The College Football Playoff Committee emerged from its ivory tower with its first Top 25 poll this week. The rankings may raise hackles. Loud thoughts may bubble to the surface. We’re here with a helpful reminder. These rankings are pointless. There is no reason to pay attention to them.
Continuity: Weekly committee rankings have value only for the insight they offer into the final selection. These offer little to none. The committee provides ad hoc justifications as required. The reasoning alters week to week. TCU entered 2014’s final week ranked No. 3. After beating their last opponent 55-3, the committee dropped TCU to No. 6 out of the playoff. Data sets will fill out. Teams will win conference championships. Recency bias will set in. The committee is not taking 11-1 Texas A&M over undefeated Washington when it counts.
Validity: The committee process produces a decision, but not one more sound than any other. This coven of current ADs and former coaches has zero inherent gravitas. They deploy math only to the point it betrays their ignorance of it. The ham-fisted method is almost entirely opaque. The people who concocted the BCS formula decided the solution was old men (and a token woman) pretending to break down game tape.
Promotion: This is just a promotional gimmick. The only reason these rankings exist now is to get fans “talking about the college football playoff.” ESPN has a vested interest in promoting them. We’d accuse the committee of trolling with the Texas A&M pick if we felt they were smart enough to do that deliberately.