Do late losses really count more?

Joined: 4:59 PM - Oct 03, 2013

4:33 AM - May 30, 2018 #1

Saban recently said on Finebaum “My issue with the playoff is that if you lose late in the season it has a much greater impact than if you lose early in the season."  A sentiment that I believe I have expressed numerous times myself here.   However, reality does not exactly support that hypothesis as strongly as you would think.  Take for example Saban and Alabama this past season.  In fact, according to CBS sports, of the 13 CFP teams that entered the postseason with a regular-season loss, five of those defeats took place in November including both Alabama and Georgia in 2017 -- both of the participants in the most recent CFP National Championship. That means 38.5 percent of playoff teams have lost in the final month of the regular season.  For perspective teams that lose late in the season are actually more likely to make the CFP than teams that lose in October or September.  What's more, only two of those losses by eventual playoff teams -- Ohio State in 2014 to Virginia Tech and Alabama in 2015 to Ole Miss -- took place in September. 

I found it interesting.  I have always assumed a late loss was worse.  I guess I was wrong.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: 5:39 AM - Aug 10, 2017

5:30 AM - May 30, 2018 #2

I think Bama has it's own rules for getting in the playoffs.  UGA had to make the SEC championship game and avenge their loss to Auburn.  I seriously doubt UGA makes the playoff if they don't play in the championship game and win it.
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