Panel's playoff picks came down to Washington vs. Penn State

Here's a look at the College Football Playoff, a four-team seeded postseason format which began for the 2014 season and replaced the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

What is problematic, in this playoff era, is the arbitrary dismissal of a league championship earned on the field in determining which teams remain alive to win a national championship. In the inaugural 2014 rankings, two one-loss Big 12 teams, Baylor and TCU, were left wondering what more they could have done to prove they belong in the playoff.

At the end of the day, the one stat that mattered more than any other was the most basic stat of them all: losses.

That said, the Buckeyes lost the head-to-head game against Penn State, and they didn't even win their division, let alone the Big Ten title. Yes they did win the Big-10 Championship I will give you that. Back and forth it went, until Curtis Samuel scored on this dramatic touchdown run in the second overtime period.

If the folks stumping for 8 teams, college football's version of controlled socialism, get their way, they should beware that the novelty and the interest will wear off. It might have been more significant if the non-champion had to play No. 1 Alabama. Ohio State finished fourth nationally in total defense, allowing 282.3 yards per game, and Clemson was ninth at 313.9. The pairings have set up a potential rematch. Clemson has the best Quarterback in the ACC and in the country.

Make no mistake: Penn State should be in the playoff field ahead of Ohio State.

This year, a healthy Barrett led Ohio State to a double-overtime win at home over MI to ultimately lock down the playoff spot.

How can we leave out MI, who thrashed big-ten conference champion Penn State 49-10, beat #8 Colorado, beat #6 Wisconsin and were a yard away from beating #2 Ohio State in Columbus in double overtime? “Everyone wants to criticize on strength of schedule, but that schedule was made long before I ever got here, for sure.”. Personally, I think that the committee made the right choices because I believe that the four teams selected are now the best teams in the nation. The Tide won 21-0.

The Buckeyes and Tigers will face off in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Mayfield, Oklahoma top Oklahoma St. 38-20 to win Big 12
After an ugly first four drives that featured four punts, both teams adjusted to the conditions to find some offensive rhythm. No one expected much of the Cowboys, which was why their come-from-behind win in overtime over the Sooners was so shocking.

Penn State faces No. 9 Southern California in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. on January 2.

Ohio State became the first team in the short history of the CFP not to win its conference championship and land a spot in the four-team field.

Las Vegas installed Alabama as an early 14-point favorite over Washington. Ohio State's J.T Barrett has been good as well he has 2428 yards this season along with 24 touchdowns but he only has a QB rating of 60.9.

The Huskies' only loss was to 10th-ranked Southern California and its nonconference schedule featured FCS Portland State, Rutgers and Idaho. In 2014, both No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 OR had a single loss and were ranked ahead of undefeated Florida State at No. 3. Penn State has wins against Nos. Washington and Clemson were rewarded for not having to play a brutal Big Ten schedule.

The Western Michigan Broncos aim to preserve their ideal season on January 2 when they clash with the Wisconsin Badgers in the Cotton Bowl as 7.5-point underdogs. Unbeaten Western Michigan is likely to be the highest ranked Group of Five champion and get one spot. "I can name six, seven teams right now that are that quality of team", Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. I get that. But in this case, Penn State not only beat Ohio State, it won Ohio State's conference, which is considered by some to be the best conference in the country.

And rounding out the top bowl games this season are MI (-7) vs. Florida State in the Orange Bowl and Auburn vs. Oklahoma (-4.5) in the Sugar Bowl.

- Minnesota faces Washington State in the Holiday Bowl on December 27, but only the Cougars have the pedigree to live up to the bowl's high-scoring tradition.

Loser: Big 12. No semifinalist for the second time in three years because its champion, Oklahoma, was only No. 7 in the final rankings.


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