The Perfect Playoff System
By: JJ Lanier
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Let me start by saying that I have absolutely no issue with Alabama receiving the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoffs.
It’s not so much because I think the Tide deserve to be in the playoffs, but rather because of this lesson I learned at the age of 14; if you don’t want to be left out of something then don’t give them a reason to leave you out.
In this instance, both Alabama and Ohio State gave the committee reasons not to be chosen as that fourth team. Because of that I would’ve been fine with either of those teams making in.
The issue I have isn’t with who made the playoffs, it’s with the system itself. And no, I’m not listening to the Danny Kanell “Everybody is sucking at the SEC teet” greatest hits that he brings out this time of year.
Most everyone was pleased to get rid of the BCS because it didn’t allow for any subjectivity, so now we have a process that is almost completely subjective.
The guidelines with which the committee follows are reminiscent of a Jackson Pollack painting, they just throw whatever criteria they decide to use that particular season and voilà, by the end of the year they have four teams and a playoff.
One of the things I hate the most is that only the Power 5 conferences truly have a shot at making the playoffs. I have no idea how Central Florida would contend with Clemson in a opening round game, but I’m sure nobody gave the Coastal Carolina baseball team a second thought last year, until they won the College World Series.
And please don’t tell me teams like UCF need to schedule better out of conference games either. Did you not hear the all knowing and powerful Nick Saban talk about P5 schools only playing other P5 schools? No legit playoff contender wants to schedule someone like the Knights; if you win you were supposed to; if you lose it could all but end your playoff hopes.
There’s just something wrong with a competition that basically excludes half of participants before it even begins.
They also need to figure out something with conference championships, too. As I mentioned, under the current rules I have no issue with Alabama being in the playoffs.
However, those rules are stupid if a team that didn’t even participate in their conference title game, makes it the final four.
Notice I’m not talking about a team that loses in their conference title game, but rather a team that doesn’t even get there. The fact it’s happened two years in a row makes me trust this process about as much as I’d trust a male politician at a high school prom.
The solution is simple, if you don’t make it to the conference title game you don’t make it to the college football playoffs. I know that can be harsh when you’re looking at a team like Alabama this year, who’s only lost happens to be within the conference, but timing is everything.
You think Georgia’s in the playoffs if they win that first meeting with Auburn, but lose by 23 in the rematch? Possibly, but I doubt it.
Of course, I’ll end up watching all three of the games, which is exactly what the NCAA is counting on. So, they win yet again and it’s likely nothing will change.
Sorry UCF, I really did try my best.