How Alabama does not make the CFP

In my continuing quest to manipulate big data, college football has proven to be the most entertaining experiment. The nature of the “College Football Playoff selection committee” division is chaos.

The one constant has been the Alabama Crimson Tide. Last weekend, they lost at the most inopportune of times.

How the College Football Playoff selection committee could leave Alabama out

If you surveyed a cross section of semi knowledgeable college football fans, chances are they would agree Alabama is one of the 4 best teams. I would agree. However they might not get in the playoff… In big time college football it is just as important when you lose as it is to whom. Losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl may prove to be the worst time Alabama could have lost all year. You could make a case that losing to Cupcake U would be just as damaging, and you wouldn’t be wrong, exactly.

Since the Auburn Tigers (War Eagle?) beat ‘Bama, they win the SEC West. This means that they will play a re-match against Georgia to determine the SEC Champ. ‘Bama is done until bowl season. Either Georgia or Auburn will get in the Playoff with a win. That leaves 3 spots.

One loss Clemson plays a one loss Miami for the ACC Championship. If those Tigers win, they are in. If a one win Miami team wins the ACC convincingly, there is a roughly 3/4 chance they make the playoff. This leaves 2 spots.

If Wisconsin beats Ohio State and finishes as the undefeated Big 10 champs, they are in. That would leave one spot and Oklahoma winning the Big 12 would punch that ticket. Alabama relegated to a ( meaningless ) New Years Day bowl. Even a Big 10 champ Ohio State is a statistical toss up against Alabama for that last playoff spot.

How Alabama Makes the College Fottball Playoff

What Alabama needs is an Oklahoma loss. If underdog TCU ( about a 1 in 3 shot ) can beat boomer sooner, I can’t figure out a way Alabama does not get in. The craziest final 4 I can come up with right now, that is statistically likely, is:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Auburn
  3. Miami
  4. Ohio State


    1. Lol, maybe so, maybe so, but I can spell ( not to mention smell ) dumb…

      Additionally my analysis is based on math, yours is based on generations of inbreeding in the heart of Dixie.

      Thanks for playing!

  1. Hi – great article.

    I am very interested in how you came up with the stats, you know the percentages in your post. Keep posting this is different than anything published I have read anyway.

    1. Hey Andy, thanks for the kind words. I have been experimenting with large data sets lately as I learn Python and how modern cloud databases work. Football has become my focus, and lately college football. It is so unpredictable that the data is very interesting to me.

      My percentages are based on my own code/data, my own insights etc. and represent nothing more than that 🙂 I have to say though that my program is really good at predicting what the CFP playoff committee is gonna do 🙂

    1. Hey Milla – yep, as predicted Wisconsin could not close the deal. If they had’of Alabama woulda been on the outside looking in. As I speculated it was about a toss up between a Big 10 champ Ohio State and a “not even champion of the state of Alabama” Crimson Tide team.

      The committee went with the team that couldn’t even win their state 🙂

    1. I understand the sentiment Jane. Hopefully Clemson will blow them out; regardless I think that either Georgia or Oklahoma will if Clemson can’t.

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