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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A-TOWN AND R2G DEBATE: Is the Path to Football's Final Four Still Clear for Spartans?

Taken from Reader Comments on M-live article:

3 keys for Michigan State moving forward toward College Football Playoff

return2glory |
Pretty simple to me. Here are the three keys:
1. MSU must win out.
2. Ranked at 9, there are eight undefeated teams ahead of the Spartans. In the next 11 weeks (10 games for MSU) plus the week of conference championships, five of those teams need to lose. That WILL happen, likely 6 or 7 of them will lose - it has happened every year (and many of those teams play each other).
3. Although not absolutely required, it will help if Oregon remains undefeated throughout the season.
If those three things happen, the committee will not be able to keep the Spartans out. The talk will be that the lone Spartans loss came on the road, early in the season, against the #1/#2 ranked team. The only one of those three keys to MSU has any control over is #1 - winning out. #2 is basically done and #3 may not be entirely necessary.
The media and fans who say the Big Ten is out of the final four race are reactionary and not using their brain (most are simply parroting what they have heard others say/write). Even Nebraska or Penn State will get in if they win out (which means the Spartans miss on item #1 above).
That season ending game at Penn State could be huge. Have you seen their schedule?

Oh, have you seen this one? Wikipedia fired Brady Hoke

ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown

ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown
Reply to: @return2glory | I think you need to take into account that the selection committee is not only going to add a lot of the human element to the 4 teams that are in but additionally it is a national committee and not regional.  
The human element is going to bring perception into the equation. While some love to hate, the SEC is viewed as the cream of the power conferences.  Pac 12 is a monster this year too. The Big 12 is also the darling of college football and even in down years seems to get the benefit of the doubt. I would not be shocked if a one loss champ out of any of those conferences would get the nod over MSU at 12-1. The debate always comes down to the ACC and the B1G when it comes to which is the worst of the Power 5. The B1G got some credibility back this past weekend but the fact is do you think the committee would take a one loss FSU or a one loss MSU if the other 3 spots are taken? 
The other factor that most folks are forgetting is the wild card teams. BYU and Marshall are both undefeated and have solid teams. Marshall has the mighty C-USA in front of them. And BYU's toughest contest is a road trip to Boise. The playoff was created specifically for those types of teams. The ones that everyone says they are cute stories with their undefeated season but they are not who deserves a shot at the championship. And then Boise beats Oklahoma or Utah takes one from Bama and the "What ifs.." pop up. I find it hard to believe that the selection committee would not give an undefeated team, regardless of who they are or who their scheduled against, a shot at the playoff.
One final point, the committee is human the same way the voting in the polls is humanized. In 2006, there was a magical vote and U of M fell from #2 to #3 because the voters didn't want a rematch. That reasoning went out the window a couple of years back when it was the SEC. If Oregon goes undefeated, I guarantee the fact that MSU played them and lost already will come across the debate. While I can see the argument that MSU's only loss was the the #1/#2 team in the country, you have to think about the rematch element. A one loss MSU team along with a one loss Big 12 and one loss SEC team are on the table for the last 2 spots, I can see someone saying "Well MSU technically already had their shot when they played Oregon. Do we want a rematch or do we want to see Oregon play this SEC team or Big 12 team?"

return2glory |

return2glory |
Reply to: @ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown @return2glory |
Well, I hope we get an opportunity to see if I'm right. I believe that if the three things I outlined happen, the committee will have a difficult time keeping the Spartans out - even more so if they pull the double digit margin of victory in every game trick like they did last year. 
After MSU wins 12 consecutive games, including the Big Ten CG (in this scenario), that early loss will mean far less then than it does now. All but one or two teams will have a more recent loss. The "human element" could easily say, "Well if MSU played anyone but Oregon away from home, they very well could have won and they would be in. Or for that matter, since they have improved so much, as Dantonio teams seem to do, they could probably win that game if it were played today. I'd like to see them prove it, and besides, we don't want to penalize tough scheduling quite so harshly. I vote MSU."
I'm not saying your view is wrong A-Town - I think you could be right on those points and the Spartans still get in based on what I have outlined. 
They could actually be ranked #2 after the final week. They started at #5 and lost an away game to undefeated (in our scenario of the 3 requirements) Oregon team and proceeded to win 12 games in a row with an offense and defense rated near the top in the country in many major categories (a natural occurrence of winning 13 games - especially with this year's offense). Knock out a #2 rated team? Committee members may think the things you bring up A-Town, but in the end they have to consider what is just. 
Somebody is going to feel screwed, and in this scenario, I don't see it being the team on a 12 game roll that is fun to watch while on national and regional TV a lot. There may actually be a lot more intrigue with a rematch under this scenario. It's going to feel like a different season in the end if MSU runs the table - not just to us, but nationally.

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