College Football Needs A Playoff, Now More Than Ever!
The national championship game is coming up this Monday night, and it should be an entertaining one between Oregon and Auburn. There is no question that, under the current (but extremely flawed) system we have, these are the two teams that deserve to play to be #1. The system, however, is still the problem. Bowl games are great, but the only way to EVER get a real national champion is to have some kind of playoff system.
It is very surprising that some kind of system hasn’t been put into place yet. Think about it, college football is the ONLY American sport that has no playoff. What would professional baseball, football, basketball, or hockey be like if, after the regular season, the two teams with the best records just played for the championship? It would be terrible, and many fans of average teams would quickly lose interest. To put it simply – we Americans love the playoffs, no matter the sport.
I remember back in 1984. Brigham Young was undefeated during the regular season. Most of America, though, didn’t think they deserved to be #1 because of a very weak schedule. They did beat Michigan in the Holiday Bowl, to finish 14-0 and win the national championship. But Michigan finished 3rd in the Big 10 that year. Wouldn’t it have been nice to see a playoff, with BYU matching up with Oklahoma, Texas, or USC?
In 1990, Colorado and Georgia Tech SHARED the national championship. That would have never happened had their been a playoff.
Also, every year there are teams playing very well at the end of the season that would be dangerous in a playoff scenario. This year is a good example of that.
How would you like to be a fan of TCU? The Horned Frogs were #4 in the pre-season ranking, finished the season undefeated at 13-0, yet still get not even a sniff of the championship – THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A CHANCE! They deserve one, though.
So does Stanford. The Cardinal finished the season by beating down the Hokies of Virginia Tech, they’ve got the best QB in the nation (Andrew Luck), and their only loss was to undefeated Oregon (in a game Stanford led 21-3, btw). Nobody would want to play Stanford right now.
Ohio State (12-1) and Boise State (12-1) each deserve to be in the playoff conversation, as well. Oklahoma (12-2) has studs everywhere, and they finished very strong, as did their rivals Oklahoma State (11-2). The defending champs from Alabama (10-3), even with 3 losses, would also be a very imposing opponent that nobody would want to play.
You could easily make the case that any team mentioned above should still be in the hunt to be #1. I think Stanford would beat Oregon if they played again on a neutral sight. Alabama might beat Auburn if they were to play again. It’s a shame we’ll never know.