The College Quickie: The Committee Gets it Right and Florida State Isn't the Best Team in the Country

First, let me say this: I got it, none of you like four teams in the playoff, unless of course your team was one of the four to get in. Then you love the format. A few takeaways on the final and most important poll.

How Does The System Work?

The question many have is, how can this team jump this team this week but end up in this place the next week? Easy, the committee says it basically resets the play clock each week and starts from scratch. Teams that play really well one week, but are terrible the week before are rewarded for being good in the moment. I’m good with this, and how can you not be? This benefits teams like Ohio State who did nothing but improve after losing to Virginia Tech, and hurts teams like Florida State who squeak by unranked opponents in an already weak conference.

Starting from scratch is a tough concept to many of us because it isn’t what we’re use to with polls. The Coaches and AP polls have continuity (or “stickiness” as Nate Silver calls it) from one week to the next. Do I like it? Nah, not really, But I get why they do it.

In a playoff system where every team doesn’t play each other, the reward for teams that improve as the season progresses should be quicker advancement in the polls. That’s what we see here.

What else would I like to see, or rather not see? The committee’s weekly work. This isn’t my analogy, but I’ll use it anyway: when the jury deliberates, we don’t get hourly updates on their progress and preliminary votes. I’ll stick my neck out here and say the main reason we’re seeing their work is because the committee was able to sell ESPN a weekly 30 minute show.

We also have two other polls that allow us to complain weekly about where teams are ranked. Why do I need to see the committee’s work?

The basketball committee does it best by only showing their work at the end and explaining their thought process then. I’d like to see the football committee do the same.

Is Florida State One Of The Best In The Country?

Florida State people are upset their team is ranked number three and God forbids has to actually travel to Pasadena for a game against Oregon. Their thought process is that they’ve won every game this year, and every game last year and they’re the best in the country.

Newsflash: Florida State is not the best team in the country.

2013 Florida State was probably the best team in the country. That team beat a significant amount of their opponents by 30 or better, while the largest margin of victory for 2014 FSU is 40 over Wake Forest. The average margin of victory over Seminole’s opponents in 2014 is 10.7, compared to Oregon’s 21.8.

In 2013, Florida State’s average margin of victory was 38.8 and Oregon’s was 21.8.

So being undefeated means something, but it means significantly less when you’re surviving instead of beating teams. All Florida State has to do is beat Oregon, which is no easy feat, and they advance to the National Final.

If you’re curious, of the four playoff teams, Ohio State (2) has the largest margin of victory at 24.1, Oregon (5) at 21.8, Alabama (7) at 19.3 and Florida State at 21.

Which Bowl Games are You Watching?

For the first time in a long time, I’ll be watching Florida State. I haven’t seen a single down of Florida State football since the Louisville game because I knew how every game was going to end despite the fact that Florida State isn’t awesome.

So, other than the playoff bowls these are the games I’m looking forward to:

Boca Raton Bowl – Marshall vs. Northern Illinois – 12/23.

Duck Commander Independence Bowl – Miami (Fl.) vs. South Carolina – 12/27.

AdvoCare Texas Bowl – Arkansas vs. Texas – 12/29.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – Notre Dame vs. LSU – 12/30.