Oklahoma football: Hot takes aside, CFP got it right

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02: The Oklahoma Sooners pose for a team photo after winning the Big 12 Championship against the TCU Horned Frogs 41-17 at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02: The Oklahoma Sooners pose for a team photo after winning the Big 12 Championship against the TCU Horned Frogs 41-17 at AT /

Wins and losses still matter, at least for now, in college football, and the 2018 Oklahoma football season is a shining example of that expression.

Pundits and talking heads spent most of Saturday night and Sunday morning debating whether Oklahoma, Ohio State or Georgia belonged in the final spot for the College Football Playoff.

The Sooners – who seemed positioned by most to take over the final spot in the CFP after winning their conference championship, avenging their only loss and vanquishing their Texas 39-27 all in one day – were resisted by many in the national media as being too one-dementional to get into the postseason.

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Georgia, on the back of a 35-28 loss to No. 1 Alabama in which the Dawgs led until just 64 seconds remained on the clock, had somehow seized the storylines and rode a wave of national momentum from people like Kirk Herbstreit, who inexplicably thought the Bulldogs deserved to move up a spot because of the defeat.

There were others, like ESPN pundit (and Georgia alumnus) David Pollock and SEC apologist Paul Fienbaum, who were stumping for the Bulldogs to remain at No. 4 after the defeat.

Yes, Georgia looked good in the loss to Alabama. The Dawgs gave the Crimson Tide all it wanted and then some as the No. 1 team in the country had to turn to backup quarterback Jalen Hurts to pull their chestnuts out of the fire in in the second half.

But there are some big problems in this narrative. This is the same Georgia team that lost by 20 points to LSU earlier this year. It’s a Georgia team that played Appalachian State, Middle Tennessee State, Samford and Georgia Tech for non-conference opponents. The biggest wins on their resume are over an overrated Florida team and Kentucky (the same Kentucky that lost by 17 to Tennessee yet remains ranked in the top 15 for some reason).

The Sooners, on the other hand, beat every team  on their schedule, won a conference championship by double digits against a rival top-20 opponent in Texas and finished with just one loss by three points.

The thought by many was Georgia was a better team than Oklahoma by the eye test, but the eye test can only tell you so much. Oklahoma wasn’t supposed to be a better team than Alabama back in 2013. The Sooners weren’t supposed to be better than Florida State in 2000. They won both of those games by more than one score.

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The day we turn college football into a beauty contest and start ignoring the wins and losses on the  field is the day the sport loses all credibility.