By Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio State ain’t the problem.
Neither is Washington. Nor is the selection committee.
It’s just “four” is foolish. Always was. The moment that number was cemented as the basis for this highly flawed College Football Playoff system.
Yo, we’re not talking 1950s major-league baseball here, whittling down from 16 to 2 for a postseason. We’re talking more than 120 schools invested in this major-college football money-making megalomania, and then using subjective judging – and let’s be honest here, that’s exactly what it is – to pick the best 4 to play for top honors each season.
That’s it? You gotta be kidding me …
This year, last year, any year, you ain’t gonna have a clear-cut quartet that has distanced itself from the pack to make things that open and shut. With scheduling issues and conference affiliations, that’s not possible. Or, if it happens, hey, total fluke. Good luck seeing it happen again.
Without going crazy, the whole deal could be expanded a single week, utilizing two more-than-happy-to-oblige bowls to serve as host sites, and we get a real playoff – 8 teams vying for a title.
Get beyond that, yeah, you’re starting to stretch into some flimsy territory of 9-3 squads entering the fray. As of Sunday, 13 ranked teams had 10 or more wins. Take out the non-Power 5 schools if you must with that elitist soul and that brings the total to 10.
All of those ranked Nos. 1-8, so go with them and bid No. 10 Colorado (10-3) and No. 16 West Virginia (10-2) adieu.
For all the posturing done by those favoring teams outside of obvious givens Alabama and Clemson, the reality is that it the whole concept of getting to bottom of which team was best was muddied by the limitations set forth a few years ago when this gridiron version of a Final Four emerged.
Really, we’re arguing the merits of Penn State against Ohio State? Or Washington? Or Michigan? The real debate is why all those teams are not in. All are worthy of being in a playoff.
None, more so, than Penn State – which, by winning the Big Ten Conference, recognized as the best circuit in the country, deserved automatic, no-questioned entry.
Sorry, spare me the “comparables,” or the season as a whole.
Frankly, the only team in the nation that seems to be on a run hot enough to challenge top-ranked Alabama is Penn State. Having won nine straight, it can claim head-to-head honors against No. 3 Ohio State and No. 8 Wisconsin, and for all the hullabaloo about how No. 6 Michigan demolished the Nittany Lions back in September when their roster was decimated by injuries, take note than the Wolverines lost twice this season, too – to teams that Penn State beat.
To me, first-round matchups of No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Michigan and No. 4 Washington vs. No. 5 Penn State would be far more legitimate in nailing down the eventual semifinalists than what the current system mandates.
Could actually see two, even three, different entrants in the Final Four if a more fitting playoff field of 8 was instituted.
This year, last year, any year, you ain’t gonna have a clear-cut quartet that has distanced itself from the pack to make things that open and shut. With scheduling issues and conference affiliations, that’s not possible. Or, if it happens, hey, total fluke. Good luck seeing it happen again ...