Is the selection show over yet? Most competitions are able to update their standings following each completed game. Thanks to beauty contest rules, College Football makes us fans wait a day before announcing which teams are selected for the playoffs. That said, the committee and the Power Points System agreed on the top four teams for 2021 albeit in a different order. Michigan is our #1 after the Wolverines scored nearly as many points on consecutive offensive plays as Iowa scored in its three losses. Alabama is still Alabama. Georgia is still Georgia when playing Alabama. The Tide looked vulnerable all season long and it looked as if Georgia might finally climb Crimson Hill after the Bulldogs jumped to an early 10-0 lead. But it was all Alabama from then on as the Tide finished the game on a 41-14 run to win going away.
Cincinnati is the first Group of Five team to advance to the playoffs after the Bearcats beat Houston to complete an undefeated regular season. Despite the fact that the committee had no politically correct option available to them to even consider snubbing Cincinnati, especially after Oklahoma State lost, a couple of ESPN talking heads and many expansion opponents suggested their inclusion is proof that the system is fair. Ridiculous. Every highest ranked G5 team prior to 2021 ranked behind at least one P5 team with at least two more losses. The fact that a rigged system can be beat is not evidence that the system is not rigged. Some are hoping that Alabama blasts Cincinnati so that this can be used against future G5 teams when it comes to picking playoff teams even though P5 teams are routinely blown out in playoff games and it has no bearing on being selected in subsequent years.
This year’s top four teams place sixth as a group among the Power Points Standings’ top four groups during the College Football Playoff era. 2021 is one point better than 2017. However, 2021 Michigan would have placed third in 2017. 2020 is last due to most teams playing less than a full schedule. 2019 is first with 315 total points. Every team that finished with 69 points or more made our top four. This year’s first and fourth place teams are separated by only two points making it the new low. The previous low, four points, was set in 2017. The difference was at least ten points in the other six seasons. After this season is completed, seven of eight CFP champions and 14 of 16 finalists will have made our top four. 2017 Alabama and 2020 Ohio State are the exceptions.
12-1 Louisiana is matched up with 7-5 Marshall in its bowl game. This is ridiculous. As long the bowl system continues to exist, is it to much to ask that teams be paired based on their season accomplishments? Why not match the Roadrunners and the Ragin’ Cajuns for a shot at 13-1? Coastal Carolina finished behind Louisiana and Appalachian State in the Sun Belt. Yet, the Chanticleers’ bowl opponent is placed higher in the Power Points Standings. Our #16 BYU plays our #41 UAB. Matchups like these occur every year. These games may still be competitive. The problem is that these matchups make no competitive sense.
The FCS is down to the quarterfinals. Top seed Sam Houston State stopped Incarnate Word short of the goal to escape with a 49-42 win. East Tennessee State scored two touchdowns plus a two point conversion in the last two minutes to rally from a 31-17 deficit to defeat Kennesaw State 32-31. Villanova narrowly beat Holy Cross 21-16. Montana trailed by one point at halftime, but scored 37 second half points to run away with a 57-41 win over Eastern Washington and avenge a regular season loss to the Eagles. James Madison and North Dakota State advanced with easy wins. South Dakota State is the only unseeded team remaining in the playoffs after the Jackrabbits defeated Sacramento State. Coach Sanders’ Jackson State squad defeated Prairie View A&M to win the SWAC title and advance to the Celebration Bowl where the Tigers will play South Carolina State. The standings below list remaining playoff teams in blue and Celebration Bowl participants in red.