NCAA Playoff Better – Not Perfect
I’m one of the millions who is thrilled that we will finally have a college football playoff after this season. Like most things involving the NCAA, it is years over-due but at least it’s here. The first playoff committee top 25 poll comes out on Tuesday. That’s the committee that will eventually decided which four teams make the playoffs. Now the next step is to do it right. To limit it to just 4 teams is absurd. Why just four out of a potential of dozens of teams with winning records at the end of the season? We see and read each week about the Power Five college football conference; Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac 12 and ACC. No one is fooling anyone that those are the only schools that really count in the college football world (sorry SMU and Rice and Fresno State). Those power conferences and their leaders continue to push their agenda onto the NCAA as well as the rest of college football.
They realize that they generate 95% of all of the revenue in college football and they want a proportionate piece of the pie. The days of giving Tulane and Marshall some of their hard earned and negotiated money are over. So let’s just cut to the chase in college football. The Power Five conferences each have two divisions–the winner of each division makes the playoffs–that would be ten teams and throw in a realistic number of wild cards. Certainly Notre Dame has to be included, assuming their record justifies it, and maybe another 5 wild card teams. That would be 16 playoff teams, eight first round games. A few more weeks and there’s your championship game.
You know who doesn’t like this? The all-powerful and annoying SEC. They think their almighty conference has too many great teams and some would be left out. Welcome to the way everyone’s playoffs work. The Western Conference of the NBA and the NHL are dominant right now but they get the same number of playoff teams as the Eastern Conference. But it’s cyclical, in 2 years the East will be stronger and back and forth it goes, as always. Even if the SEC is strong, someone has to win the divisions and if you didn’t win the division based on what you did on the field, than you shouldn’t get in because of politics.
Division champs would also eliminate the need for what happened in the TCU/Texas Tech game on Saturday. Hey, I loved watching the Frogs light up the scoreboard like Lindsey Lohan’s rap sheet against the Red Raiders on Saturday but it wouldn’t be necessary. In the NFL all that matters is that you win. Style points don’t count. In college football they definitely do. I guarantee TCU will get a lot of votes from media and coaches when they see 82 points. If Mississippi State beats Kentucky by just a touchdown, voters will think they’re not that strong and back off on the votes. It wouldn’t matter if it all came down to winning your division.
And I don’t want to hear the hypocrisy of the coaches and school presidents who talk about time out of the classroom. Have you been watching TV? North Carolina just got drilled for advisers putting athletes in phony classes…for the past 30 years! They care about the money generated by football not who graduates and goes to med school. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Four teams can’t possibly give you a realistic look at who’s the best and 16 lets a few “Cinderellas” have a shot. The college football power brokers should jump right on this…which in NCAA-years means…by 2030.