CFP Unveils Playoff Teams, Draws Praise Amid Tough Decisions
The CFP selection committee today put Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington in this year's playoff bracket, leaving Penn State, Michigan and Oklahoma out of the top four. After the announcement, CFP Chair Kirby Hocutt said, "We come back to our charge, our focus and our mission, and that is to select the four very best teams in college football. ... Conference championships are only one piece, one metric of that conversation that we have.” ESPN’s Paul Finebaum: “This was a very sobering deliberation, and I give this committee credit. I think they were wiser than some of the pundits out here who have been throwing darts at them." Finebaum added leaving Penn State and Michigan out "was the right decision" (“College Football Playoff Selection Show,” ESPN, 12/4).
The AP's Ralph Russo tweeted, "Come up with any conspiracy theory you want to validate your opinion, but leaving out PSU because ratings/$ = laughable. HUGE national brand." CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd: "Let’s cut the crap. For third year in a row CFP committee got it pretty much right." NBCSN's Ross Tucker: "The winner of CFP should play winner of Rose Bowl to determine who the best team in the country is RIGHT NOW." ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach: "Conference titles must not mean as much. 48 of the 58 coaches who voted in the final coaches poll left Penn State out of the top four." SI's Stewart Mandel: "People want a one-size-fits-all selection method, but there's no uniformity from conference to conference, and every season is different." Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski: "Be careful, CFP committee voters. Jill Stein is on alert" (TWITTER.com, 12/4).
Headline roundup: FOXSPORTS.com: "Here's Why Penn State Was Left Out Of The College Football Playoff." PHILLY.com: "Penn State Just Misses Out On College Football Playoff." MLIVE.com: "Michigan's No. 6 In The Final CFP Rankings, Orange Bowl Likely." NEWSOK.com: "Hocutt: Defense Kept OU Football Out Of Playoff Discussion."
Meanwhile, Penn State fans booed Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany last night following a win over Wisconsin in the conference's title game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Delany said, "I don't know why they booed. I don't know what that was for. Just fans being fans. It's cool – all good." PSU fans "booed because Delany didn't make a case for Penn State on national television while supporting Ohio State" for a spot in the CFP. Delany: "We wanted the human element in this process and regardless of what happens, I'll be supportive of the outcome" (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/4).