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College Football Playoff Top Four Selection: 2014 Edition

football-playerWell ladies and gents, we finally made it! The much anticipated 2014 football playoff final rankings have been released and this years’ top four teams are: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State.

Florida State Seminoles (#3) will face off against Oregon Ducks (#2) in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day at 5 ET, while the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide will tackle the Buckeyes that same day in the Sugar Bowl at 8:30pm. The winners of each semifinal game will advance to the College Football Championship Game to determine this year’s victor.

Under the new College Football Playoff (CFP) system, playoff contenders are determined by a committee of experts who select and rank the teams based on difficulty of season, record, conference and other factors. This new format replaces the old BCS system (1998-2013) whereby computer rankings and polls were used to determine the participants.

Big 12 Gets the Cold Shoulder

Not everyone is a fan of the new system though. Both Big 12 co-champions, Baylor and TCU, didn’t make the final four. The teams will still play in two of the “New Year’s Six” bowls slated for this year (the Cotton and Peach Bowl respectively), but their dreams of playing for a national championship are officially over.

TCU fans were particularly shocked, considering the Horned Frogs were ranked No. 3 in the polls last week. However, despite a sweeping 55-3 victory over Iowa State on Saturday, TCU fell three spots into sixth.

When asked why TCU was left out of the final four, CFP committee chairman Jeff Long answered, “I think once we saw the body of work, it was really about Ohio State’s movement up, their impression and performance on the field that made a difference to the committee to move them up. It was really about Ohio State and not TCU.”

No. 5 Baylor was also snubbed, despite having beaten TCU earlier in the season and the big win over Kansas State Saturday night.

Is Undefeated FSU Underestimated?

In addition to the TCU/Baylor controversy, many Florida State fans are baffled as to why Jimbo Fischer’s impressive undefeated record has only earned the Seminoles a number three spot in the CFP committee’s final four.

Schedule strength, the weak ACC and the Seminoles’ frequent come-from-behind victories are often cited as reasons why FSU has yet to return to the number one spot they held at the beginning of the year.

Regardless of who you root for, one thing we can all be excited about is that there are some great college football matchups in the weeks ahead. Get ready for the big games by purchasing team merchandise online from Big Game’s college football store.

What are your thoughts on the new playoff system and this year’s selections? Let us know in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter!

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