It’s been a long time coming but finally we will have a college football playoff.
I thought I never would see this come about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conversations with friends over a cup of coffee and the consensus was it’s crazy not to have a playoff.
These types of discussions have been going on across he country for decades. I can remember back in the 1970s I talked time and time again with then sports editor Keith Floyd about the matter. Back then we believed it would never happen. But never is a long time and finally college presidents buckled down and approved a four-team playoff format last week.
But why now, why did it take so long. That’s easy to answer. Money!!!!! The presidents saw what a gold mine was on the horizon with a playoff. So much TV revenue, money from cities bidding for the finals. Too good to pass up.
So with that in mind let’s take a look at the good and the bad about this and yes there could be some bad.
* College football fans are the big winners. They finally will get what they wanted. The TV ratings for the playoff games and national championship game should be astronomical.
* More money for college football because of that TV revenue.
* More money because of cities who will bid for the national championship game much like the Super Bowl.
* With this the 2004 BCS debacle won’t happen. Remember when Auburn was left out after going unbeaten and winning the Southeast Conference Championship. Oklahoma and USC also unbeaten went to the title game. Somebody had to be left out because of the inept BCS system.
* What about last year. If the four-team playoff had been in place Oklahoma State would have gotten one of those four bids.
* Pizza sales will rise. There will be a lot of parties.
OK you get what I’m talking about.
* We have to wait two years because of contractual obligations for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
* This is a 12-year contract and that is way too long. The playoff is going to be a big hit and fans will want to see the playoff expand to eight and 16 teams. Can’t do that until 2026 according to the contract.
* Getting the right four teams in the playoff. This is a big undertaking by the selection committee. This will be tougher than selecting the 64 plus team field in basketball. The basketball committee has experienced mild criticism in the past for certain teams that did not make the tournament. However there’s a big difference when you take into a account that the 64,65, 66 teams in basketball have no chance of winning a national championship. In football the third, fourth, fifth and sixth rated teams will have a chance to win the national title. So there will be a lot of pressure on the committee and controversy will be unavoidable. There will always be somebody that thinks they were snubbed. But in a way that’s a good thing because it will give us something to argue about and people in the country love to argue.
If the principal criteria are quality wins and conference championships, you’ll see little deviation in the top-four teams from what the polls and computers produced the past 15 years.
The Southeastern Conference has had at least one team in the final regular-season top four in 11 of the BCS’s 14 years. The Big 12 is 10-for-14.
The Big Ten has had a team in the final-four rankings only six times in 14 years.
Notre Dame has no final-four rankings.
The biggest winner in all this is the SEC-Big 12 marriage. according to Drew Sharp, columnist for the Detroit Free Press.
“The Big 12 was given up for dead just two years ago, due to its chronic submissiveness to Texas,” Sharp said. “But its partnership with the SEC has now created the most influential power bloc in this new championship process.
The SEC-Big 12 neutered the Rose Bowl — the Big Ten’s longtime trump card — when they created the Champions Bowl. The Big Ten couldn’t threaten to pull the Rose Bowl and its regality out of the playoff rotation if its demands weren’t met because there was a ready replacement. So the grandfather of all bowls capitulated to a game that wasn’t even around two months ago.”
That is what I call power.