College football has their playoff. They also have a huge headache coming in 2014.
For some, this is seen as the answer to all of college football’s problems. It will determine the “true” national champion. All a playoff really does, in the case of the proposed four-team format, is leave the door wide open for a larger debate and personal agendas.
Let me be clear: I am not anti-playoffs in college football. I am anti the way they have presented and decided upon doing it.
Take the case of just this past season. Many around the country stated that the Alabama Crimson Tide shouldn’t have been allowed to play for the title because they didn’t win their division or their conference. to that I say the argument is valid, but you’re assuming that all divisions and conferences are created equal. You’re also assuming that Alabama, whose only loss came to the number one team in the country, was inferior to other teams that won their conference. My question is: where is the data that backs that up?
With so many people up in arms over the issue of college football needing to be more “fair” I can only say to them that if you want fair, work for it. I’m one of the biggest University of Georgia fans out there. My sister writes a well established blog about University’s football team and got her masters degree from the school. So we have ties. But when Georgia loses to South Carolina or Florida or Auburn I don’t complain. Am I upset about it? Yes. Do I gripe when they lose to the biggest teams in their division and don’t get a BCS/Championship shot? Not at all. Why? They didn’t get it done.
That’s what a lot of teams are forgetting in this whole debate. Sources said that among the power conferences the Big Ten was one that had considerable issue with the playoff format and showed displeasure even at the time of the vote. Well they should, because this is a system that will not benefit them. For the simple fact that of the schools in the Big Ten, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin have been the only two relevant in the past decade (spare me the whining Michigan State and Michigan. Takes more than a bounce back year or two to be considered relevant). There will be no more playing Youngstown State, App. State, the UTEP’s and Montana State’s of the world. What they (and this goes for any conference) need to realize is they no longer should be looking for excuses. We’re done with those, the old system didn’t benefit the SEC anymore than your conference. Period.
The benefit of the SEC? They’re better. If anyone should be adamantly against a playoff it is the SEC because they have a point, what if Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU are all top-4? Do we say the system is flawed? Or will someone finally say the SEC might just have two teams that are just the top-four in the country?
On his show Colin Cowherd brought up a great point. He said that the New York Giants entered the final two weeks at 9-7. But everyone knew they had a dominant defense that was rounding into form. Were they not anymore worthy to go the playoffs because of their record? Washington beat them, are the Redskins better than they are? The same applies, I think teams should be allowed to lose ONE game (as he does) during the season and still have a shot. but I don’t think every loss is the same. Stanford got waxed by Oregon and Alabama lost by a field goal, does Stanford have more of a gripe than Alabama? Absolutely not.
Then we get into the Notre Dame/BYU conundrum. BYU’s last national championship was 1984 and they’ve never won a BCS game. Notre Dame hasn’t won a title since the early 90’s and also haven’t won a BCS game. While I get the money aspect of it, I also believe they shouldn’t have a say in this race until they win the games they’re supposed to win. Boise State will be moving to a Big East without West Virginia. This move doesn’t do anything to improve their current situation of playing in the Mountain West or the WAC. They go 11-1 there, it isn’t as credible as an 11-1 in the SEC, ACC, or Big 12. Sorry, I’m not going to ever buy into the argument that Boise State playing Idaho, Hawaii, Reno and Fresno State isn’t a competitive advantage. They win a big game a year and then clamor about respect. Do it every week, its being done. By who? LSU. They played Alabama, Arkansas, Oregon, West Virginia, Oregon, Auburn, and Georgia. It can be done, so prove it.
In the end we have a playoff that everyone wanted. But the only thing it will cause are more debate and gripes.