Friday, December 12, 2014

The First College Football Playoff

There hype and feeding frenzy over which teams would comprise the final four for the first ever College Football Playoff culminated this past Sunday with the announcement that The Committee That Condoleezza Rice Is On had selected, in order, Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, and Florida State.  Left out in then cold were the Big 12 (which has nine teams, btw) powers Texas Christian and Baylor.

You can argue - and many have - that (a) Baylor for screwed, (b) TCU got screwed, (c) the Big 12 got screwed because they don't play a conference championship game, (d) Ohio State doesn't belong because the Big 10 stinks, and (e) the whole thing was orchestrated to include the teams that ESPN wants in the Playoff.  Well, I am not here to argue any of that, and in my opinion, for what that is worth, I think that The Committee got it right with the four teams that they chose.

Be all that as it may, one thing cannot be argued:  The Playoff format and the weekly rankings issued by The Committee was a rousing success for this simple reason - it has gotten the sports world talking and thinking about College Football and then upcoming Playoff to a degree that no one probably envisioned.  The Sugar and Rose Bowls on New Year's Day will become must see television to a degree never seen before.

On Pardon the Interruption yesterday, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon got into a discussion centered around "should the Playoff include eight teams" so as to avoid situations such as Baylor and TCU this year.  Wilbon put forth the interesting premise that it was better to have only four teams so as to have seemingly deserving teams still standing once the music stops.  This way conversation, controversy, and argument can still be ginned up even after the results were in.  With eight teams in the party, there would have been no such conversation as the Baylor/TCU/Ohio State arguments that led up to last weekend.  

I tend to agree with them, but I also face the inevitable conclusion that Mike Wilbon came to:  The Playoff will go to eight teams whenever ESPN decides that it SHOULD be eight teams.

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