Aresco: CFP ratings disrespect AAC strength
Mike Aresco is trying to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with family at home. However, the American Athletic Conference commissioner is having a hard time enjoying himself because he’s angry and agitated.
Aresco hasn’t been happy since Tuesday night when the latest College Football Playoff rankings were released. Memphis and Cincinnati did not move up even though both were coming off impressive victories.
Navy was left out of the rankings despite upsetting SMU, which was No. 25 in the previous College Football Playoff poll. The Midshipmen boast an 8-2 record entering Saturday night’s American Athletic Conference regular season finale at Houston.
“Navy absolutely should have been in this week’s rankings and the fact it wasn’t is very disturbing,” Aresco told on Wednesday. “Navy beats a really good SMU team that was ranked and gets no credit whatsoever for doing so.”
Aresco is growing more and more concerned about what he considers “a double-standard” in terms of how the CFP committee evaluates programs from the self-proclaimed Power Five conferences and those from the so-called Group of Five.
Power Five schools with three and four losses are No. 21 through 24 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.
“All the P5 teams get the benefit of the doubt even when they have two, three and four losses,” Aresco said. “You have a Virginia Tech team with three losses that doesn’t have any quality wins and was beaten badly by Duke, which is not having a good season. USC doesn’t deserve to be in there with four losses and zero quality wins.”
Meanwhile, Navy was overlooked despite having just two losses, both of which came on the road to ranked teams. Navy lost at No. 18 Memphis 35-23 on Sept. 26 and was beaten soundly by No. 16 Notre Dame, 52-20, on Nov. 16.
Aresco does not understand why Navy’s subsequent 35-28 upset of No. 25 SMU did not resonate with the committee.
“There is no way that Navy should not be ranked considering its body of work this season,” Aresco said. “Navy is a very good team that has two road losses to quality opponents, but counters that with a bunch of quality wins. Navy beat Air Force, which is obviously one of the best teams in the Mountain West Conference.
“It’s the same story with Navy that it was previously with SMU, which was ranked way too low when it only had one loss – on the road at Memphis,” Aresco said. “Frankly, it’s the same situation with where Memphis and Cincinnati, which are stuck in the same spot week after week. There is clearly a double standard at work.”
Aresco does not feel the CFP committee is accounting for the various computer rankings that show the American is virtually equal to the Atlantic Coast Conference in all the key categories such as strength of schedule and quality wins. What about the fact the AAC has posted 44 victories over Power Five opponents since 2014?
“I’ve been taking the committee to task on the methodology because our league is really good from top to bottom and we’re not getting credit for it,” Aresco said. “I needed to talk about this because it’s reached a tipping point. We just can’t seem to generate the respect for our conference that has been earned and is deserved.”