The College Football Rankings are at it again. Every year there seems to be some controversy on which teams should be included in the four team playoffs that battle for the National Championship. Should a team that doesn’t win their conference deserve to be in the playoffs over a team that won theirs?
I sure don’t envy the College Football Rankings committee that selects which teams get to participate. It’s a tough job for sure. However, I have a couple of solutions that could make their jobs a little easier. Of course, there will always be teams that feel snubbed. Just think of the 68-team men’s basketball tournament.
Proposal #1 would include 16 teams in the playoffs. There are 10 conferences in NCAA Division I. Each conference winner would receive an automatic bid to the playoffs. That leaves six at-large bids open. The committee would then select six teams from the 10 conferences and the Independent schools to round out the field and would then be seeded accordingly. The first two rounds would be played in the home stadium of the higher seed with the final four being played as part of the Bowl Series as it is now.
This way, EVERY team in Division I would have a chance to make it to the playoffs. Is an 9-3 Florida Atlantic team better than an 11-2 Alabama team? No, but if FIU wins the Conference West title, they get an opportunity. Right now, they have no hope.
Society has proven that we love an underdog. Just look at March Madness. Why should football be any different?
Don’t like the 16-team playoff format? Don’t like the fact that lesser teams will make it into the playoffs? Well, here’s another scenario.
Proposal #2 would include 8 teams in the playoffs. Each of the Power 5 Conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC), would send their champion. The remaining three spots would be filled by at-large teams which would come from the rest of the Division I ranks, all 10 conferences and the Independent schools. Round one would be played at the home of the highest seeds and then the final four would be part of the Bowl Series as it is now.
There are flaws with every format. No matter how you do it, some teams will feel left out, and rightfully so. But how does an Alabama team jump over Georgia after the Bulldogs beat the #8 team in the nation and the Crimson Tide pounds some late season, win column padding patsy late in the season? Don’t get me wrong, I think that Alabama is better than Georgia, but it just seems odd to me.
The system needs to be fixed. Regardless of how they do it, I’ll still be glued to the TV watching the playoffs, rooting for the underdog!
–Rob Mooney, Metro Voice sports writer