The Good, Bad, and Ugly: Going Through The Final College Football Playoff Rankings And Picking The Heisman

Update: Next week, I will have a column picking and sharing thoughts (not previewing) on the non-committee selected bowl games before they kick-off on December 20th.  This is strictly going through the rankings and picking my Heisman winner.

Look, no matter how upset I am or what I disagree with in the rankings, I have to remind myself one thing: We have a playoff.

This is so much better than the BCS system.  Overall, having playoffs is incredible.  I love it.  It’s so exciting! With the BCS, we’d be arguing who deserved to play for the title.  Now, we have to debate over who deserves a 25% chance at the title!  It’s great!

Lets start talking about:

The Playoffs

I’m not previewing these games, yet.  This strictly me going through these teams, and whether they deserved a spot.

1. Alabama

2. Oregon

3. Florida State

4. Ohio State

5. Baylor

6. TCU

The Alabama Crimson Tide may not have had the prettiest season or the best record, but they sure did win games.  Their only loss this year came against, at the time, No.11 Ole Miss in Week 5.

That 23-17 loss really didn’t leave a huge dent in their season.  They blew out SEC foes Texas A&M and Missouri after the upset loss.  Alabama won the always exciting Iron Bowl in a shootout game against the Auburn Tigers.

Really, there wasn’t any way they weren’t going to be No.1.  Oh yea, did I mention they won the SEC? The best conference in football?

That helped, a lot.  This committee loves conference champions, as we see above.  Alabama has a tough task in the semifinal, as everyone does.

Oregon may not have the “quality wins against good teams”, but they did blow out close to every one they played.  Out of their 13 games, 10 of them they won in blowout fashion.  Their only loss of the season came against Arizona, who was on fire at the time, but that obviously didn’t play a part in their ranking, after what they did to them in

(Hold on)

(Shedding a tear)

the PAC-12 Championship Game.  Oregon has an incredible offense with a stingy, great run defense.  There was no way you could have put them lower than two, and I thought, at one point this season, they deserved a shot at No.1.

Now the Ducks have a shot at upending Florida State’s record streak.  It’s quite possible, but I’ll get into that when the times comes.

This is where it gets debatable.  Look, Florida State, as close as they came to losing not one, not two, but possibly five games this year, they’re still undefeated.  They went 13-0, barely pulling out wins over Louisville, Boston College, etc.  You get the point.  They came close, but overall pulled it out.

And as bad as Jameis Winston was in some of those games, he’s still a great QB.  He has a incredible arm, with the mobility to escape the pocket.  He’s Kaepernick like, and I really don’t care how you feel about me using that, because he’s (Kap) good, even though his team hasn’t been.

Florida State is undefeated.  I couldn’t believe some of the stuff I saw on Twitter regarding Florida State and their “limited?” playoff chances.  Wait, what?

Anyways, this is where people started to question the order, which was stupid in my opinion.  I knew, that after Florida State won the ACC Saturday, that, in some order, it would be Alabama, Oregon and the Seminoles.  The 4th spot, is where it got testy.

Again, we knew it was going to be three teams for one spot.  That’s where the committee had to decide.

They did.  And really, they got it wrong.

I really did think Baylor deserved a chance.  They were the best team for that spot.  What went wrong?

Nothing.  Here’s the problem: The BIG 12 had two champions.


TCU absolutely demolished Iowa State Saturday, which automatically gave them a share of the BIG 12, making Baylor and Kansas State’s matchup another “share-clincher.”

Baylor won, and tied with the Horned Frogs for the BIG 12.  And so, the ultimate debate between the two raged.  I thought it was already at it’s height.

I was on Baylor.  I had been since the beginning of the season.  They beat TCU 61-58 earlier this year, and had dominated close to everyone else. I never thought TCU was better than Baylor.

I also never expected this from Ohio State.  After J.T. Barrett broke his ankle against Minnesota the week before the BIG 10 Championship game, I thought the Buckeyes were done.  There was no faith from me in Cardale Jones, a 3rd-stringer who was getting thrown into a huge game.

So what’d Ohio State go and do?  Embarrass Wisconsin 59-0 in the BIG 10 title game that their head coach left.

(That’s not the reason he left; it’s a joke)

It was a disgusting loss for the Badgers.  I was quite embarrassed with my pick, too.

Even though Ohio State wasn’t as good as Baylor, and had a 3rd string QB in, the committee still put them in the playoffs with the No.4 seed.

First, this was punishment to the BIG 12.  The committee thought “You claim you give out one conference title, but you had two this year, that’s a problem.”

So, the committee put in Ohio State, because they were “true” conference champions.  It was punishment.  And, it should bring big changes to the BIG 12.

I’ll get to that later.  Let’s crank through the rest of the rankings.

The Rest

7. Mississippi State

8. Michigan State

9. Ole Miss

10. Arizona

Alright, this is where it gets clearer.  It’s also where I start to agree.

Mississippi State was No.1 for awhile this season.  They started 9-0, and where at the time clearly the best team.  The Bulldogs won back-to-back-to-back games against LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn, at the time, all top ten teams.

Though, the late season stretch got to them.  Their first loss came against No.5 Alabama.  Then two weeks after was the Egg Bowl, and the Bulldogs laid an egg against Ole Miss, ending any hopes of the playoffs.

It’s pretty clear, being No.1 most of the year, that they couldn’t have fallen any further.  We judge the top six by the playoffs and the first two out.  The Bulldogs were right on the cusp of being very successful.

