Think back to each year during the BCS-era when there was a controversy. How often was there more than one team who could claim to be shafted? In even rarer cases, how often were there two?
But with six one-loss teams in the Top Ten last year before the Bowl season began, two teams would have griped about being left out in the college football playoff system. Hypothetically, Auburn, Florida St., and Michigan St. would be the automatic bids. But you don’t think Ohio St., Alabama, Baylor, and even two-loss Stanford would all think they had a right to that fourth spot?
Think that issue would’ve only happened last year? Let’s bring up 2012.
Almost everybody agreed on Alabama and Notre Dame playing for the national championship before the Bowl season began that year. But Florida, Oregon, and Kansas St. would’ve have been in a fight for two spots in a top-four scenario, and if Ohio St. wasn’t on probation, that would put four teams in the mix for two spots.
Then there’s 2011. Alabama, LSU, and Oklahoma St. would have been automatic in the four-team playoff. But then who would go between one-loss Stanford, one-loss Boise St., two-loss Arkansas whose only losses were to Alabama and LSU, and two-loss Oregon who beat Stanford and won the Pac 12?
I bring this up because what everybody seems to forget about adding teams to a playoff is that the more you add, the more who will feel left out.
Now, obviously for some of us that’s okay, because in tournaments such as March Madness, the 69th-best team doesn’t have as good of a case as the third best team.
But what happens when, because of the controversies, we see people start lobbying for eight teams? Then 16? Then 32? In college basketball they’re already talking about expanding the tournament to 80 teams.
This is what happens when you de-value the regular season and overhype the postseason. Everybody begins to think they deserve a shot. This is not a knock on the new playoff system, because I think for the most part it will work, as long as it stays with four teams. That way, it all but assures undefeated teams will get in, but it still leaves the door open for teams to be left out if they lose a game.
Personally, I’m fine with that because I’ve always said if you lose in college football, you don’t have any excuse at the end of the year.
The point of this column, however, is a warning: don’t let the added controversies that will inevitably happen at the end of the year sway you into thinking we should expand the playoff any more than we already have.
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Tags: College Football Playoff