Like millions of others across the nation, I’m a huge fan of college football. Each Saturday from noon until the late night, I sit in front of the television and watch just about every game. There is nothing I would change about college football right now. Well, except the fact that all of these schools are leaving old rivalries like Texas vs.Texas A&M and West Virginia vs. Pitt behind.
For years, people have been talking about getting a college football playoff system, but I never thought it would happen. As of yesterday, it seems like we are as close as we’ve ever been to a four-team college football playoff. Personally, I’m not a fan of this because I know this will open Pandora’s Box.
Fans think a four-team playoff will be the solution to college football, but there still will be controversy. The four teams in the playoff would be selected by a committee. Now what happens when some team everyone thought deserved to get into the playoff complains that they were left out? What happens if a non-BCS conference team gets left out of the playoff, even though they go undefeated? Then fans and university presidents will be screaming for a eight-team playoff. Then from eight teams, it will go to 16 teams.
As soon as that happens, this will devalue the college football season. Also, there will be a lot of questions about the seeding. People would question who should be the No. 1 seed, No. 2, etc. A No. 1 seed would have an easier path to the National Championship game than the third or fourth seed. Again, more controversy.
College football is a do-or-die situation week in and week out. If you go to a playoff system, no matter the size, that will change. The beauty of the college football season is that it is a playoff in and of itself. If a team plays in one of the big six conferences and wins all 12 games, there’s a good chance they will be playing for the BCS National Championship. If a team plays in the SEC, they will have a great shot to play for the championship, no matter where they start. If a team wants to play for the National Championship, don’t lose. Once a team loses, its fate is put in the hands of voters, as well as the BCS.
Another reason I love college football so much is because it is everything college basketball is not. From week one, people pay attention to college football. When college basketball season starts, it is an afterthought. No one pays attention to college basketball until after the Super Bowl, when North Carolina and Duke play their first game. If college football goes to a playoff, I don’t think it will gain popularity because even the people who complain about it will still watch the games. It will never be the NFL, but if they go through with a playoff, they will try. The NFL is its own game and college football is its own game. If you don’t like the bowl system, watch the NFL.
All of this leads me to what a playoff system will do to the current bowl games. Do you think as many people will watch the bowl games as before when there’s a playoff system? ESPN promotes “Bowl Week,” which starts the day after Christmas. The games will not get as many viewers with a playoff system, especially if it turns into a 16-team playoff, which I expect it to do someday if the playoff goes through.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Last season, we had the best two teams, Alabama and LSU, play in the National Championship game. When people complained about Alabama getting into the championship, all they did was crush LSU and proved they belonged in the game. I never said the BCS is perfect, but neither is a four-team playoff. I love the BCS and I wish it would stay around for at least another 10 years.