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Week 9 Rankings and Strength of Schedule Talk

For teams that have yet to have their bye week, there is officially half of the NFL season in the books.  What does this mean?  It means we finally have a large enough sample size to begin looking at the strength of schedule for the remainder of the season.  As always, your fantasy team’s context will determine how you deal with this information.  If you’re sitting at 6-2 and feel comfortable about your chances of making your league’s playoffs, you should be trying to trade with the playoffs in mind.  Conversely, if you’re at 3-5, you need to win now and you need to be focusing on the next couple of weeks rather than the playoffs.  Without any further delay, let’s dive in.


Strength of Schedule:

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Playoffs???? (In my Jim Mora Voice)

So, the first College Football Playoff rankings got released last night.

Not a lot of surprises, in my book.  SEC Reigns supreme, as most of us were suspecting.

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But honestly, I’ve had mixed feelings about this whole new system.  I like the idea of 4 teams finally getting to settle on the field who exactly is the better team.  It works better than computers. I’m all for the use of formulas to help settle certain things, like say how much money you’ll make on your investments, or why oil and water don’t mix.  But when it comes down to actual things like playing a game, you have to go with actual on field performance.  We all know, football isn’t a game played on paper, or on a computer.

But here’s my beef  with the whole playoff system.  It’s still subjective.  After reviewing the Selection Committee Protocol it seems as though despite some concrete criteria, i.e. conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, etc. there is still some ambiguity.  For instance, there is no one set metric to determine everything, which again, is understood.  It’s hard to fit everything you need to help figure out into one need little metric.  But at the same time, each committee member submits a list of the 25 teams he or she THINKS are the best.  Still slightly subjective.  I kind of feel like this could be like a jury.  I’m sure some of you have been on jury duty, and there’s that ONE that holds up the process?  However, they were all chosen because of their professionalism, knowledge and respect for the game, so I doubt that actually happens.  The subjective element remians.   Look at the differences in the College Football Playoff Rankings and  other polls. 

I think regardless of what happens, some fans aren’t going to be happy with how the rankings will end up.   And that is something that will never go away.  Even though it’ll never be 100% objective, this is at least a decent way to try to be more fair.  The good thing is that they have listened to the fans, and have changed from the BCS, which is good.  Now I’m wondering, if the BCS were still in existence, what would those rankings would have looked like.  But I digress.

Because the most important part here is just determining who the best college football team is in the nation.  And if you scroll down on the Overview section of the website, you will see the 7th thing on the list.

Revenue.

And lets not go there……

Football Playoof

Follow Sonja on Twitter @Mom23RN

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Big XII Monday

Or Tuesday, as seeing that I am a day late. Never fear! I am still here, and we will not waste another moment!

College Football Playoff: The Case for TCU

I submitted my top 4 earlier today here: http://wp.me/p2he6G-2Ah

But I would like to expound a little bit on the Big XII team I inserted in the 4th spot. TCU, in my opinion, has the best chance to make this inaugural College Football Playoff. Their offense is unstoppable and strangely, their defense is just okay. No one saw this coming last year. This offense was inept, and Trevone Boykin was awful. When I say awful there is no exaggeration. He couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. (enough with the puns) But he, to his credit, has put in the hard work and dedication it takes to be a quarterback and has thrown his hat into the Heisman running. Continue reading

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College Football Playoff Rankings: What Should We Expect?

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Today is the day we get our first look at how this whole process with the CFB selection committee is going to play out. By now, several votes have most likely taken place and the debate for the very first rankings should be winding down. Now understand, there is still about 6 weeks of football to be played and much will change as several of the teams in the top 5 still have head to head match ups. Still, we can get a few hints on how the committee is going to operate and think through the picking of a top four. Will they go with the overall four best teams regardless of conference affiliation or will they heavily lean on conference championships? That’s just one of several questions that could be asked concerning the selection. Here’s a short list of factors that have been hinted at perhaps playing a part in the selection.

  • Strength of schedule
  • Head to Head match ups
  • Common opponent comparisons
  • Style Points
  • Rankings
  • Conference Champions
  • Uncontrollable factors(injuries, distractions)

It’s understandable that committee members will not agree on the importance of all these factors and much debate will take place. Some of us here at A Good Sports Hang wanted to get in on the action as well so we took a selection of AGSH writers and asked them to list a top 4 along with the reason for those choices. Here’s our individual thoughts on who should be in that initial top four when it is released later this evening.

Stu Shoemake’s Top 4

  1. Mississippi State - One of two power 5 conference unbeaten teams left. They are in first place in the toughest division, in the toughest conference, in the nation. Not only that but they have several playmakers that can step up and make a play at any point in the game. Also, they have displayed the ability to overcome adversity within a game and capitalize on the other teams mistakes.
  2. Florida State – The other remaining unbeaten team, the Seminoles just keep winning despite all kinds of distractions and outside pressures. Their remaining schedule gives us no reason to believe they won’t finish undefeated, but does that mean they are deserving?
  3. Oregon – Their strength of schedule gives them the nod over some other 1-loss teams and they still have some quality foes left. I believe they will be in as the Pac 12 champions if they win out.
  4. Michigan State/TCU – Does a one loss SEC team belong here? Yes, but this is not about what I think it should be but what I expect it to be. With all of the “SEC bias” conspiracy theories floating around, I expect the committee to take the safe route with its first rankings. That said, MSU’s only loss has come against #3 on this list. They also have a win against ranked Nebraska and could solidify themselves in this group with a win against Ohio State next weekend. TCU’s one loss was against a then #5 ranked Baylor the week after an emotional win against #4 Oklahoma. TCU’s advantage over MSU is its remaining statement games against #20 West Virginia and #11 Kansas State.

Next 4 Out: Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Kansas State

Veair Green’s Top 4

  1. Florida State: Let’s start with the easiest selection. The ‘Noles are undefeated right now and looks like it could stay that way. Their cupcake, sweet-tooth inducing schedule can have them end the season as the only team with no losses on their resume.
  2. Oregon: They have one loss (as of right now) but luckily for the Ducks it was early enough to rebound and get some votes. But they have a tough road ahead with Stanford, Utah and rival Oregon State on the schedule. The Ducks and Notre Dame could be the only things standing between the playoffs and two SEC teams.
  3. Mississippi State: The boys from Stark-Vegas are shining right now. Somewhere Barrin Simpson, Pig Prather and Eric Moulds are somewhere feeling proud. The Bulldogs are in the playoffs as of today, but a defeat could be crushing to their playoff hopes even though they would have one loss like other playoff teams. They have to beat Bama, Ole Miss and the SEC East Champ. One loss could still mean a playoff berth if chaos strikes again.
  4. Alabama: And of course the voters and media’s favorite team, the Crimson Tide. ‘Bama already has one loss and another defeat would crush their hopes….or will it? The Iron Bowl and Egg Bowl could be an “unofficial” play-in game. I see Saban and crew losing one more time, whether it’s LSU or Auburn. But for right now, they are in.

Justin Neely’s Top 4

Each teams schedule has tough remaining games left and if these teams win out, I believe this will be the final 4. Ideally you would like to have a team from each conference but someone will be left out. Yes, there is potential for the SEC to get two teams in, but I believe the schedule will play itself out and Mississippi State stands alone. The three remaining have the most to lose/gain. This is a tough year.

  1. Mississippi State
  2. Florida State 
  3. Oregon 
  4. TCU 

Next 4 out: Alabama, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Michigan State

Jason Goodson’s Top 4

  1. Mississippi State – With the balance of offense, defense, and special teams; Mississippi State will remain atop the polls.
  2. Ole Miss – I do not buy Florida State at number 2 because Ole Miss and the Land Shark defense have proven to be on the hunt and deserve the 2nd spot.
  3. Florida State – The ACC is no SEC or Big XII in the football world. They will fade to the power of the SEC dominance.
  4. Kansas State – Their only loss is to Auburn and they have beaten every other team on their schedule with ease. They deserve to be in the top 4.

These picks will surely change as the season goes on, but one things for sure. Whether you like the current format or not, you can not deny that the new playoff system has added a new level of excitement and intrigue to the College Football Season. It’s going to be fun trying to figure this out each week. Be sure to check back and see how our opinions change as we continue through the 2014 College Football Schedule.

Follow Stu on Twitter: @stushoemake

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NFC East: TouchBack Wk 8

It may have been the worst birthday ever for Joe Theismann, throwing five interceptions against the Cowboys on September 9, 1985. Continue reading

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Ole Miss At LSU Breakdown: How The Tigers Pulled The Upset

It was a huge win for the Tigers Saturday night and one that will have definite consequences for Ole Miss with the first playoff committee rankings coming out on Tuesday. Many were starting to think that the “Land Shark” defense was going to be unbeatable but LSU proved that to be false. How did they do it? Let’s break it down shall we. Continue reading

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Breaking The Huddle: Pregame Huddle Week 9

In the week 9 edition of Breaking the Huddle we will take a quick look at a few of this weekends bigger games and make some picks. We will also talk about the College Football Playoff and give our opinion on who would be in if it started today. Let’s dive in to Week 9 of the College Football Season! Continue reading

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Giant Series, Royal Deadlock

After the Giants won game one of the World Series 7-1 the Royals flipped the script by winning game two 7-2. In what was essentially a must win game, Ned Yost was able to pull the right strings to knot the series up and prevent a near impossible hole to have to climb out of. The moves made in game two were actually set up by the ones not made in the first game. Continue reading

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Hockey Fans Are The Worst!

Don’t get me wrong; I love most hockey fans. They’re extremely passionate about the sport, more so than their individual team of preference and that’s something special. Every single sport is going to have fans that are just the worst kind of people that you want to launch into the sun, and hockey is no different. But with hockey not being nearly as popular as a lot of the other big ones, sometimes fans tend to think of it as ‘their’ sport, and can come across as being elitist….and it’s the worst. Continue reading

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