Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd is notorious for some of his unpopular opinions, and the radio host stirred up some strong reactions with his personal top four for the College Football Playoff on Sunday.
Notably absent? The Alabama Crimson Tide, who are 11-1 and were No. 2 in the most recent Playoff rankings.
Turned in my playoff top 4 to @FOXSports. 1.Clemson 2. Oklahoma 3. Michigan St 4. Ohio State. SEC is an overrated mess. Sorry Bama.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) November 30, 2015
Cowherd followed up his list with a lengthy explanation on his show Monday.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 30, 2015
Cowherd’s argument is largely based on the SEC being a weak conference compared to the Big Ten, which has two teams in Cowherd’s top four.
Cowherd believes that Alabama’s wins are not impressive when compared against Clemson, Oklahoma, Michigan State and Ohio State. He has a point that the SEC has been an underwhelming conference, but to use that as a knock against Alabama is flat-out wrong.
Despite playing in a down ACC, Clemson (12-0) passes the eye test and should be the No. 1 team. Instead, let’s examine Cowherd’s justification for choosing three other one-loss teams over Alabama.
“Why should Alabama be a top four team? They don’t have an impressive win. Ole Miss? They lost at home.”
By this logic, it is hard to justify placing Oklahoma ahead of Alabama.
Oklahoma’s top three wins are against TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma State. Yes, those three teams were ranked at the time, but Baylor and TCU started backup quarterbacks.
The Sooners and Crimson Tide both have one loss, but let’s take a look at who each team lost to:
- Oklahoma loses 24-17 to Texas (4-7)
- Alabama loses 43-37 to Ole Miss (9-3)
If you are going to hold the Ole Miss (second in the SEC West) loss against Alabama, it’s laughable to put Oklahoma in the top four with a loss to one of the worst teams in the Big 12.
“They (Alabama) struggled against Arkansas, Tennessee and Auburn.”
Michigan State didn’t exactly blaze through its schedule either.
The Spartans beat Purdue (2-10) by a field goal and Rutgers (4-7) by a touchdown. If not for a botched punt by Michigan with one second remaining, the Spartans would have a second loss.
So unless Cowherd wants to argue that Purdue and Rutgers are college football juggernauts, penalizing Alabama for subpar performances doesn’t make sense.
“Alabama got their arse kicked by Ohio State.”
To justify putting Ohio State in over the Crimson Tide is strictly an estimation that the Big Ten is a superior conference to the SEC.
However, the Buckeyes can’t even win their own conference championship this season.
That will be decided between Michigan State (who beat the Buckeyes 17-14) and undefeated Iowa (12-0) this Saturday. The winner of that game deserves to get in the top four before Ohio State is even considered.
Cowherd thinks Alabama is living off the SEC’s reputation, but bringing up last season’s Ohio State win over the Crimson Tide disregards that both teams have declined this season.
The SEC is no longer the undisputed best conference in college football, but Alabama’s resume stands up against any other team in the country. Alabama has nine wins against bowl-eligible teams and six wins against Power Five teams that are 8-4 or better. If Alabama beats Florida in the SEC championship game, it should be in the final four of the College Football Playoff.