Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the latest round of CFP rankings that were released Tuesday, and debate whether the committee is actively hurting non-Power 5 teams, such as Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina, through their system.
DAN WETZEL: Nothing changed of course. The top 5 are all the same-- Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State, Texas A&M. The big issue was University of Florida, which lost as a 23-point favor to like half the LSU football team at home--
--somehow only dropped to number 7. Iowa State moved up to number 6. The team that beat them by 17 at home, Louisiana, is still 19. There are so many different things on this. I think the biggest issue with this committee, more than ever any other committee, and none of them-- the whole process is stupid. I'll get to it. But the inconsistencies of the picking and the rankings vary not week-to-week or season-to-season, but team-to-team.
With the legendary question by Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, to Gary Barta, let me read this thing. I mean this is great. It's really journalism at its finest. "Gary, a big picture question-- when Iowa State loses to Louisiana and Florida loses to an unranked LSU team and those don't play a role in the rankings, what's the point of playing games?"
I mean, this was an actual question. And it's like you know what, that's kind of what I wanted to find out too. And Gary Barta goes, well, the games are important because that's what we evaluate. So, um--
PAT FORDE: [CHUCKLES]
DAN WETZEL: Pat Forde, you had some strong opinions on this. I read your column last night on si.com. Please, enlighten us with your reactions to the selection show, which also could be called something-- a different kind of show with an S at the start of it.
PAT FORDE: It sure could. [CHUCKLES] Uh-- like last week was the worst ranking show I'd ever seen in the history of this bungled, mangled playoff. And this week was worse. This was the new low to me, is where they're doing things that are absolutely indefensible. And then Gary Barta tries to ham-handedly defend them. And the point that you made is exactly right, Dan, is that basically they're just insulting our intelligence here. You know? If they're putting on a dog and pony show and trying to-- they are doing what they want to do to rig things in the favor of the Power Five teams. I don't think you can even deny that anymore. But then they're trying to explain it with this, well, here's the rationalization here, and here's the justification there. And it's insulting. It is the classic, "don't spit in my face and tell me it's raining." And that's what we have gotten for the last couple of weeks, especially from Gary Barta.
PETE THAMEL: So what I always like to do is we've realized a week ago that these-- Coastal and Cincinnati were getting chopped, right? It was obvious. I mean, there were neon flashing signs, "We are going to make sure they lack opportunity." So this is really what-- we're like, all right, what's their endgame here? They're keeping out of the top 4, that's fine. We all have conceded for weeks they weren't getting to the top 4. But now it's like, where-- are they going to really try to squeeze them out of the New Year's Six game. To me, the Coastal move was just basically a way to say, well, if Cincinnati loses, we don't want Coastal in there like in that top whatever-- whatever tier it is. So it's all fascinating right now. But like I just-- I'd be curious what you guys think. What's their endgame here, other than the obvious? Is there like a second layer that the committee is looking at?
DAN WETZEL: I just don't-- maybe, and this is just totally my theory, but I don't-- who knows? This is a better answer than you get Gary Barta. I just don't think they like the smaller schools. I just think they have no respect for those schools. And so they're just basically like they can't be any good. So beating Texas matters, because they're Texas. So we're going to give Iowa State credit. And I just think that's how it's-- they don't have any respect for Cincinnati. Cincinnati could be 15-0, and they'd still be dropping.
PETE THAMEL: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Coastal Carolina could be 20-0, and they'd still be sitting at 12. And somebody sent a tweet out last night or said something to I think all of us and said, you Iowa State is getting more credit, exponentially more credit, for beating Texas than Louisiana is for beating Iowa State.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. Yeah. No, that's the thing, is that there's a complete disconnect between what they're trying to sell us on the process versus what they're actually doing. Because it just doesn't make sense, otherwise. There is no logical way to look at this and give the Big 12 this benefit of the doubt. And that's-- Gary Barta is on there like, well, you know Brock Purdy's playing really well, and Breece Hall is having a very good season. Yeah, they're playing against other Big 12 teams after the Big 12 threw up on itself! There is nothing that says beating Big 12 teams should matter.
But it does, because we've decided 50 years ago that the Big 12 is a big deal. And that's the part where it just it kills me, like are you watching-- we're watching the games. Yeah, you're watching flawed teams play against flawed teams from a flawed conference and giving them incredible credit for beating those teams. Oh, they really killed West Virginia. So what? They killed Kansas State. So what? They killed Kansas. So what? You know who else beat Kansas State? Arkansas State, from the sunbelt.