Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock hands the trophy to Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer as his wife Shelley Meyer (middle) looks on after the 2015 CFP National Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks at AT&T Stadium. Ohio State defeated Oregon 42-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
A league where one loss in August or September can end your season does make it less interesting. The purists would disagree, saying every week was like a playoff, but a sport where you could be done one week into the season is not what FBS football should be. Taking into account that the bowl system is stupid and antiquated, and despite the fact that we all watch them, teams in these “other” bowls are not actually playing for anything of substance. We feel like they are, but they’re not. Championships are all that matter.
Some would call the bowl system “unique,” but unique does not necessarily equal worthwhile. The bowls are not going away, but they do not have to, as long as more than a couple teams at most are playing for something real.
Likewise, those who argue that an expanded playoff would take drama out of the regular season are not paying attention. Only eight teams would still make it out of almost 130, and the fight for those spots would be intense. That’s also many more fanbases with a stake in the proceedings. Four teams is better than two being gifted a spot in the finals, but it does not go far enough. Who knows, you might even get a team from a “have-not” conference in there. Imagine that.
Just ask TCU how they feel about this. One loss and they’re not here, mostly because their own conference’s structure held them back. They would argue they should be there, and they were there in the CFP Rankings — until they weren’t. You don’t think they could have added something to this? They would argue so, as would I. So would Baylor as a potential six seed, or maybe Michigan State as seven or eight. In future seasons, not much is going to change: that high up in the rankings, there will be good teams to fill out the bracket. Nothing is being diluted and the regular season still matters. All this does is add an extra level of suspense and legitimacy to the title.
Boston College Eagles
Playoffs make things more interesting and always have; up until 2014, college football had its faux playoffs during the regular season because of an entrenched system, weighing human biases and unbalanced schedules. Now, we have options, and if FBS wants to continue to enter the 21st Century, they can continue with these reforms.
There are four big bowls — the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange — which can be the first-round games, followed by a semifinal round and a final. At least in that scenario, like in every other major college sport, the 5th-best team in the country has a chance to play for a title.
Or the 6th. Or most of the top ten.
More games, more fun, and more chances for exciting playoff runs. More importantly, the teams that get to the playoffs have to prove again that they belong there. College Football Playoff expansion might not come soon, but it should.