Why the Committee got Alabama and Georgia Wrong

Unless you live under a rock, then you probably heard that the initial college football playoff ranking came out this week. If so, then you also learned that Georgia – not Alabama – was the top ranked team by the committee. Alabama followed at number two, with ND and Clemson holding the three and four spots. While all of these teams deserve to be in, it’s really interesting to think about the order they came in, and I have one question for the committee:

HOW THE HECK IS ALABAMA NOT RANKED NUMBER ONE?

The reasoning the committee gave – or at least what I heard – is they like how the Bulldogs have two wins over top-25 opponents. They defeated 24. Notre Dame 20-19 in week two, as well as moving on to destroy in-conference foe 17. Mississippi State 31-3 in week 5. The committee is also likely taking into account that, outside of the Fighting Irish, UGA hasn’t played in a game in which they won by less than 21 points. On the flip side, Alabama only has one win over a top-25 opponent: a 24-7 week one victory over 3. Florida State, a team that is now unranked and in possession of a 2-5 record. Although the Crimson Tide have also dominated just about everyone they have played this season as well, clearly Georgia’s marquee wins are what put them over the top.

As impressive as the bulldogs have been, I have to disagree with the committee. There are two big reasons for this.

First and foremost, Alabama has held the number one spot in the AP rankings for the entirety of this season up to this point. They have earned the right to hold that spot through their continual dominant performances and the relentless nature with which they play every single week. Georgia has earned the right to be number two behind them, but that’s where they should be: second. This is the first time I can recall the committee throwing out the AP poll’s rankings and completely disregarded where teams have been placed. I, for one, am not a fan of this, as I believe they should maintain at least some consistency with the country’s most significant poll.

Second, there are the stats that show Alabama is the superior team based on their national ranking in each category:

Offense: Yards/Game

Total (ranking)            Passing (ranking)        Rushing (ranking)

Alabama          500 (T-11th)                 201.0 (85th)                 298.8 (7th)

Georgia           447 (T-31st)                 162.6 (112th)               284.0 (10th)

Defense: Yards/Game

Total (ranking)            Passing (ranking)        Rushing (ranking)

Alabama          236 (T-1st)                   169.6 (10th)                 66.4 (1st)

Georgia           252 (3rd)                      157.5 (3rd)                   94.8 (6th)

Each side has an elite defense, with Georgia being better defending the pass and Alabama having a better run defense. With that side of the ball a wash, that leaves the offense to break the tie. Alabama has an edge in each of the three categories above, and although it is not by much, it should still be enough to give them the edge in the playoff ranking ahead of Georgia.

None of this is to say I have anything against Georgia personally. They are an excellent football team and have shown themselves in the upper echelon of college football this year. But are they better than Alabama, the team everyone has had at number one throughout the duration of the season? The committee seems to think so; if you ask me, the committee is wrong. There is no doubt in my mind Alabama is the best team in the country, and they will only continue to show that as the year progresses.

All stats and info courtesy ESPN.

Cover photo courtesy kinja-img.com.

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