In what may be this week’s biggest surprise in the world of College Football, the Playoff Selection Committee has placed the Oregon Ducks, who have one loss, into the #2 spot above the undefeated Florida State Seminoles. The move, which was announced today surprised many, including Oregon fans who hoped to just slide into the #3 spot. As expected, undefeated Mississippi State held on to the #1 spot, while TCU slid into the #4, sparking even more controversy. While much of the football media world debates that one, here’s a quick look at how Oregon was able to move above Florida and why the Committee got it right.
According to their website, the Playoff Selection Committee primarily looks at these criteria when solidifying its rankings:
- Win-loss records
- Strength of schedule
- Conference championships won
- Head-to-head results and results against common opponents.
- Injuries and the potential impact of those injuries on game outcomes.
Considering those criteria, these are the three reasons Oregon took the lead
1. Strength of Wins
Oregon has 3 wins against teams who are still in the top 25. Two of those wins came on the road.
Michigan State (12)
Utah (23) .
Florida State has 2 wins against teams who are still in the top 25
Notre Dame (18)
2. Margin of Victory
Oregon’s wins against ranked teams have been more dominant.
19 against Michigan State
12 against UCLA
24 against Utah
6 against Clemson in overtime
4 against Notre Dame
When Oregon had its one and only loss against Arizona (now ranked #14), it was playing with a very beaten up and pieced together offensive line. The impact of the sidelined starting o-line players was proven when just one, Jake Fisher, returned to the line-up. As has been heavily discussed, in his absence, Mariota was sacked 12 times in just two games. When Fisher has been in, Mariota has been sacked a total of 11 times over the course of all the other 8 games.
Despite Florida State being undefeated, when taking these three factors into consideration, it appears the committee definitely got this one right. That being said, the committee Chair, Jeff Long, said,
“They’re very, very close — it’s very thin, we probably spent more time discussing those teams plus TCU and Alabama.”
With Oregon in the middle of a bye week, fans should savor the moment. It might not last long. Then again, it just might.
Follow Oregon Writer, Nichole Brown on Twitter @UOgridirongirl