Last weekend, the Ohio State Buckeyes were named the No. 3 seed in the 2016 College Football Playoff, their second appearance in the three years the playoff has existed.
Fans wasted little time in projecting their rage toward the selection committee and it comes with good reason.
You see, the Buckeyes finished the 2016 regular season 11-1 and ranked second in all three major football polls.
However, thanks to an earlier loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions, Urban Meyer’s squad did not win the Big Ten championship or even the Big Ten East division title for that matter.
Instead, they rode the momentum of beating teams by an average of 31.4 points and a win over bitter rival and then third-ranked Michigan to get into the playoff for a showdown against last year’s runner-up Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
Now fans in the southern part of the country feel the same sting that fans everywhere else felt for nearly the last two decades.
When the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS, came to be in 1998, it was clear that the SEC wanted to impose its dominance from the beginning and that happened with Tennessee going 13-0 and winning the national title over Florida State.
In the years that followed, an SEC team either played for or won the title nine times, including an eight-year stretch from 2006-2013, the final year of the BCS.
During that stretch, there was even a case of two teams from the same division playing for the title as 13-0 LSU faced off against 11-1 Alabama, who the Tigers had defeated earlier in the year.
Now, that may have been a case of no other team being deserving as Oklahoma State, the only other team considered for the spot in the title game, fell to Iowa State in a season-ending upset and were relegated to the Fiesta Bowl. However, it further backs the bias that committees gave to the SEC, which fans of the conference turned a blind eye towards.
Ohio State being selected for the playoff over Penn State, which is ranked fifth and were just left out of the playoff after winning the conference title over Wisconsin, may make fans believe this is payback for the years of SEC bias. However, this simply comes down to the Buckeyes being one of the nation’s best teams.
In their 11 wins, the Buckeyes scored 30 points or more nine times and thrice scored at least 62 while holding their opponents to less than two touchdowns.
If that isn’t impressive enough, you have to consider the fact that not one of their opponents came from the FCS, formerly Division I-AA, and 10 of their opponents will play in bowl games beginning later this month.
That isn’t to say what Alabama, the number one team in the country and one of two undefeated teams, has done this year isn’t impressive as they went four straight games without allowing a touchdown down the stretch and also led the country in non-offensive touchdowns scored.
The sting of Ohio State making the College Football Playoff and having a very good chance of claiming their second title in three years won’t go away at all. Unless, of course, they fall to the SEC and then all will be right in the world once again.