Selection Sunday Offers Surprises And Confusion
After an entire season of speculation and number crunching, the picks for the College Football Playoff are done and the future for December and January is a little more clear. Based on name recognition alone this looks like the strongest set of games ever. Furthermore you have four of the best quarterbacks in college football facing each other. Let’s look at the teams and how our our projections fared with our 2019 bowl selection recap.
The Committee Got It Right
Week after week during the season playoff standings were scrutinized by fans and the media. However when the announcement of the final teams happened they put the right four teams in and also got the seeding right.
In the first match up you have top seeded LSU facing number four Oklahoma. Ed Orgeron’s Tigers are trying to become the first number one seed to win since the playoff started in 2014-15. This game features and epic quarterback match up with odds on Heisman favorite Joe Burrow facing Jalen Hurts and the Sooners. Hurts of course is playing in his fourth straight playoff.
Story Line: Jalen Hurts leads Oklahoma to playoff birth and Alabama will be watching! Nobody saw this one coming, but this is why we love sports!
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) December 7, 2019
The other game features a battle of the unbeatens in Clemson and Ohio State. The Tigers come into the game on a 28 game winning streak but are only seeded third. On the other side of the ball the Buckeyes dominated the Big 10 in 2019. However LSU finished ahead of them in the final rankings. Largely due to Ohio State struggling against Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship. Much like the first game the quarterbacks garner most of the headlines. Heisman finalist Justin Fields leads OSU while Trevor Lawrence leads the Tigers.
While this is the second year in a row with three undefeated teams in the playoff, this time feels different. Heading into December 28th you can make a good case for three of the four winning. However Hurts has the experience playing in big games. Can he lead Oklahoma to the title?
Fun With Numbers
Every year the Bowl Challenge Cup goes to the conference with the highest winning percentage. As we get ready for the first games let’s look at the number of teams going bowling from each conference.
ACC- 10 Big 10- 9 SEC- 9 Conference USA- 8 MAC- 7 MWC- 7 Pac 12- 7 Big 12- 6 Sun Belt- 5 Independents- 3
Did you know that since the bowl challenge cup started in 2002-03 season Conference USA and the Mountain West have won the most times with four each? The ACC is second with three titles.
It will be fun tracking the progress of each of the conference as we go through the 40 bowl games counting the championship. Speaking of those games continuing on with our 2019 bowl selection recap let’s grade our own work in picking the teams.
How Were Our Projections?
For the last half of the season Last Word On College Football offered up our projections for all the bowl games. Now that the selections are out the question is “how did we do?” Let’s take a look. As a point of reference here are our final bowl projections.
We nailed both the seeding and the match ups for the College Football Playoff. In addition we correctly predicted all the New Year’s Six games. Out of 40 total games including the Celebration Bowl we got the match-ups completely right for 14 of them. Two more quick stats. Last Word got 43 of the 80 teams in their correct bowl. There were 79 teams for 78 slots in the FBS games and we correctly predicted Toledo would be the team staying home. Not too shabby but leaves room for improvement next season.
Land Of Confusion
Our percentage would have been higher had it not been for some craziness within the Southeastern Conference. Word leaked out Sunday afternoon Kentucky and Indiana would meet in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl, Louisville and Tennessee in the Music City and Mississippi State and Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
However at some point during the process the Volunteers decided they wanted to go to Jacksonville. This led to all sorts of speculation and confusion for a couple of hours. Eventually the SEC switched all three schools with Kentucky going to the Belk, Mississippi State to the Music City and Tennessee to the Taxslayer.
SEC had agreement where Tennessee was in Music City and Kentucky I’m Gator
Tennessee changed its mind this afternoon and made Gator the preference . Because they had same record and Beat UK head to head, deference was given to them by SEC
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 8, 2019
Whatever Tennessee’s reasoning was two of the original games seemed like better match ups. Kentucky and Indiana haven’t played since 2005 despite being bordering states. Because of their short driving distances Louisville and Tennessee would have brought huge crowds to Nashville. However it’s done now and honestly for the Big Blue Nation playing the Hokies is a better game.
As it relates to our projections we had the Music City and Taxslayer Bowls correct before the changes. In addition we had the Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
Thanks for checking out our 2019 bowl selection recap here at Last Word On College Football. Don’t forget we will have previews of all 41 games from the Frisco Bowl to the championship. This also includes the Celebration Bowl as well.