It’s the start of a brand new year, a time when thoughts naturally turn to resolutions and college football championships. Yes, you read that right! We’re going to take a break from talking about driving simulators to lament the idiotic College Football Playoff (CFP) selection process.
By the time you read this, the entire process might well be over (all except for the bellyaching). I don’t have a dog in the fight this year or I would be bellyaching too. While I do enjoy watching holiday arguments nearly cause heads to explode, listening to the incessant whining of my USC and Ohio State friends about how their team got screwed and deserved to be in the college football playoff, makes my head want to explode.
The way the system currently works is that the committee presumes to know which conference is best over all, and uses this presumption to make its selections. This is a problem because it leaves at least one conference (and this year, two) out of the mix.
And given that there are not enough inter conference games to make a truly educated decision about how good any conference is, and that conference champions get left out if their conference isn’t chosen, means that the champion is not being decided on the field.
This year two SEC teams are in the playoff. But is the SEC the best? Who knows until the end? In the 2016 college football season, the Big 10 was considered the best conference and then promptly laid an egg when playing teams from other conferences (they only won three of the ten bowl games they played in). Furthermore, the Big 10 had four teams in the big six bowl games, yet they only won one.
Aren’t all participants in the CFP institutes of higher learning? A committee selecting four playoff teams is the best these institutes could come up with to replace a system where a committee selected two teams to play?
Let’s forget about money implications, the lame excuse that the players will miss class, and all the other excuses that come up, and look at the simplest way to improve the system and get a true champion. The committee almost had it correct the first time when they selected just two teams. All they needed to fix that system was to add the five power conference champions and the best little guy to the two at large teams the committee selected. Problem solved! An eight-team playoff with all five power conference champions and the best little guy.
Of course, there will be arguments about the two teams that the committee selects, but arguing about CFP teams has become a tradition (and who doesn’t love traditions)? Plus, if you didn’t win your conference, shut up, you had your chance and didn’t get it done. Relying on the committee to select you is a fool’s errand; just win your conference and you are in.
Now, to make it even more fun, let’s also take the eight playoff teams and seed them one through eight. Let number one choose who they want to play from teams five through eight. Let the second seed choose next, and so on. The arguments and speculations that would arise would be spectacular entertainment.
Yes, I know this has nothing to do with driving simulation – but life isn’t always about driving simulation. And until the CFP system is changed, maybe college football fans should stand for the national anthem and then take a knee for the games.