Monday, November 28, 2016

Why Michigan belongs in the College Football Playoffs

This is a therapeutic opinion piece by Gary Hauf.

Michigan, coming off a heartbreaking double OT loss at arch rival Ohio State, is still more deserving of a playoff spot over Washington, Wisconsin and Penn State.  Allow me to explain why.

let me say this, Michigan lost.. no complaining about bad calls or slanted referees.  Michigan lost.

With that said, here is my case.

First of all, we must understand what the playoff committee's job is.  They are tasked with choosing the best 4 teams to compete for the National Title.  Quality wins and strength of schedule are 2 major criteria that the committee considers.  Conference champion is looked at as a slight check in the good column but it is not a requirement.  If it were, then why even have a committee to begin with?  Certain conferences are aligned unevenly and some teams have a much easier path to the title game.  The SEC and B1G are perfect examples of this.  Thus, being a conference champion holds some water but not much.


For me, this is all about Washington and Michigan.  WIS and PSU do have a rather slim shot at the 4 spot but Michigan holds H2H wins over both of them and to me, that is good enough for the committee to give Michigan the nod over both of them.  They have already played and Michigan won both by 7 and 39.  End of story. OK also has a chance but OSU beat them in their house by a million so I just don't see them getting the nod.

Lets take a look at where Washington and Michigan sit in the Quality wins and SOS comparison.

QUALITY WINS OVER CURRENT TOP 25
Michigan: #6 Wisconsin 14-7, #7 PSU 49-10, #9 Colorado 45-28.

Washington: #17 Stanford 44-6


STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Michigan #2
Washington #17

As you can see above, QW and SOS clearly and overwhelmingly fall on the side of the Wolverines. 
Michigan has 3 wins over top 9 teams by an average margin of 21 points.  Washington has only 1 win over #17 Stanford.  It was a blowout but it is still just 1 win. 

Now lets look at the less important(but still considered) quality losses.

Michigan: @ #22 Iowa 14-13. Iowa made last second FG to win it.  @ #2 OSU  30-27 dbl OT. Michigan controlled most of the game and led for 95% of game time.  Two unbelievably close losses in the last second.  Both on the road.

Washington: #10 USC 26-13.  Washington never lead in this game and they were at home.


It is my opinion that the committee knows who the best 4 teams are but will they have the guts to put Michigan in ahead of a 1 loss PAC 12 team?  All the statistics the committee will look at will fall in favor of Michigan other than 1 more loss.  That one more loss was to the #2 team, on the road in dbl OT, in which Michigan completely controlled the majority of the game.  Will that be enough to overcome the extra loss?  I don't think the committee will do the right thing in the end and put the one loss Washington in the 4 spot along with Alabama, OSU and Clemson.

All this will be a wash if WASH loses to Colorado(who M beat by 17).  Michigan will have then beaten the B1G and the PAC12 Champs.  Michigan gets in easily if Washington loses. 

Did I make a good compelling case?  Am I way off?
Feel free to comment below.








30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Teams fighting for the last playoff spot are most likely Washington, UM, Penn State and Wisconsin.

A couple of questions for you to ponder.

Which conference is the best in America? The SEC? The Big Ten?

Which is the best division in college football? The SEC West? The Big Ten East?

The Big Ten is most likely the best conference from top to bottom with the East being arguably the toughest division.

Who is playing in the Big Ten Championship game? Penn State from the East and Wisconsin from the West.

Who is the winner of the East division? Penn State. They lost one game in the big ten, but had the better record head to head with the other team that technically tied them (ohio State) for the division.

Penn State by virtue of their big ten championship would most likely leap UM in the polls because they played virtually the same schedule in the league and had the better record while winning the East and the championship game.

Anonymous said...

and technically UM would have finished 4th in the big ten conference.

Anonymous said...

Exactly!!!!! 👆

Gary Hauf said...

You think the committee would overlook the 39 point blowout? I think M and PSU decided who was better between them. No need for numbers and stats and opinions. It was settled on the field.

Anonymous said...

A loss at UM with Penn State having numerous starters out with injuries at the big house in week 4? Penn State has reeled off 8 straight wins that include victories over Ohio State (UM loss), Iowa (UM loss) and a season ending blowout over the defending Big Ten Champs MSU. I would say an upward moving team with a better record in the toughest division in America over a descending team which has lost two of it's last three games and who would have won the toughest conference in the country while UM finishes tied for what amounts to 4th. Your scenario is more of a stretch than mine.

Anonymous said...

....and Penn State brings the East Coast market with them to the playoff.

Gary Hauf said...

If they committe believes PSU or wis is better than M, they will move them ahead tomorrow.

Chris Schultz said...

