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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Feldman: What the CFP committee acquired unsuitable in its closing 4-team discipline Specific Occasions

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Subsequent yr, all this Faculty Soccer Playoff arguing can be moot with the CFP increasing to 12 groups. Arguing over Nos. 3, 4 and 5 could be very completely different than 10, 11, 12 and 13. You lose your good thing about the doubt once you lose video games. Even within the SEC.

However this yr remains to be a four-team discipline, and with so many variables factoring into the choice, there’s a lot to dissect. And to state it plainly: the Faculty Soccer Playoff committee acquired it unsuitable. Faculty soccer has, or not less than it used to have — up till proper now — one of the best common season in sports activities as a result of the video games mattered most. Now we have a smaller pattern dimension on this sport than in some other.

To go away out an undefeated 13-0 Florida State group in a Energy 5 convention was the unsuitable determination.

Michigan and Washington, each undefeated with top-10 wins, had been the simple ones. The issue for the Faculty Soccer Playoff committee was that there have been three groups with authentic arguments for the ultimate two slots.

Sorry, Georgia. You didn’t win your convention title, and on this format, that has to depend for one thing.

Alabama and the SEC are the proverbial elephant on this room. Nick Saban is the best coach of all time, and to me, this yr was the best teaching job he’s ever accomplished in-season. His group acquired whipped at dwelling by Texas in Week 2 and didn’t look any higher fighting a middling USF group the next week. However Jalen Milroe saved making huge strides and when it mattered most, he and the Tide made sufficient performs to knock off a Bulldogs group that wasn’t anyplace close to as dominant because it was in its earlier two title seasons.

The issue for Alabama — and the SEC — is the accomplice they’re about to usher in: Texas did beat Alabama convincingly in Tuscaloosa. That occurred, and there was nothing fluky about it.

The Longhorns, 12-1, had been the category of the Massive 12. There wasn’t a second-best group within the Massive 12 this yr, however Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma, the group Texas stumbled towards and, as anticipated, Texas hammered the Cowboys Saturday. Bear in mind, this was an Oklahoma State group that went 9-3 and had misplaced by a mixed rating of 78-10 towards South Alabama and UCF. That wasn’t going to assist Texas’ trigger, however can we simply neglect {that a} week in the past Alabama barely escaped towards an Auburn group that acquired blown out at dwelling the week earlier than by New Mexico State, 31-10?

The larger problem was with Florida State, the 13-0 Seminoles from the ACC. As everyone knows, FSU misplaced star quarterback Jordan Travis two weeks in the past. The Seminoles’ backup Tate Rodemaker, who had led them to a comeback win over Louisville a yr in the past when Travis had gotten damage, didn’t look nice within the regular-season finale at arch-rival Florida. He additionally sustained a concussion.

FSU’s third-stringer, Brock Glenn, had a shaky outing within the ACC Championship Sport, however the protection was dominant. Led by Braden Fiske and Jared Verse, the Seminoles had 14 TFLs and 7 sacks and have become the primary group in 5 years to carry a Jeff Brohm offense below 200 complete yards. Not so coincidentally, that very same FSU protection started the yr by dominating LSU and the SEC’s greatest star, Jayden Daniels, 45-24, and held the SEC and the nation’s No. 1 offense to its worst efficiency of the season.

FSU was the one group that held Daniels below 60 p.c passing in a sport. Daniels ran for nearly 100 yards much less (99) towards the Noles than when he performed the Crimson Tide.

The CFP rankings usually devolve into an argument over “finest” versus “most deserving.” Finest is normally the get-out-of-jail free card at any time when your group loses or has a foul loss that it might probably’t clarify. Much like the nonsense of, “Properly, Vegas would make so-and-so greater than a landing favourite towards them.” Nice. However inform that to Washington. The Huskies had been nearly a double-digit underdog towards Oregon final week, a group they’d already crushed this yr. … Properly, the Huskies beat the Geese once more.

I get it. The SEC has been essentially the most dominant convention in faculty soccer for the previous twenty years. However this yr hasn’t been like these different years if you happen to’ve been paying consideration. It’s merely been a down yr for the SEC. The ACC really went 6-4 towards the SEC this yr. If this was a one-loss FSU group, I’d say the Seminoles didn’t earn their manner in, however they did. Texas shouldn’t have been disregarded both for a group it beat in its personal place.

As colleague David Ubben wrote Saturday night time, the video games should matter. What’s the purpose of taking part in them if we’re going to attempt to rationalize them away?

(High photograph Florida State: John Byrum / Icon Sportswire through Getty Pictures)

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