Creating Their Own Controversy: How the College Football Playoff Messed Up

The teams are not yet announced.  And yet, the College Football Playoff [sic] has already messed up.

Moving from two teams to four teams was the right move.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have not felt compelled to watch as much college football this year as i have in years past…and i LOVE college football.  The notion that a playoff of any kind would make the regular season matter less and turn people away is absurd.  In most years, Baylor would not even be up for discussion.  Maybe a few disgruntled Bears fans, but the BCS would be about Florida State and either Alabama or Oregon.  And, despite the fact that people would not like it, everyone knows those would be the three teams in discussion.

But, with four spots open, games became more intriguing.  Seriously, how fun was it to watch everything unfold since Friday night [despite the blowouts]?  As stated before, games matter.  Previously, yes games matter but when those games occurred mattered more.  Results in November — win or loss — carried a lot  more weight under the BCS system than results in September.  Why?  Because the BCS took the polls at face value, and the polls were based on the previous week’s results rather than a culmination of the season to that point.  It was severely flawed.

But the College Football Playoff figured it out.  They stated that they were going to re-rank teams every week.  It is what many wanted, even if they did not realize it.  This way, every game matter including the previous week’s results; including Thursday nighters in September.  And hopefully when the Committee emerges, they stick to that and do not allow yesterday’s results tip the iceberg too much.

Yes, Ohio State’s win was impressive; perhaps one of the most impressive of the year.  But what about the fact that they faced six defenses that ranked 90th or worse and six offenses that were 100th or worse?  And that Virginia Tech loss?  Horrible.

Or that Oregon, despite having to battle against some high-powered offenses, also face the 104th [twice], 113th, and 124th ranked defenses?

Or that Alabama is ranked 60th in pass defense despite not facing many prolific passing attacks?  And, they can’t seem to cover the long ball!

Or the entire Baylor-TCU debate, where both faced mediocre defenses and though the Bears beat TCU, in comparison the Bears loss to West Virginia was worse than the Horned Frogs’ loss at Baylor.

Hopefully all of that is taken into consideration.  But one thing that the CFP never really considered…

Power Five.

Four Slots.

The entire purpose was to move away from the controversy of leaving deserving teams out.  And yet, the system set up to replace the detested BCS simply multiplied that controversy in its inherent structure.

Forget the fact that there is no set criteria like in the other real playoffs in the NCAA, where conference champs get automatic bids.  That there are five conferences that are being considered for four spots means that even if we take the conference champs only, one conference is going to be left out.

Hell, since the Big XII decided to change its own rules, it is possible that if Ohio State gets in then TWO conference champions will be left out!  Actually, because of the co-champion, two champs are likely to be left out anyway.

Now, we can pile on here that it is possible for non-champs to get in meaning that it is conceivable that three conference champions are left out!  Think about that.

It is crazy to consider that we moved from the BCS to get away controversy only to have controversy follow us like a lost puppy.  It is crazier to think that whatever decision is made is going to be more controversial because of the fact that more teams are being affected and “left out.”  Again, in the BCS era, we are typically only talking about three teams at most.

This year?  Yes, it appears three are safely in.  But really, we could even debate the merits of Alabama, Oregon, and yes even Florida State.  Add to that Baylor, Ohio State, and TCU and we are left an exponentially greater controversy because the net of debate is cast wider.

The CFP is a step in the right direction and one that many anti-BCS’ers have been pining for — at least an And-One system.  But, by not have a set of criteria to go by and by inventing the Power 5 conferences to compete for only four spots, we are left with more controversy.

Imagine that…a world where the BCS is actually less controversial.


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