• Has the College Football Playoff Brought More Controversy?

    Added - Dec. 2, 2014 - Comments


    When those who are presumably interested in the future of college football have gotten together, the talk always turned to the feasibility of having a playoff for the national championship, rather than have champions declared. The major polls should not be deciding this, they said. When the BCS was established, it created controversy more often than not about who belonged in the championship game, and now we have evolved to the point where four teams are going to be involved in a playoff. This has been good for college football in a sense, because it does spark discussion. But anyone who thought this would help avert major controversy was barking up the wrong tree.

    It is one thing when you are making a determination as to who the best team might be coming into bowl season, and who might be second-best. But when you also have to add a third and fourth team to the mix, there is sometimes so little difference between them and the other teams that are right below them that it becomes a highly subjective judgment call. The NCAA has put together a committee of people to evaluate the worthiness of those teams for this four-team playoff, and when the selection process concludes, which will be on the weekend, there are no doubt going to be some very unhappy schools.

    Just to give you some background, of the top four teams, going into the conference title games, are, in order: Alabama, Oregon, TCU and Florida State. There are obviously a couple of very interesting things to talk about when we see the teams rated that way, and it merits some serious discourse. For one thing, Florida State is not only the defending national champion, but also the only undefeated team left in Division I college football. In other words, no one has knocked them off yet. Still, they have gradually dropped from the top spot down to #4, which leaves observers wondering whether they could fall out of the top four altogether if they are not overly impressive against Georgia Tech in the ACC championship game.

    Just as interesting as the situation involving #3 TCU, which actually lost to #6 Baylor in head-to-head competition. The Frogs have had close calls with teams like West Virginia and Kansas that didn't seem warranted at all. One of the things many critics complain about is that it doesn't seem to be enough to merely win, but running up the score on the opposition appears to be impressive to the committee. That's one thing Oregon has been able to do to get back near the top. Maybe that's not the kind of thing that's good for college football, but unquestionably it will be revisited again and again in the off-season, as the committee's decisions are more closely scrutinized. Maybe we need a committee to choose the committee.