ESPN panel reaction relatively mild in final release of College Football Playoff rankings
Over the past few weeks, we’ve grown accustomed to the ESPN analysts arguing over which teams deserved the four spots in the College Football Playoff.
When the final rankings were released on Sunday, though, the reactions were relatively mild. For the most part, David Pollack, Joey Galloway, Danny Kanell and Kirk Herbstreit, appeared to be fine with the fact that Ohio State and Washington claimed the final two spots over Penn State – which claimed the B1G title on Saturday night.
Most of the debate stemmed prior to the release of the rankings.
Before we knew who would compete for the national title, the panel discussed who they would put in the final spot, assuming Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State had bids locked up.
Pollack gave kudos to the Huskies:
I would take Washington. What I’ve seen from Washington, I like. This is a talented team.
Galloway liked the B1G champs:
I would take Penn State and it’s because of the strength of the B1G. This team won the East. This team beat Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Kanell was the only one who didn’t think the Buckeyes deserved a bid and liked both Pollack and Galloway’s picks:
I would take Washington and I’d take Penn State. – Kanell
When the top six teams were released, everyone seemed content with the decision by the committee. Joey Galloway agreed with how the rankings fell:
This makes sense to move Penn State to No. 5 and Michigan to No. 6. I’m absolutely fine with Washington being No. 4 and Penn State at No. 5.
Herbstreit mentioned that he thought Ohio State’s tough road test early in the season against Oklahoma trumped the fact that the Buckeyes ended their season without a division or conference title:
The only reason Ohio State is in because of the road win against Oklahoma. I don’t know if there’s a message being sent one way or another.
Danny Kanell, the only one with much of a problem putting Ohio State over Penn State, said there was an inherit bias in this decision:
Put Penn State and Ohio State and flip the uniforms, I think there’s no discussion.
After everyone pitched in their two cents, Herbstreit reminded everyone on the panel and everyone at home that, even though Penn State is disappointed, the Rose Bowl is a pretty good consolation prize for the Nittany Lions:
Penn State is going to load of the plane to travel to Pasadena. James Franklin’s not going to have to go ‘I’m sorry, guys.’ – Herbstreit
There was very little discussion for Michigan, which beat Penn State 49-10 but lost two of its final three games of the season.
All panelists believed they could make an argument for a couple different teams to claim that final spot in the four-team playoff, but ultimately, everyone believed this is a pretty good field. Many said throughout the show “there is no wrong answer.”
Now, we just have a few weeks before the real fun begins.