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Maize n Brew reacts to the CFB Playoff pairings

Did the committee get the final pairings right? Read what some of the MnB staff has to say.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This is probably the final time we'll be talking football until Michigan's new coach is announced. Unless we do a bowl game discussion which...yikes. Did the committee get the playoff right?

Peter: You're asking about Baylor and TCU, aren't you? Yeah, I think they got it right. Ohio State was on the outside looking in until they slaughtered Wisconsin, made a pyramid of their skulls, and then salted the earth. The few survivors from Wisconsin all had their eyes removed, except for one guy; they were then chained together, and the guy with one eye is leading them back to Madison. OSU got all the style points on Saturday night, and they were able to get them with their third-string guy who just happened to look as though he had been out there all season. I hate to admit that they probably deserve one of the four spots, but it's also nice to have a Big Ten team in the first playoff. I don't think there's much argument to be made against ‘Bama, Oregon, or FSU--they deserve to be there without question.

Nick: I think the decision was pretty simple, which is probably a good thing with this being the first year for the playoff. The committee pretty much had the final four handed to them after the B1GCG blowout and no "One True Champion" for the Big 12. Watching Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer will be a delight, especially if the Tide roll all over Ohio.

Kevin: While the committee definitely bounced around with what was most important to their rankings throughout the season, it appears in the end conference champions held the most weight. Baylor and TCU being co-champions of a conference that is just as bad as the Big Ten didn't help their case. Ohio State had the best-ranked strength-of-schedule, and that destruction of Wisconsin was a surprise to everyone. Some complained that TCU got hosed moreso than Baylor since they were in the third hole five days ago, but when you play Iowa State for your final regular season game with no championship game to lean on, that was a pretty easy decision. Baylor in turn is complaining that they beat TCU and didn't lose on Saturday. The committee only needed to look at the Bears' nonconference schedule to justify keeping them out. This way they at least have two teams from the same conference who can feel equally cheated and band together and pressure their chairman to bring back the Big Twelve Championship Game.

Zoob: Alright, I'm going to rant here, so I apologize in advance.

First of all, the committee got it wrong. Ohio State has the worst loss of any of the teams in the Final 6. They lost, at home, to an unranked team in Virginia Tech. A VA Tech team that lost to Wake Forest, so this isn't a traditional VA Tech team. I don't care that it happened early in the season when OSU was playing young guys and blah blah blah. A loss is a loss, and while this isn't like losing to Appalachian State, it's a horrific loss that shouldn't be understated. That's the first thing.

Secondly. I don't care that Ohio State is a conference champion. Out of the Power 5 schools this year, the Big Ten was 4th out of 5 conferences, at best. The SEC, Pac-12 and Big-12 are, unquestionably, better conferences. So Ohio State beat Michigan State, convincingly, in East Lansing. Who did Michigan State beat this year? MSU beat Nebraska, that's their signature win. So maybe the issues is Michigan State was overrated because any time they played someone relevant, Oregon and Ohio State, MSU got smoked. Ohio beat Wisconsin in the conference championship game. Wisconsin is not a traditional team like it has been in recent Rose Bowl appearances. As great as their RB is, they're not an elite team. They got beaten by LSU earlier this year, an LSU team that finished 5th of of 6th in it's division in the SEC West. Wisconsin also lost to Northwestern, and Michigan beat Northwestern, so that says everything about that.

Thirdly, the argument about the Big-12 not having a conference champion, to me, is ridiculous. I don't care that their Commissioner is a coward and wouldn't put it in paper. Baylor beat TCU. This isn't rocket science. Baylor is the Big-12 champion and I LOVE LOVE LOVE every word that Art Briles said. The committee chose to keep TCU ahead of Baylor until the season was over, to avoid using head-to-head until it wanted to. Baylor should've been ranked ahead of TCU and Ohio State weeks ago, and the committee's agenda was clear.

Ohio State scored a lot of points. wow, great. They beat Michigan State, a team that is ranked in the Top 10 by default. They struggled to win at Penn State. They struggled at home against Indiana. For any Big Ten fan, this is the worst case scenario because, AGAIN, a flawed Big Ten team will go on the national stage and fall flat on it's face. Don't get me wrong, I don't think OSU will lose by 30-40 points in the Playoff, but I do think Saban will spank Urban Meyer like the good old SEC days.

