A Step in the Right Direction

June 27, 2012 | Jeffrey Gilley

Perhaps the biggest debate in sports for the past few years has been a playoff system for college football.  Many fans are in favor of a playoff system because it has the potential to better determine a worthy National Champion.

It would be an understatement to say that the Southeastern Conference has dominated college football.  Texas, in 2005, was the last team not from the SEC to win a National Championship.

Since then, no other school besides Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Louisiana State has won a National Championship with Florida and Alabama winning four of the last six national titles.

Obviously, something had to change.  The computer formulas that are currently in use are just not an effective way of determining the best teams and I am very happy this change has been made.

Formats such as this have been presented in the past but have been laughed at and no progress has been made until now.  For this new system that will go into effect in 2014, a committee will select the top four teams to compete in the playoff system.  The committee will most likely consist of current conference commissioners and athletic directors with the possibility of former coaches.

Strength of schedule will obviously be the biggest criteria for the selection committee to determine the top four teams.  Other criteria will include head-to-head matchups from the season and conference championship results.

So could this playoff system be expanded?  Brian Brennan, an avid college football fan and host of a sports radio show for High Point University believes this is just the beginning.  “This is a step in the right direction,” Brennan said.  “I always thought the BCS was kind of stupid and that because of it the best team didn’t always win every year.  I like the four team playoff but I only feel this is the beginning.  I think it will expand to eight and maybe 10 teams in the future.  It’s as if the four teams are a sample to see how successful this will really be.”

Although this is a possibility, the very people who approved and passed this playoff system recently said that it would not be expanded.  They added that the extra games would increase the possibility of concussions and other injuries.  Presidents also expressed the concern for an expansion in regard to academics.  Saying that an expansion would make football a two-semester sport.

Like Brennan, I do think this system will better determine the best team in the nation and it would be nice to see teams from other conferences win the national title.

If there was a playoff system last season and the top four teams were chosen, LSU would have played Stanford and Alabama would have played Oklahoma State.

Andrew Luck against the Honey Badger, Morris Claiborne and the rest of LSU’s vaunted defense?  Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon against Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron, and the rest of Alabama’s star-studded defense?  Yes please!

These matchups would be riddled with NFL talent and would be a great way for individual players to showcase their abilities to NFL scouts, coaches, and fans alike.