This guy is stealing my thunder a bit Gary. The committee can wait to see if Penn State handles Wisconsin in the B1G Championship before moving them forward. There has been precedent with active teams jumping over teams that sit idle in previous years..

Gary Hauf said...

Remember, the committee's job is to pick the 4 best teams. Not sure how anyone can say that PSU or Wis is better than Michigan. Like I said. We will find out tomorrow.

Gary Hauf said...

Chris. If PSU isn't better than Michigan today. They won't be better tomorrow or a week from now. It's the four best teams. Not who won a conference.

Gary Hauf said...
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Gary Hauf said...


What I can see is if Wash wins, they will put the B1G winner over M, to save face. But if Wash loses, M is in. Taking all bets

Chris Schultz said...

You are wrong Gary and actually if Penn State wins the B1G they will be better than the 4th place Wolverines. Check out this link: http://d30ratpzqzalg7.cloudfront.net/CD-drupal-cfp-PROD/s3fs-public/CFP%20Selection%20Committee%20Protocol.pdf?tV3FOZ68If3qops3X7XJQFmkEd00PiAY Championships won is the first criteria mentioned every time.

Gary Hauf said...

Then they would be better than the 3rd place Bucks as well by your table. Let's see where they stand tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

If conference championship mean so little, why have them. To me the very first criteria to be considered is conference champion. If you can't win your conference how can you argue being up for national champion. Makes little to no sense. Especially if your the champ of one of the top conferences or conference divisions. The committee also has shown that a team can recover from early loses. Late season loses affect your rankings more regardless of score or venue. The real question is that OSU sets idle yet will be at worst the four seed, more than likely stay at two and not be a conference champ. That said what if Florida pulled the ultimate upset. They would not get in the top four, but Alabama would surely stay. The playoff needs to expand period, so good football teams and conference champs don't get left out of the hunt for the national title. If you have to shorten the seasons by a game. But we know this won't happen. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Gary Hauf said...
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Gary Hauf said...

The conferences are not equal. The committee is asked to look at the resumes of all the teams and choose the best 4. If they think PSU and/or Wisconsin is better than Michigan or OSU then they will be in. I'm pulling for PSU, so I can prove my point. They will win the H2H vs OSU and will win the B1G. But I just cannot see them getting in ahead of the bucks. Their resume is just not as good. Nobody has a better resume than OSU.

Anonymous said...

I think in the end it really is wich team wants to get beat by ALABAMA.

Gary Hauf said...

8 teams would be nice

Gary Hauf said...

Can't argue that. But it would be a nice barometer. TBH. The SEC is bad this year. I think AL will have a close game in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge Michigan fan, if they sneak in that would be great. If not, oh well they shouldn't have lost to an average Iowa team. Either way at least Michigan football is back to being a top tier program. This time two years ago they were a dumpster fire. EM

Gary Hauf said...

Sounds to me like the committee chairman tipped his hand. " the margin between Washington and Michigan is very very thin". I think the B1G title game needs to be a blowout if one of them wants in. He also said there is a WIDE margin between OSU and PSU.

I will say again, IMO, if Washington loses(or Clemson) Michigan is in. Protocol... "the four very best teams"

Gary Hauf said...

Iowa is 22. Not all that average. I think they were preseason top 12. They started very slow.

Chris Schultz said...

If Penn State wins and UM gets in ahead of them, then the B1G season and championship means nothing. Seriously, why would anyone watch. It would have meant nothing The committee would simply being saying that UM's win over Penn State means more than UM' s 4th place finish in the B1G and Penn State's better record in the East and B1G Championship.

Gary Hauf said...

Bucs would be 3rd best and in before them. Soooooo

Anonymous said...

We always have ran into this with the new playoff. Number 1 is far superior and #2-#6 are a coin toss. Quick fix. Expand the playoff and give the top 2 teams a bye round. Teams 3 and 6 play and 4 and 5 play. Keep the point system to determine the rankings. I would also say all conferences should not have a playoff or split conferences. Get rid of cupcake games and play EVERYONE in your conference.

Anonymous said...

Western Michigan!!!

Anonymous said...

Bottom line.....they lost 2 games. If Michigan was one of the top 4 teams, they would not have dropped the game to Iowa. The Wolverines made too many mistakes against Ohio State and got beat. Bottom line: two loses at critical times of the season. The FBS Championship is series is ridiculous, but it really is Michigan's fault for not executing when they needed too. Enjoy the Orange Bowl and get ready for next year.

Anonymous said...

I got FSU winning the Orange bowl...no excuses

Anonymous said...

Down Goes Michigan Down goes the Wolverines again ....no excuses and lost the Orange Bowl