People like to say Baylor had a brutal non-conference schedule. No doubt about it, but if Ohio State had such a great non-conference schedule, why didn't they beat VA Tech? The non-conference schedule is a third of the season. Baylor's conference schedule is dramatically more difficult than Ohio State's Big Ten schedule.

Baylor got screwed. TCU has no case because it lost to Baylor, and that is solely on the committee because they had no clear worth of anything. If the Big-12 not having a conference championship game was important, why didn't Jeff Long have a spine and say so after the Playoff committee was created? Nice for them to wait until now and use it as an excuse. They chose Ohio State because of money, ratings, etc. There isn't nothing else beyond that.

I am not one to think this Playoff needs to go to 16 teams and beyond, but an 8 team playoff is for sure the perfect system. Imagine having an 8 team system this year and the games would be:

Alabama vs. Michigan State.
Oregon vs. Mississippi State.
Florida State vs. TCU.
Ohio State vs. Baylor.

THAT is how it should be. If Ohio State is better than Baylor, prove it on the field. This is nonsense. Don't get me wrong, I'll tune in and watch. However, I will be cheering ROLL TIDE because there isn't a single ounce that believes Ohio State deserves this. Urban Meyer worked at ESPN for a year, and when you factor in Herby as well, the OSU train had began Saturday evening before the Baylor game was even over.

I hope, next season, this committee shows some honor and makes it's votes known to the public. If the coaches and others in the past had to show whom they were voting for, the committee should as well. They should be held accountable and not able to hide behind closed doors. This committee failed.

Rant over.

Zach: Here is the problem: the committee wasn't ever going to make everyone happy, and everyone has different ideas what "playoff team" means. That is college football. Its been that way for ages, and the breadth and depth of the sport make all of these arguments more semantic than anything.

That being said, I don't think the Big 12 was any more fearsome than the Big Ten this year. Yeah, TCU and Baylor were both really good, but Oklahoma and Texas had down years, Kansas State was Kansas State (strong but unremarkable). I mean, what else was there? Sure, OSU didn't have a tough road as well as the worst loss of the three, but by the end of the year I think OSU looked like the strongest of the three teams - in large part because OSU won the Big Ten so decisively, which I think is a huge advantage which is overlooked in this instance.

Finally, I guess I like that the committee gave OSU the shot in spite of the Barrett injury. Seems like years past those things have had an effect on perceptions, and while Cardale "didn't come to play school" Jones had a chance to allay any concerns about his viability as a starter, I think it is sort of cool that OSU got to go through two quarterbacks and still gets a shot.

Honestly, I don't know if I would bet against OSU at this point. The team is playing as well as anyone in the country, has the kind of defensive line that champions are made of, and an offense that is downright dastardly in its ability to toy with opposing defenses.

Long story short: someone got screwed, but someone was always going to get screwed. That it all came about because of the Big 12's lame attempt at politicking is just all that sweeter.

Peter: Great rant, Zoob, however...the conference championship has to mean something, or it means nothing. Now, that's not to say that Ohio State would have been deserving if they were a 9-3 conference champ, but their one loss is only one loss, regardless of the convoluted nature of who they are, who they played, who beat whom. To say that OSU got in only because of money or ratings wouldn't be accurate, and I sure don't think that the fact that Urb or Kirk Herbstreit work(ed) for ESPN has any bearing on the decision.

Ohio State went out and completely destroyed a Wisconsin team that had been very good, if a little vulnerable.

I'm with Zach on his point about not betting against OSU right now. This is a team on their third guy under center, and they left a burning crater where the Badgers once stood. It may not mean that they can do it against Alabama, but I'm sure not going to say they can't.

Finally, Ohio State shouldn't have to apologize for the fact that the Big-XII can't get out of their own way. If they weren't going to play for a championship, then maybe Bob Bowlsby should have come out in favor of either Baylor or TCU instead of saying they were both the champion. He made the committee's decision for them. Now, how TCU starts out 3rd and then drops to 6th is just stupid. I don't think the committee handled the situation correctly, but they got the last four right.