The debate has been in full force since Notre Dame got in without a conference championship game. Georgia and Ohio State get left out and undefeated UCF up in arms after missing out following a second undefeated season. There is multiple ways to look at it but it comes to the same solution, the playoff needs to change.
Mike Leach had a great interview talking about the issues with the playoff at the highest level of college football. It took years to get to a four team playoff and it took all of a season to realize it isn’t enough. Nobody is quite as captivating as Coach Leach so I’ll let him sum it up.
He is so dead on!! Mike leach on playoffs pic.twitter.com/dHOBGWFb6E
— David Schuman (@nucfootball) December 3, 2018
For those that skipped it, I will sum it up. At every level of football there is a playoff. Even in youth through high school they have a multi team playoff that has more then four teams. For everyone saying that more then four teams just won’t work, why does it work for youth through FCS then? Again I am not as eloquent as Mike Leach but you get the gist.
But that brings up a good point, why wouldn’t it work for the FBS level? Everyone knows that it comes down to the dollar and more teams, means more games, which would equal more ad revenue. But we can even go a step further.
So everyone complaining that the talent between 1-8 is just too much has a point, but it isn’t all that far off. Lets also not forget that Georgia is ranked fifth and had Alabama beat until a late game break down. To go a step further, the top eight teams have a combined record of 95-6 and only two teams would have two losses. The playoff would also represent five conferences with the PAC-12 being the only power five conference left out.
I’m not saying that every game would be exciting but in college football weirder things have happened then the eighth ranked team beating the first ranked team. This isn’t a seven game series and all it take as one play. Adding another four teams wouldn’t even have to change the format, it would make for even better football.
How It Could Work
Imagine this, Michigan going into Death Valley for a playoff game at night in mid December. Ohio State traveling to South Bend for a shot at advancing to the semifinals. It would be electric for the home teams in a winner take all college playoff game. This idea was pitched by Clay Travis, creator of Outkickthecoverage.com, and it makes the most sense.
A game of that magnitude only happens maybe one or two times a year. This would put the some of the biggest games all into one weekend. The winners would advance and keep the system how it is. Play the semifinals in neutral sites and have them be rotating bowl games. You still get the sponsors money and the bowl games still exist for the tradition. But you also get to add another week for some of the best football games of the year.
Notre Dame Leading the Charge
Everything above is ideas and debates, but the change is coming. Just like switching from the BCS system to the playoff, it is going to happen. The real question has always been when will it happened and figuring out the details. While it seemed like it might still be a ways off, Notre Dame has sped up the process.
The process was humming along the last few season with some gripes over four teams until this season. The debate didn’t start this season but it was blown wide open, especially with Georgia and Ohio State being left out. Notre Dame being an independent has caused a headache for the committee and left out two, one loss conference champs. Everyone in the top four belongs in the playoff and there is arguments to be made for the fifth and sixth ranked teams as well.
We know the change is coming and it might be six, eight or even more teams in the future. I don’t see more then eight but hey, it is the NCAA. Which brings me to my last point.
The Committee Needs Change
I thought it was problematic to put active athletic directors on the committee but hey, why not. Well this season is why not. Both Ohio State and Oklahoma have AD’s on the committee. So they have to leave the room any time their teams are discussed. To go a step further, Frank Beamer has to leave the room too because his son is a coach on the Oklahoma staff.
So you have a debate trying to figure out which teams between 4-6 belong and three members can’t be there? It makes little sense. Frank Beamer having to leave because his son is a coach is fine because Frank a retired, legendary coach. But two active AD’s for big time programs is just plain dumb. There are plenty or retired players, coaches, AD’s for them to find that are still involved with the college game. I get that plans are in place to avoid corruption with active AD’s on the committee but it shouldn’t get there in the first place.
The entire system needs an overhaul. They have the opportunity to do it right, even with a long history of doing it wrong.
What do you think of the playoff system, should it change or are you happy with the way it is? Let us know below!
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Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.