Evaluating Change

Will the college football playoff really solve anything?

Max Meyer, Writer

For years, one of the biggest pushes in college football was for a playoff, but now that it’s here, it won’t fix everything.

Since the BCS was implemented in 1997, it was debated if it was the best way to find a national champion. Sure, finding the number one team in the country has normally been easy, but finding that second best team; nearly impossible to do without some controversy. Then, came the tie-ins to certain bowl games that each conference had, and whether or not mid-majors should ever be allowed in the national championship. There was a solution to that: a college football playoff. That would fix everything right? However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The college football playoff, while fixing many of the issues caused by the BCS system, also creates many issues of its own. First, instead of debating about which two teams should be in the national championship, it’s the top four. In most years, the debate would come down to the second team in the championship. It would come down to a choice between two or three teams. These teams would have one loss or on some occasions they would have two. Now, with the playoff there are four spots to fill. It’s impossible to just choose the conference champions from the major conferences because there are five of them. It also has to be taken into account that a mid-major team could very easily go undefeated.

Another issue with the playoff system is if only one team can come out of each conference. I like to think that this would be the case, but for many of the college football fans down in the Southeastern Conference area that is not the case. It is widely known that the SEC is considered the strongest conference in college football by many. I do think that is the best conference, but I tend to think that the gap between the other major conferences and the SEC is not as big as some may think. My opinions aside, the respect of the SEC by most  may cause some to be inclined to put a one-loss SEC team in the playoff over an undefeated mid-major team or a one loss conference champion from a major conference.

The solution I pose for these problems is not perfect, but it should be able to suffice. Guideline one for my solution is that all teams in the playoff must be a  conference champion. If you aren’t good enough to win your own conference you shouldn’t get a chance to play for a national championship. Guideline two is that the weakest major conference should be agreed upon by the playoff committee  (  13 person committee is in charge of choosing the four teams) and the champion from that conference should be left out. I have to apologize to all mid-major teams and fans. As much as I love seeing a Boise State in a big game, under most circumstances a mid-major does not deserve a playoff spot (see Hawaii in 2008). A team shouldn’t be put in the playoff simply because they rolled through an easy conference.  There may be an occasion where a mid-major team is as good as Boise State in 2007 when they beat Oklahoma, but that is only under extreme circumstances. Guideline three and the final guideline is don’t doubt the eye test. When deciding the best teams in the country there is no better way to do that than watching them play with your own eyes. A good example of this would Texas in the 2005-2006 season when they won the Big 12 Championship by 67 against Colorado. Also, last year Florida State had multiple 30 plus point wins during the year. A final decision on a team should never come down to stats.

Finally, don’t blame the committee for everything. Yes, you may disagree with their decision, but the committee is going to take into account the opinions of people across country. One way or another their choice is going to lead some good games. Just be glad that it’s not you on that committee, and sit back and enjoy the football.