One look at this week’s College Football Playoff Rankings tells you those screaming that an expanded playoff was needed so “different teams can get in” seem a bit short-sighted as Clemson football sits tenth and Alabama ninth.
At the time, I remember thinking, “All you have to do is beat them.” I know that’s harder than it sounded, but guess what? You did it, college football!
Sure, Ohio State and Georgia have been in the playoffs relatively regularly, but if the season ended today, there’d be a Michigan team with one appearance and TCU losing its playoff virginity.
We know it won’t end as it is because Ohio State and Michigan play in a few weeks and somebody’s got to lose, not to mention that TCU is an underdog this week and doesn’t have an easy road after that, having to play Baylor and, if they get there, a Big 12 Championship game.
The real point here is, there’s really no chance for Alabama and Clemson, the two teams that dominated for a few years and were one of the causes of the clamoring for more teams.
And the irony of irony? If expansion had already happened Clemson and Alabama would likely end up in a 12-team field. The two teams that were the “problem” would likely benefit from the change that was meant (at least in part) to water their domination down.
It’s truly hilarious and a great example of why you should avoid knee-jerk reactions to three or four-year samples, when history has shown college football is cyclical.
Breaking news: Despite their incredible run, Alabama has not always been good. Clemson didn’t always run the ACC (I got some horror stories I could share).
Sure, that’s difficult for 18-22-year-old college students to understand, but that’s not who makes the decisions.
Yes, I know it’s about money and getting 6 SEC teams in a 12-team playoff, too.
Another irony is that those that say it won’t ruin the regular season ignore that under the 12-team model, Clemson’s loss to Notre Dame would not be as bad (or as good, if you’re not a Clemson fan) as it was. Sure, it would still sting, but it wouldn’t sting as much for Tiger fans.
Same for LSU handing Bama its second loss of the season. Exciting game? Absolutely. As important as it was last week in the four-team model? Not even close.
One of the things that separates college football is that every game means something or at least theoretically could mean something, depending on how things play out.
That goes out the window when college football goes to 12, 16, 32 and 64 teams or wherever we end up.
The third irony? I had begun to change my mind about the playoff expansion. I’d been adamantly against it, making arguments similar to those above, and I’m not sure why I started to soften that stance.
Maybe I was worn down by the inevitability of it.
Last week proved that regular season games will be devalued in 12 team playoff and Clemson football losing to Notre Dame is proof
But that changed last Saturday, I’m back to where I was. Four is perfect.
Otherwise, that Clemson-Notre Dame game was no big deal and Alabama-LSU was just an exciting game that I can watch or miss, because after all, there’s another game next week and this one really didn’t matter, just like a Major League Baseball game in September when your team has the Wild Card sewn up.