Oklahoma Sooners

Penultimate AP Poll Ignores Value Of Conference Championships

Rich DeCray


With the conclusion of college football season, a new national champion has been crowned. The occasion also signals the release of the final set of rankings. Although the AP Poll carries little weight in the current scheme of things, one thing has become apparent — the media places no value on conference championships.

Glancing over the final AP Poll, Oklahoma tumbled following a disappointing loss in the College Football Playoff. Despite the loss coming at the hands of the top ranked and eventual National Champion LSU Tigers, the media saw fit to drop the Sooners an unwarranted three spots.

Placing three non-playoff teams above Oklahoma in the penultimate AP Poll of the 2019 college football season, let’s take a look at each of those resumes.

Georgia Bulldogs

– Suffered a home loss to (4-8 overall) South Carolina
– Ended regular season with one loss
– Suffered 27-point loss to LSU in post-season
– Failed to claim SEC Championship
– Not a Playoff team
– No. 8 in strength of schedule

Oregon Ducks

– Lost season opener to Auburn
– Suffered a road loss to (8-5 overall) Arizona State
– Ended regular season with two losses
– Claimed PAC-12 Championship
– Not a Playoff team
– No. 12 in strength of schedule


– Suffered a road loss to (15-0) LSU
– Suffered home loss to (12-2) Georgia
– Ended regular season with two losses
– Failed to appear in conference championship game
– Not a playoff team
– No. 10 in strength of schedule


– Suffered a road loss to (8-5) Kansas State
– Ended regular season with one loss
– Claimed Big 12 Championship
– A Playoff team
– Suffered 35-point CFP loss to LSU
– No. 14 in strength of schedule

In my opinion, the most comparable teams here are the Oklahoma Sooners and the Georgia Bulldogs while the others should be removed from the equation. Why? The aforementioned duo entered the post season with a single loss during the regular season — a claim Oregon and Florida cannot make. However, a difference maker still exists.

In one hand, you have a conference champion and a college football playoff worthy program in the Oklahoma Sooners. In the other, a team that failed to claim a league title which eventually unraveled the argument for the CFP Committee. Given the strength of schedule of each team, it’s hard to justify lifting one — let alone three — others above Oklahoma in the AP Poll.

Instead of placing value on conference championships, the media has simply let that slide through the cracks. Turning toward the bowl season, it’s clear where the points are gained and lost. Holding the title of gatekeeper, the Texas Longhorns crept into the conversation. At 8-5 overall, it left many scratching their heads. However, Tom Herman remained the only Big 12 coach to secure a win during the bowl games. I guess it counts for something…

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