Aresco: CFP rat­ings dis­re­spect AAC strength

Baltimore Sun - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Bill Wag­ner

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.”

The Cap­i­tal

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