THE PLAYOFFS ARE SET
The Committee has spoken. The top four teams in the country have been selected and the pairings have been determined. Not every player, coach, AD, or university President is happy. And yes, you can bet there are a lot of riled fans in certain college towns in this country. Don’t, however, include me among them.
I have no arguments with the four teams that were chosen and thus no beef with the committee. You see, they have an impossible task. There is no “fair” way to choose the four best teams in the country. The four chosen are legitimate choices. Would I have had a problem if Georgia replaced Oklahoma? No. Would I have had a problem if they had chosen Ohio State for the fourth spot? No. Would I have had a problem if Notre Dame was removed from the list altogether? OK, I might have arched an eyebrow if that had happened, but again – no problem!
Since it’s my considered belief that you can’t choose something so arbitrary as the four “best” teams, then how can I be upset?
Do I have a suggestion? Of course I do. No one who has the power to change the system is likely to listen to my thoughts, but I’ll give them anyway. My main suggestion is that it would be cool if the playoffs expanded to 8 teams. Let’s look at the top 8 teams (at least according to the committee). Here they are in order – 1)Alabama, 2) Clemson, 3) Notre Dame, 4) Oklahoma, 5)Georgia, 6) Ohio State, 7) Michigan, and 8) UCF (I don’t have to explain who that is, do I?).
Now I am going to make one change in that order. I want to switch Georgia and Ohio State and we will use conference champion and one fewer losses as my criterion for doing so. It does not mean that I think Ohio State is better than Georgia. It does mean that I am setting up a matchup that I think would be really cool!
So Alabama plays UCF. The Tide deserves the #1 ranking and UCF deserves a shot at the playoffs. Like Boise State from a few years ago, UCF would represent the underdog that no one thinks can play with the big boys. Maybe they can’t, but it would be fun to see if they are good enough and they will find out real quick if they belong as they take on the top dog. Clemson will play Michigan and Notre Dame would matchup with Georgia in my brackets. Both these games would be interesting indeed. Finally Oklahoma and Ohio State will put their powerful offenses and somewhat shaky defenses on display in a game that promises to be as entertaining as any.
Again, the mood for expansion does not seem to be very great for the powers to be, but I think it could be easy to do. You could shorten the regular season by one game or do away with conference championship games and the season would finish as it does now. If money concerns prevent this, then just start the season a week earlier.
Seriously, it could be done.
The view from my seat suggests that an 8-team playoff would be more fair than the current system. You realize of course that if this ever happens there will be a deserving NINTH team that will be left out!