Following them, Michigan State and Ole Miss can’t be more similar of teams.  Though the Spartans score a lot more, both teams defenses were outstanding this year.  The Rebels possessed the nation’s best defense, statistically this year.

The Spartans had the better record (10-2), which landed them ahead of Ole Miss (9-3).  It makes sense.  Record does come into play when you get farther down.

I’m fine with where Arizona landed.  They got into a New Years Six game, comparable to a BCS Bowl from last year.  The PAC-12 Championship loss didn’t bother me, it’s how we lost that bothered me.  I almost cried myself to sleep that night.  I was so embarrassed.

The committee didn’t take it to hard though, placing the Wildcats at No.10.  Are there some teams behind Arizona that are better than them?  Yea, probably.  It depended on who was healthy.

No.11 Kansas State

No.12 Georgia Tech

No.13 Georgia

Any combination of these three teams work.

These teams are all very equally matched.  I have no disagreement with this, though I may have a little bit of homerism in play for the Kansas State Wildcats.

My one claim: Had Georgia had Todd Gurley, not only would they be higher in the rankings, but they would have been in a New Years Six game.

No.14 UCLA

No.15 Arizona State

No.16 Missouri

I’m a little confused here.  I agree that UCLA is the best team out of these three.  After Stanford upset them to ruin there PAC-12 Championship Game hopes, they knew they were going to be dropped.  Fourteen is probably right for them.

This is total non-homer.  Missouri lost the SEC Championship Game.  That’s the best division in the nation.  Losing to Alabama is ok.  So why did Arizona State get put ahead?

They had the same amount of losses (3), with Missouri having one more win due to conference ties.  I don’t understand how Arizona State got put ahead of the Tigers.  Missouri has a much better defense than the Sun Devils, while Missouri’s passing falls behind Arizona State’s.  Defense is what the SEC is known for.  If they were one of the best in their conference in that category, how did this happen?

Arizona State had two embarrassing loss this season, one to UCLA and one to Oregon State, but the Beaver game was crazy.  That one just made me mad.  UCLA proved to us that they were better, and in a very ugly way.

Overall, I’ll take the higher ranking, but am confused by it.  Sorry Tigers, you got disrespected.

No.17 Clemson

No.18 Wisconsin

Clemson is one heck of a team.  They had ups&downs this year.  It started out rough, losing to South Carolina and Florida State in three games to start out the season.  The Tigers are usually know for their offense, but with two QB’s fluctuating in&out of the lineup all year, the fast paced offense we were used to didn’t show up.

The defense though, did.  They were ranked 7th in defense this past year, and dominated close to all the games they won.  Giving what the Tigers went through with DeShaun Watson’s multiple  injuries, it’s pretty impressive they ended up here.


I was literally about hit “Publish” when the news broke that head coach of Wisconsin Gary Andersen had left the program for Oregon State’s head coach opening.  It was a shock.

It’s also a risk.  I mean, it’s Wisconsin.  It’s a pretty big program.  Oregon State hasn’t hit it’s stride yet.  Possibly Andersen can boost it.

The other thing we have to consider is Andersen has coached out West before, notably with both Utah schools.  He likes it out there.  He claims it’s a family move, and it’s a new opportunity.

Maybe the BIG 10 just wasn’t for him.  It’s possible he just wasn’t fond of it.  It’s not like he didn’t succeed with the Badgers.

No.19 Auburn

No.20 Bosie State

No.21 Louisville

Auburn is the best four loss team in the country.  Easily.  This was a playoff team early this year.  They started 5-0 before losing to No.1 Mississippi State in a blowout.  Playing the rugged SEC proved costly though, after losing back-to-backs against Georgia and Texas A&M.

Really, we know that Auburn is a better team than their record.  They were top four at one point.  Record proves costly when you get this low in the rankings

Bosie State and and Louisville are teams I don’t know to much about.  The only thing I really know about the Broncos is that they won the Mountain West and they have to play Arizona.  You  know what happens when I don’t know much about a team and they have to play my favorites, so I’m scared.

Louisville had a nice year after losing Teddy Bridgewater and their head coach to Texas.  They deserved this ranking, and with only three losses, there is a case for them to be higher.  They play in the pretty dull ACC though, so that harmed them.

No.22 Utah

No.23 LSU

No.24 USC 

No.25 Minnesota

Wow.  Three bummers in four spots.  I don’t want to touch on Utah.  They’re pretty frisky, yet can scare you if they’re playing your team.  Stay away.

Aw, the two main bummers.  LSU and USC were both expected to be great this year.  USC started out nicely, but a bad loss to Boston College turned their season in a beat, and it never got better.  They got in a bowl game, which is a successful season.  The Trojans seem to be always competitive, plus they have a good coach now.  They’ll be back soon, I promise, even though I’m not going to be happy about it.

LSU, ranked ahead of USC, had huge expectations (from me) this season.  I thought Leonard Fournette would be a beast and contend for the Heisman Trophy (Oh yea, I get to pick my winner at the bottom!).  He didn’t, and LSU didn’t have the greatest season.  They only loss four games, but this was supposed to a SEC title contender, not a bottom feeder in the conference.

I’m not going to touch on Minnesota due to the people reading this.  I don’t want anyone mad at me.  Except: Your getting crushed by Missouri, Gophers (Probably just made people mad at me).

Heisman Winner!

No.1 Marcus Mariota, Oregon

No.2 Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

No.3 Amari Cooper, Alabama

Those were the finalists picked to attend the ceremony in New York City, New York this Saturday.