opinions of a dozen people.

Hmm, kinda sounds like the old system.

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