College Football Playoff field set, did they get it right?

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All of the games have been played and the season has wrapped up. Conference champions have been crowned and we’re moving on to bowl season. The College Football Playoff selection committee has spoken, placing the Clemson Tigers against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Capital One Orange Bowl and the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan State Spartans in the Good Year Cotton Bowl. Both games will be played on New Year’s Eve.

The selection committee has been chosen to replace the computer-based system used by the NCAA to place teams in the BCS system for 16 years. The new playoff system showed to be better than the BCS after just one year in place when the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes played for the National Championship, a scenario that would not have played out in the BCS days.

The issues with a committee selecting a four-team playoff from a field of five deserving conference champions—we’re working with just the Power 5 for the sake of argument—are the elements of human error and bias. Last season, fans and pundits argued against Ohio State’s selection saying they were only in “because of a name,” but they proved to be the best team.

This season, playoff contenders fought for their spots on the field and eliminated one another in proper fashion, making the job very easy for the selection committee. Seeds one through three were easy selections for the committee with Clemson, Alabama, and Michigan State finishing the season by winning their conference titles in a 13th game to end the season. Oklahoma’s single blemish on an 11-1 record came by an unsightly loss to a bad Texas Longhorns team. However, these are the same Sooners that finished their season by beating the ranked Baylor Bears, TCU Horned Frogs, and Oklahoma State Cowboys in their final three games.

The Stanford Cardinal have argued for a spot in the playoff because of an 11-2 finish, including four wins over ranked opponents and a Pac-12 Championship. However, the Cardinal dropped two contests against unranked opponents, something none of the playoff teams did.

The selection committee made the easy decision by pitting these four teams against one another in the playoff. No other teams in the nation compiled the resumes that we saw from this group. We’re in for a treat on New Year’s Eve thanks to the group of people who have replaced computers.