I remember 14 years ago how happy college football fans were to get the BCS system to determine a national championship? We thought, finally a system that will give us the bowl match ups to crown a national champion without relying on a vote. Well, how that work out for ya?
It was just announced there will now be a four team college football playoff to determine the national champion. OK that sounds a little better than the current BS, uh I mean the BCS which has finally run its course. But the obvious question becomes, “how and/or whom will decide which four teams play in the playoff?”
A selection committee will select the four teams which will no doubt create more controversy than we already have now. You can see it unfold on TV, just like the NCAA basketball tournament selection show, where the 5th and 6th teams react in disbelief that they weren’t included.
Most college football fans are ready for a playoff and this may move a step closer but does it go far enough? If fans don’t like it, then we can try to get it right next time in 2025? Are you kidding? Yep, the agreement runs though 2025.
It’s easy for me to imagine many teams, coaches, and fans unhappy with this system by next year.
Last year USC and Oregon were the 5th and 6th teams at the end of the regular season however Oregon managed to finish ranked 4th in the final AP poll. USC and Oregon were good enough to be included in the national title picture. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to tell them they had no chance to win the title.
“Preserve the Regular Season”
Why not a more fair 16 team playoff? Well the college football gods say that we must preserve the importance of every single regular season game. They argue having a large post season tournament, would risk diminishing the value of the regular season games.
All I can say is, let’s just see if it does. Currently regular season games tend to carry significant importance, I will concede. But the bowl games are a frickin’ joke so what a trade off.
Having an exciting post season tournament that allows for a “Cinderella” team while crowning a deserving national champion is worth risking less important regular season games.
Four team playoff a step in the right direction? Maybe, but it just goes far enough to make us realize what we are missing.
Ultimately, I think conferences should be smaller and all conference champs should enter the tournament. Having a higher seed or home game could be incentive enough to make regular season games meaningful.
A vote to pick the 4 playoff teams? What could possibly go wrong?