Is anyone else as sick and tired of settling for better as an answer to a flawed problem. Well this is better than we had, sometimes that’s not good enough. And what we’re left with is something that is better but not what we deserve. We deserve right, we deserve complete, especially when complete and right are staring at us in the mirror. At the end of the year in the days of the BCS teams, fans, Universities, coaches were often left believing they could have done more. Believing that they could have or should have been given the opportunity to play for something more. Luckily this year two more fan bases and teams will be able to answer that question on the field, but what about the team sitting in that number 5 position. Poised to be there are one of these teams; TCU, Baylor, Ohio State, Mississippi State or Ole’ Miss. Do you really believe these teams won’t both believe and have legitimate argument that they’re as likely to knock off number 1 than any of the others?
But we’re a few weeks away from the first College Football Playoff seeding being announced! Being a sports fan, and a huge college football fan I should be excited right? Well pardon my apathy. Can you imagine a scenario where March Madness was reduced to 1 game? Or two? Can you imagine The 2007-2008 NFL season being the 16-0 Patriots facing off against the NFC’s best team, the Cowboys? That’s right the same Cowboys that lost to the Giants who eventually knocked off Brady and the Pats in one of the most dramatic and incredible Super Bowls ever? Can you imagine the scenario where this year the Nationals faced off against the Angels for the World Series, where the Royals game against Oakland dubbed by many nationally as “The Best Game they ever saw?”
None of us can, and that’s why this is a problem. There’s a template for how to do this, hell you could even do it and preserve the history of bowls. The Big 10 gives out trophies seemingly every week, so let the bowls continue, but let the real playoff begin! The “greatest” argument against this is; “We have to remember that these are student athletes and that studies are the most important thing.” Ok, NCAA…aren’t the athletes in your Division 2 and Division 3 also student athletes? Why do you run a tournament for them? The reason they haven’t answered this is there is no answer.
The other problem with these systems is there isn’t a clear path to a playoff spot. It’s determined using a system of formulas including strength of schedule, which is impacted by the human polls used to determine a teams rank. You think the first sets of college football playoff schedules are fair, they’re getting them right? Do me a favor pick up a Marshall Thundering Herd cap, put it on, and pretend you’re a fan. You’re a fan of the 10-0 Marshall team that currently sits at number 18 in both the AP and Coaches Poll, sits at 23 in the ESPN power ranking. Check the current playoff top 25, you’ll notice they’ve been left off. How good is Marshall? Honestly I have absolutely no idea, I doubt you do either, I’m not sure when the last time I even ignored them being on TV, so how much Baylor honestly has the playoff committee seen. How good or bad are they? All they’ve done is beat every team they’ve faced by an average of 30.8. Their closest win, week 1 a 15 point victory over Miami of Ohio. How does a team like this recruit if players no, they don’t have a legitimate chance to go to the playoffs? Why would a power conference play against Marshall? It won’t be viewed as a quality win and all it can do is hurt them if they play them close or lose to them they’ll surely be unable to crawl their way back up to the playoff discussion. The controversies from the BCS era still sting fan bases in Eugene, Salt Lake City, Auburn and Columbus just to name a few, so does this solve this issue, or simply shift it from the 3 spot to the five.
It’s impossible to ignore the drama that is the NCAA football season with the status quo. Every week acting as potential elimination rounds.; and while that’s true it doesn’t change the fact that at the end of the day there seems to be about 10 or 12 teams that could legitimately defeat the teams above them and that have taken a very similar, very difficult path only to be decided out by percentages so far past the decimal that they’d be rounded off by most calculators. We’ve moved from an era of chaos to chaos supersized because honestly the difference between 2 and 3 was minute, the difference between 4 and 5 isn’t obvious to most naked eyes. So while the selection committee can keep throwing their shoulders out patting themselves on the back and believe they’ve duped the American public into believing they’ve fixed the NCAA post season. We know why we watch sports, to cheer for the teams that deserve a shot. The Boise States, the New York Football Giants, Connecticut, how about one of the other really good Super Bowls of recent history the Cardinals losing to Pittsburgh…but they had a chance. Until you give all of the teams a path to actually sit at the table and play, this isn’t any more fair than the last scenario. So is it really better?