Curator Sam Burnham
It’s time to have a serious discussion about the CFB Playoff. Through all the uproar and the protestations, and complaints about if the correct four teams were chosen or if the playoff needs expanding there’s one overarching absolutely true fact that everyone needs to come to grips with. That truth is this simple: the awful, rotten, flawed process we have right now is as good as it will ever be.
Sure we’ve had Chris Fowler, among others, wondering aloud, on air, what would have gone differently had Oregon been in instead of Oklahoma. The truth is that nothing would have been different. If you can’t beat Arizona State, you have no business playing LSU in the Playoff.
I kicked over a hornet’s nest full of butthurt Bama homers who were whining about “Bama fatigue” keeping them out of the Playoff. The truth is, Alabama had 0 quality wins this year and had no business is the playoff. The were eliminated. Period.
Had Georgia beaten South Carolina they could possibly have made the playoff but the truth is they didn’t beat South Carolina. While they’re probably the 4th best team in the nation they’re not a playoff team. Period.
We have the playoff in place because the old bowl system could always manage to narrow the competitive field to three teams, but rarely just two. LSU having to share a national championship with an inferior Southern Cal team was a low point. An undefeated 2003 Auburn team who didn’t even get a shot at Oklahoma or Southern Cal would have beaten either easily. Southern Cal wound up vacating that championship for cheating. What was needed was a “plus 1” game that would help weed out two of those final three. The regular season and conference championship games have already eliminated the rest of the teams at that point.
The biggest truth opposing expansion is that no one should have to sit through a blowout just because more teams might theoretically have a chance to win. Oklahoma didn’t belong there this year (or any of the other years they’ve made the playoff) but the rules say four teams have to go. So we got a miserable bloodbath game that no one honestly enjoyed. It’s silly and unnecessary. Adding more teams to the playoff will water it down, create more blowouts and meaningless games. Expansion might create more pomp, more spectacle, more fireworks, but it will add no substance, no practicality, no real competition.
Football is not basketball and it is foolish to think we can recreate March Madness in December. It’s an apples and automobiles comparison. We don’t even need to try. Let’s make the most of the system that is in place, realize that the regular season eliminates teams every week, and be realistic about our fandoms. Yes, you love your team but if they aren’t LSU or Clemson, they’ve been duly eliminated. Period. Better luck next year.
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