It's been nine years since the last time the BCS rankings determined who played for the college football national championship. Ironically, Gus Malzahn was involved in that game where his Auburn Tigers lost to Florida State 34-31, coached by Jimbo Fisher in the 2014 Rose Bowl.
The BCS was the model used to give us the 1 vs 2 matchup. Aside from two voting polls, the BCS used six different computer rankings in the formula.
Well, four of those computer rankings may determine who plays in the AAC conference title game.
UCF controlled its own destiny to host the title game and a trip to the Cotton Bowl had they won out. The Knights were upset by Navy on Saturday and now may need some computer magic to get to the league's championship game.
Tulane and Cincinnati are both 6-1 in the league and play at Cincinnati this week. The winner will host the title game. If UCF wins at South Florida and Houston beats Tulsa at home then the AAC will have three teams at 6-2 and that's where it all gets interesting.
The American did away with divisions and the three teams that would be tied did not all play each other. So the conference tiebreakers involve the College Football Playoff Rankings and, if needed, four computer rankings that were used in the BCS to determine who gets to play for the title.
If the Tulane-Cincinnati loser remains in the College Football Playoff rankings and UCF and Houston are not in that list of teams, then it would be a rematch between the Green Wave and Bearcats. If UCF and Houston can win and get into those rankings and move ahead of Tulane or be ranked if the Green Wave are not, then that team would get into the title game.
But if no other AAC team is ranked by the playoff committee, other than the winner of Tulane-Cincinnati, the tiebreaker becomes the average computer ranking of the three tied teams from the following computer rankings: Anderson & Hester, Billingsley, Colley Matrix and Wolfe.
Heading into this week Cincinnati/Tulane sit ahead of UCF and then Houston in those rankings. There is a very good chance the loser of Tulane-Cincinnati would remain ahead of UCF and Houston when it comes to the average of the four computer rankings because the strength of schedule favors those two teams because of who UCF and Houston play.
The best case scenario for UCF is to have Tulsa beat Houston on Saturday and the Knights beat South Florida. If that happens, UCF would make the title game because they own the tiebreaker because of wins over Cincinnati and Tulane.
It's also worth noting that even if UCF gets into the title game and wins, they are not guaranteed a spot in the Cotton Bowl. The slot goes to the highest ranked Group of 5 champion. The Sun Belt has three teams- Coastal Carolina, Troy and South Alabama- that may be ranked higher after their title game than a 10-3 UCF team. It's a much different scenario than UCF had before losing to Navy, where the path was clear...
The Gators lost at Vandy a week after rolling South Carolina, who then put up 63 on Tennessee to beat the Vols at home. That's college football in 2022. Now at 6-5, Florida travels to Tallahassee to face FSU this week and some air has come out of the Gators' sail with this loss. But the future may be bright as Billy Napier appears headed to a top-10 recruiting class.
But these days it's more than just hitting the road and convincing players to come play for you at your school. In the NIL/Pay-for-play world it's about anything and everything. It's about cash and cars?
First, Florida is doing what everyone else is doing in acquiring talent. These days every big brand has a collective that has raised, or asking fans for, millions. No one cares if any business is connected to any deal, just as long as players choose to come to your school.
Recently, high school quarterback Jaden Rashada flipped his commitment from Miami to Florida after originally picking the Canes over the Gators. It was a surprising move since most felt Rashada was solid to Miami. But as the Wall Street Journal reports, things changed after a November 9th tweet from Hugh Hathcock. Hathcock heads up the Gator Guard which is funded by some of the Gators' biggest donors. In his tweet Hatchock said :"Tomorrow will be a Great Day Gator Fans." The next day he tweeted "All Good! Just a little longer." Then on November 11th Rashada tweeted he was decommitting from Miami and headed to Gainesville. He posted a 43-second video announcing his decision while posing with a royal blue Lamborghini. Care to guess who owns that Lamborghini? That would be Hugh Hathcock, who says he loaned the car to the program back in the summer to use as a prop for recruiting visits.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Hathcock says hadn't spoken to Rashada, if he did it would violate NCAA rules. Who is enforcing those rules is another story. Rashada may have felt the rebuild at Miami is more challenging and that Florida might be closer. Or maybe Billy Napier knows Anthony Richardson is leaving for the NFL. Or maybe Rashada likes posing next to Lamborghinis, but Miami has a very nice dealership not far from the Canes' campus. Or maybe Florida ponied up. Either way, the business of recruiting in college football is high roller baby!...
Florida State is 8-3 and with a win over Florida has a chance for a 10-win season. Here is something to think about: FSU would be a team under consideration for an at-large berth if we had the 12-team playoff this season. The Seminoles will likely be around 15th or 16th in tomorrow's College Football Playoff rankings. The analytics used by the committee actually have FSU metrics near the top 10 in some key areas. They would have a resume that could hold up compared to other 9-3 teams, with wins over LSU, Louisville and potentially Florida. I am not saying they would get in, but if we had a 12-team playoff, this week's game would have some added juice indeed...
Nuggets: Miami had 98 yards on 48 plays at Clemson...Texas A&M did not have 90,000 fans at their game at UMass despite the school saying they did...Tennessee looks to be the first team to be ranked first in a College Football Playoff ranking and not make the playoff...Still convinced Georgia is a playoff lock if Ohio State/Michigan winner wins out, TCU wins out and USC and LSU win out. The Big Ten champ and TCU would be the only undefeated teams and USC's resume would be every bit as good as Georgia's and LSU would be the SEC champ...Yes, Illinois coach Bret Bielema has a grip about a no pass interference call to set up the Michigan game winning kick. Would a conference protect a team with a chance to win the conference and national title? Yes. Yes they would...
Final note: 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving