Really, is there any sport (or branch of it) that is more screwed up than big time college football?
Although they did expand its quest for determining a national champion by including four teams instead of two, the way they are going about it continues to be completely fouled up.
We can already see a scenario where a champion of a major conference doesn’t get the chance to play for the national title because of the inclusion of a team that doesn’t win the conference title.
For a sport that prides itself on every week being part of a defacto elimination tournament, the possibility of a non-conference champ in the pigskin version of “The Final Four” is a huge problem.
The powers that be who run college football put together a committee to determine who the four teams would be. Of course, that committee will get together at the end of the conference title games and decide which four squads will get a chance to be the first champion crowned in this matter.
No, instead there are rankings every week, which in and of itself creates a bias. Currently, the four teams in place are Mississippi State, Oregon, Florida State and TCU. The guess here is that if those teams win out, which they probably won’t, they will face off in the first playoff games.
However, if their were no rankings, and let’s say a team like Baylor dominates its last three foes (Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and #13 Kansas State). If there weren’t weekly slots shown to the public, maybe the committee decides the Bears are deserving of a chance to play for the title.
Because of the weekly standings, it’s likely that won’t happen.
Look at how winning the championship last year has Florida State positioned. Their two quality wins came over 7-2 #19 Clemson and 7-2 #18 Notre Dame. They certainly aren’t dominating teams, with only three wins by 20 points or more.
Playing in a weak conference on a week in week out basis, and with their only true blowout wins being over Wake Forest (2-7) and a football subdivision team in The Citadel (4-6), why are they sitting in the top four.
And of course we have the whole perception of superiority from the Southeastern Conference. Yes, Mississippi State gets big credit for its conference wins over Auburn and Texas A & M at the beginning of the season, but since Auburn has two losses and the Aggies have three, how impressive are those wins?
MSU’s non-conference foes? Southern Mississippi, Alabama-Birmingham, and South Alabama. Not exactly murderers row.
The system favors not playing tough teams out of conference, we get that. But why do SEC teams not get criticized for this while other teams, yes we are talking about Ohio State, are reviled for it.
There is really only one solution to the process and the college football intelligentsia continues to ignore it for now. That would be to limit the choices for any committee by putting in automatic qualifiers.
The champions of the five major conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big Twelve, and PAC 12) would get automatic bids. The highest ranked team in a determined poll not from one of these leagues would also qualify.
That would leave two teams for a selection committee to choose to fill out an eight team bracket. It just seems too logical and too simple.
Of course, that’s why it hasn’t been done.
If any other sport determined a championship in this manner, people would be livid. For some reason, it’s accepted in big time college football.