The first playoff teams have been announced! After the top 6 teams from last week all won, the committee had a difficult decision between 6 conference champions in the 5 major conferences (with the TCU/Baylor co-champions in the "One True Champion
" Big 12. Ohio State's shockingly convincing defeat of Wisconsin was enough to jump ahead of TCU and Baylor and allowed the committee to avoid the uncomfortable decision of choosing between Baylor and TCU.
Our ranking system agrees with the committee's selection for the top 4, though in a different order. However, TCU is the last team out for most values of our parameter including the lower values where strength of schedule is more emphasized. Ole Miss, Baylor, and Arizona claim the #5 spot for larger values of our parameter p.
It's interesting to imagine what the BCS would have done this year. What two teams would have made the championship game? Would an undefeated FSU been left out? If not, would Alabama or Oregon get in? Though we cannot be sure since the Harris Interactive Poll no longer exists, a simulated BCS
ranks Alabama and FSU as the top 2. While it's great to have the top 4 instead of 2, we are again reminded that someone will always be left out.
It certainly will be exciting to see these 4 conference champions battle for the national championship on the field in January!