CFB analyst on Clemson at No. 2: 'The bias is out of control'
|2017-11-15 16:09:44.0- -||
Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt isn’t buying the College Football Playoff committee’s latest ranking – and that’s not all that surprising.
Last week, Klatt called out the committee and its television partner ESPN for an SEC bias to the rankings, such as Auburn up at No. 10, which he said, in turn, boosted Clemson into a coveted top-four spot over Oklahoma.
Auburn went on to dominate the poll’s No. 1 Georgia over the weekend, 40-17, but that left Klatt undeterred in his feelings toward the committee’s placement of Clemson at No. 2 this week, two spots ahead of Oklahoma.
“Right now I see inconsistencies. I see straight entertainment benefit,” Klatt said on his tour of FS1 shows Wednesday. “Clemson at (No. 2) ahead of Miami and Oklahoma is laughable. Absolutely laughable. You line up the resumes and they’re not all that close. Clemson has two top-15 wins. Oklahoma has three.
“Oklahoma did two of those on the road. By the way all those wins came by 10 or more points.”
If the Playoff selections were held today, Klatt would have Clemson on the outside-looking in with a top-four of Oklahoma at No. 1 then Alabama, Miami and Wisconsin.
The former Colorado Buffaloes quarterback particularly takes an issue with committee chair Kirby Hocutt’s use of Kelly Bryant’s ankle injury and then absence for much of the Syracuse loss (concussion protocol) factoring into the rankings. He points to Oklahoma missing six starters at points of the Sooners loss to Iowa State.
“Oklahoma lost to a 6-4 Iowa State team, who has four Big 12 wins,” Klatt said. “Meanwhile Syracuse is the team that beat Clemson and they have two ACC wins. It’s not even in the same ballpark as far as the losses. Then they create the excuse that Kelly Bryant was banged up. Like Kelly Bryant is all of a sudden a world-beater. The guy has seven touchdown passes and five interceptions and he’s thrown for 200 yards twice in the last seven games. He’s not that great…
“Go pound sand with your Kelly Bryant had a bum ankle excuse. It’s not an excuse. I don’t trust the committee anymore. The bias is out of control.”
Klatt sees "a mess" ahead for the Playoff Four decision.
"It’s bordering on completely untrustworthy," he said. "That’s a little scary for someone who loves the sport. Lives and breathes the sport. And wants to give the credit for the way they play on the field. This committee right now is laughable with the inconsistencies they are giving us from a week to week basis. The only way you earn trust is through consistency of behavior and we’ve seen zero.
"Right now it’s looking like we’re going to have a mess at the end of the year based on the way teams are playing and the way teams are getting upset. We could have all kinds of scenarios where 8-9-10 teams have a claim to the College Football Playoff."
In ESPN's "strength of record" metric*, Clemson sits one spot behind Oklahoma, where they are 3-4 to Miami then Alabama. ESPN cites Clemson as having the only single-digit strength of schedule ranking among Playoff contenders (3rd), with Oklahoma 13th and Miami next at 21st.
* Per ESPN, it measures the chance an average top 25 team would have the team's record, given the schedule.
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