TCU and Baylor were deserving and they got left out of the College Football Playoff. That doesn’t mean the system is broken.
The season hadn’t even ended on Saturday evening before the ethos started clamoring for an eight-team playoff. Not one down of playoff football had been played — much less a bracket established — when social media exploded with screaming fans and media members alike opining for an eight-team playoff.
Just stop it.
Life isn’t fair and not everyone deserves a trophy.
The biggest concern when the four-team, bracket-style postseason format was initially announced 18 months ago was the devaluing of the regular season. Everyone was worried the playoff would ruin the excitement of the best regular season in sports.
After one of the most memorable and intense regular seasons in college football history, obviously nothing could have been further from the truth. Entering the final weekend of play, at least seven different teams still had a shot at landing in the national title playoff. Every region of the country was intensely focused on four championship games and one massive showdown in Waco, Texas. It was a perfectly dramatic ending to a perfectly dramatic season.
But you know what would devalue the regular season? Expanding the playoff to eight teams.
Getting into the College Football Playoff should be hard. It should be an extremely exclusive club with secret handshakes and passwords. Someone should feel slighted when the dust settles. After all, not everyone deserves a trophy.
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Had Alabama, Oregon or Florida State lost in their championship game or season-ending rivalry games, all three likely would have still made an eight-team playoff. Where’s the fun in that?
What about No. 7 Arizona?
The Wildcats were ahead of both Michigan State and Mississippi State before losing to Oregon and dropping to No. 10. The Spartans and Bulldogs are quality teams but neither won their respective division and both were on “bye” this weekend. Does Arizona deserve to be knocked out of the playoff because it won its division and had to play an extra game?
The same type of argument could be made for Georgia Tech, Missouri and Wisconsin as well. All three finished with the same record as the MSUs, but the Spartans and Bulldogs belong in an eight-team playoff because they weren't good enough to play in a championship game?
The committee’s final rankings say as much.
What about three rounds worth of neutral-site games? How stupid does that sound?
An easy solution to this problem is to play the first round of games at home sites. But does anyone have any faith in the powers that be making the correct decision instead of gifting playoff games (aka, money) to their buddies who run the bowls?
And, frankly, a better question to ask might be do we want our student athletes playing 17 football games in one season in the first place?
If college football wants to expand, it will happen. The money will be too big to turn down and the inclusive nature will make everyone happy.
I just don’t want college football turned into some middle school field day where everyone gets a ribbon for participating.