January 02, 2018

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 7 comments

UCF has completed an undefeated season by beating Auburn. Auburn beat both of the teams that will be playing in the big-money schools championship.

The winner of the money-game will be declared the CFP Champion.

UCF is the clear National Champion.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:20 PM on January 02

We can only hope that the exclusion of undefeated UCF as well as the Big Ten (which was generally agreed as the strongest conference and backed it up with a 7-1 bowl record, including 3 New Year's 6 wins) increases the pressure for an expanded playoff. Regardless, good on UCF for an incredible turnaround from winless two years ago to undefeated today!

I'm an Ohio State alum I probably would have made the same decision that the CFP committee made a month ago, but it's a shame they could only pick 4 teams. Naturally, there will always be arguments at the cut line, but expanding the field to 8 gets us a lot closer to settling things on the field rather than making subjective decisions of how we thing teams who didn't play each other would fare in hypothetical matchups. Now, my preferred solution would be that we make room for the quarterfinal round by eliminating conference championship games (and particularly their rematch potential), but I feel that's pretty unlikely.

posted by bender at 12:40 PM on January 02

I had been thinking about UCF - what they accomplished was extra remarkable because of the coaching transition.

I realize that Scott Frost got to coach the team in the bowl game (whish is a bit unusual), but still, they did have to name an interim coach when Frost left for Nebraska, and there is a certain amount of upheaval and loss of continuity no matter what.

If they had beaten Auburn without Frost's presence, that would have been off the charts.

I don't know about the new coaching hire. I think they could have done better, but we shall see.

Good luck to top teams in other parts of the country recruiting Florida talent. There are now six significant programs at Florida schools, including FAU, USF, and UCF, and there might not be a lot of top players heading out of state.

Speaking of recruiting, Saban better beat Georgia while he can. The Dawgs have got a lights out recruiting class lined up for 2018. Any Gator fan going to the Fla-Ga game next fall better bring prayer beads.

posted by beaverboard at 02:13 PM on January 02

Huge money schools will never schedule lesser known schools with good programs and thus are selected on reputation alone.

It made no difference if UCF went undefeated this year. They could go undefeated again next year but with the current selection algorithms have already been eliminated from any chance of competing for the "CFP Championship". Auburn, who UCF just beat, and Mississippi State both lost 4 games this year but are already in the running and likely a lock next year even if they both lose 2 games.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:39 PM on January 02

I'm sorry, but the fact that undefeated Mount Union (2017 Division III champions) doesn't get any respect is quite galling to me. UCF isn't the only undefeated team with a direct line of wins over the two teams playing in the "National Championship Game".

Div III	        Mt Union	beat	M Hardin-Baylor	12 - 0
Div III	        M Hardin-Baylor	beat	Sul Ross	23 - 7
Div III	        Sul Ross	beat	Permian Basin	47 - 22
Div II	        Permian Basin	beat	W New Mexico	41 - 32
Div II	        W New Mexico	beat	Tarleton St	38 - 25
Div II	        Tarleton St	beat	Angelo St	30 - 24
Div II	        Angelo St	beat	McKendree	42 - 2
Div II	        McKendree	beat	Kentucky St	50 - 0
Div II	        Kentucky St	beat	Central St OH	34 - 22
Div II	        Central St OH	beat	Ark Pine Bluff	40 - 35
Div I - FCS	Ark Pine Bluff	beat	Jackson St	34 - 27
Div I - FCS	Jackson St	beat	Alcorn St	7 - 3
Div I - FCS	Alcorn St	beat	Southern Univ	48 - 31
Div I - FCS	Southern Univ	beat	S Carolina St	14 - 8
Div I - FCS	S Carolina St	beat	Hampton	33 - 15
Div I - FCS	 Hampton	beat	Howard	20 - 17
Div I - FCS	  Howard	beat	UNLV	43 - 40
Div I - FBS	    UNLV	beat	Idaho	44 - 16
Div I - FBS	   Idaho	beat	South Alabama	29 - 23
Div I - FBS	  South Alabama	beat	Troy	19 - 8
Div I - FBS	    Troy	beat	LSU	24 - 21
Div I - FBS	     LSU	beat	Auburn	27 - 23
Div I - FBS	   Auburn	beat	Georgia	40 - 17
Div I - FBS	   Auburn	beat	Alabama	26 - 14

posted by grum@work at 04:50 PM on January 02

Interesting .. and I get your angle ... BUT

Mount Union actually was allowed to compete for the National Championship of the league they played in based upon their on field performance. Not because of the conference they are in or how much gate or merchandise revenue they haul in.

DivIII has 32 teams playing for the championship. No doubt there are probably a few non-merit based berths each year but the entire format is not bastardized like CFP is.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:34 PM on January 02

It seems UCF will be raising a title banner and throwing a parade at Disney World. Good for them!

posted by bender at 09:53 PM on January 03

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