The Iowa Hawkeyes Are Perfect, But That’s Not Good Enough
I realize that at this point in the season, any kind of debate over the College Football Playoff standings is the polemic equivalent of taking a Louisville Slugger to a field of scarecrows. But something happened this week that I think is worth noting, because it gets at one of the underlying sets of criteria the playoff committee faces moving forward into this new era.
What took place involved a national sports-radio host, a football coach and a state best known for being overrun by pandering politicians and ethanol; what happened involved the University of Iowa, which has somehow gone undefeated so far this season and was the playoff committee’s No. 5 team this week.
That ranking did not sit well with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, and I know it is Cowherd’s job to articulate those things that do not sit well with him (I happen to think he does it in a far more entertaining fashion than most sports-radio yakkers, but to each his own), but in this case, there are legitimate reasons for that ranking not to sit well. If I were somehow kidnapped by a rogue sports-wagering gang and forced to bet my life savings on whether Iowa will finish this season undefeated, I might call their bluff. I have no faith in Iowa, but I still find Cowherd’s primary rationale to be based in the kind of subjective dung that made college football’s rankings so utterly frustrating for the past, oh, hundred years or so.
I won’t give you the entire diatribe, but here’s part of what Cowherd said, according to The Gazette‘s Mike Hlas: “These Iowa fans – ‘Well, what’s the difference between Iowa and Ohio State, I don’t see any difference.’ Really? Ohio State won a national title. Eighty percent of their starters return, including both quarterbacks. I know who they are. They have a proven track record and the best coach. I’m going to give them, as an undefeated team, the benefit over you as an undefeated team.”
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