73 Days and Counting
We are officially 73 days from the first ever College Football Playoff. I know this because there was a luncheon at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday at which they announced we were just 75 days away. The luncheon was also just one day after the first CFP poll was released, and after attending the luncheon I have many thoughts about the poll and the playoff.
But first a quick story from the event; Jerry Jones was there and he was asked on stage by the emcee if hosting a college football championship game was ever a part of the dream when he bought the Cowboys nearly 26 years ago. Jerry looked right at the audience of about 500 and said, “When I bought the Cowboys all I wanted to do was coach the team.” That got a huge laugh because Jerry was kidding…I think?!?
They showed a video about Jerry’s role in the 1964 championship won by the Arkansas Razorbacks. Jerry was an offensive lineman and a leader on that team. There was great video of him and Jean walking up the tunnel at the Cotton Bowl after the Hogs had beaten Nebraska on New Years Day. Jerry confided that he and his teammates had spent most of Cotton Bowl week in Houston because legendary coach Frank Broyles wanted to remove them from the distractions in Dallas. While down there the team got a tour of the brand new Houston Astrodome. Jerry said he remembered being awed by the structure and that he couldn’t imagine that sports could be played in a stadium so grand. He admitted that feeling is what guided him when he built Jerry World.
He wants people to feel that same sense of awe when they enter his stadium for the first time, and I think that most people do. It will be a great place to have the first ever College Football Playoff, just as it was great for the NBA All Star game, the Super Bowl, the Final Four and countless concerts. So we know the venue is up to the task of hosting the event.
But what about the committee that is charged with selecting the four teams that will play in the first ever playoff? On the surface their first poll seemed to have a serious SEC West bias. But the truth is the only poll that matters, even from this group, is the one that will be released on December 7th. That one will select the teams for the playoff. If it has a look like this one I personally will freak out that three teams from the SEC and Florida State are in the playoff. But by then things will have changed significantly, as the SEC teams beat each other up and out of the playoff picture.
It is likely that the top four will change this week because two of the top four teams play each other. As long as the committee keeps adjusting to the weekly winners and losers in college football, then things will probably shake out as they should. Will the Big 12 be a part of the first playoff? They should if TCU or Kansas State win out.
Here’ss the problem I see with the four team playoff; there are only four spots in the playoff and there are five power conferences – so one will be left out for sure. If two SEC teams make it two will be left out, if Notre Dame makes it another power conference will be left out. That is why I predict that 74 days from now we’ll all be begging for an expanded playoff.