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A College Football Playoff?

June 8, 2012 - Al Stephenson
Some time this month the announcement is likely to be made. For those college football fans that have been clamoring for a playoff system, your prayers are about to be answered. The talking heads are to meet three times in the next couple of weeks and the long awaited playoff for Division I college football teams is, according to most reports, to become reality.

Are there some issues to be decided? You bet. The two major stumbling blocks are 1) how many teams will make the playoff, and 2) how will these teams be determined? It appears 4 has become the answer to the first question. The debate rages on concerning the second. Here's my take on a playoff.

The number of teams will never be enough. If you pick the top 4, the school ranked fifth will have a good argument against exclusion. Of course that will also be true if you take 8 teams. You know #9 will feel slighted. In basketball the number of teams now stands at 68 and we still complain that someone was overlooked.

As for how to determine the four best teams, well there is no foolproof system for that either. Do you use the BCS ratings system, or a group of former coaches such as Bobby Bowden, John Cooper et al. It doesn't really matter as you can bet there will be controversy no matter who or what picks the teams. Add to the mix that some folks (the Big 10 Conference for example) want to make a conference championship a requirement and you may get more complaining than you already have with the BCS.

If you want to take the four best teams in the country, then you have to drop the conference champion concept. The SEC has dominated the sport in recent years. Quick now - name the last school to win the national title that wasn't from the SEC. If you said the Texas Longhorns in 2005 consider yourself a true college football fan. The fact is that if you take the top 4 teams in the country, more than one school could surely come from the same conference.

Stay tuned folks. The announcement will happen soon. The view from my seat suggests that there will be flaws in whatever playoff system is announced because a perfect system is not possible. Will this flawed playoff be better than the current system? Probably. Will it satisfy everyone? No chance.

But will we really be happy if we don't have something to complain about?

 
 

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