Mississippi State saved us from the College Football Playoff selection committee
When College Football Playoff was born, one of the big selling points was transparency. There would be a committee of credible college football minds, and they, not a secretive algorithm that merged statistics and polling, would select who would play for the national championship, and they’d let everyone know where they stood every week during the final month of the season.
It’d be subjective, but after 15 years of the BCS’ kind of objectivity, such a change was welcomed.
But no matter what the system is, there will always be controversy in college football, and this week’s first College Football Playoff rankings brought plenty of it.
Well, just one big one: why was Texas A&M ranked No. 4 while undefeated Washington sat outside of the bracket?
The committee set the Aggies up to play for a national championship — if Texas A&M won out and Alabama, Clemson, and Michigan all held their ground as well, theoretically, those would be the final four teams.
The chances of that happening were slim, of course, but the path was there.
Thank goodness Mississippi State stepped in and ended the controversy.
The Bulldogs handed the Aggies their second loss of the season on Saturday, effectively ending any realistic title hopes for Texas A&M and sparing us of weeks of controversy and Pac-12 outrage.
Mississippi State did everything it could to hand the game back to Texas A&M late, putting the ball on the ground twice in the final 93 seconds, up by a touchdown, and then giving A&M the ball with 27 remaining. But the Bulldogs were able to intercept Aggie backup quarterback Jake Hubenak the final seconds to seal the game and a 35-28 scoreline.
The game will be defined by two critical injuries to the Aggies — quarterback Trevor Knight injured his shoulder and did not play in the second half while Myles Garrett aggravated his ankle injury — but also Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald’s 391 yards of total offense — 182 coming on the ground.
This is a “what could have been” game for Texas A&M — a tough-luck loss that if there wasn’t a playoff spot on the line, shouldn’t hurt the Aggies' national standing too much.
But a playoff berth was on the line, so it will.
Sometimes, the college football universe bends towards reason.