Nothing’s broken about this year’s College Football Playoff. Deal with it

Fans want more teams, but the current system works and keeps the regular season meaningful. Cap it at four teams permanently.
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) scores the winning touchdown in overtime during the College Football Playoff national championship against Georgia last season. (AJ Reynolds/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) scores the winning touchdown in overtime during the College Football Playoff national championship against Georgia last season. (AJ Reynolds/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)
Published December 6 2018

Want to know what's wrong with the College Football Playoff selections?


Not. One. Thing.

So what do we need to do to fix the process? Same answer: not one thing.

The committee got it right. They always do.

So why is there all this bellyaching and whining? Probably because all that complaining is coming from fans of teams that didn't get into the four-team playoff. And I don't want to hear it. Those schools only have themselves to blame.

Ohio State? Hit the bricks. You can't get annihilated by a mediocre Purdue team, then act like you got a raw deal.

Georgia? I don't want to hear about how Georgia isn't getting a chance. The Bulldogs just had their chance. Last Saturday in the SEC Championship Game. And they blew it. The coughed up a two-touchdown lead in the second half to a team that lost its Heisman Trophy-worthy quarterback.

Plus, how fair is it to put Georgia in the fourth spot and let them play Alabama again? If that happened, 'Bama would be like, "Wait, we just beat Georgia and now we have to play them again? And now this is the game that matters? What was the point of the last game?'' They would absolutely have an argument.

Besides, Georgia lost twice and didn't win its conference. So it has no case.


UCF? Sorry. Your schedule is lousy. Your conference is embarrassingly soft. Your resume is unimpressive. The Knights have won 25 games in a row. They could win 125 in a row and they still will never get a crack under the current scenario and they shouldn't. Get into a real conference, UCF, then we will talk.

In the end, you couldn't really argue with the committee's final four selections. Alabama and Clemson were undefeated major conference champions. Notre Dame, playing a good schedule, went undefeated. And then, finally, Oklahoma was a one-loss major conference champ whose one loss came against a really good Texas team that it turned around and beat for the Big 12 title.

The four teams in are the four most deserving.

Still, the complaints will continue to mount until the squeaky wheels eventually get their grease by forcing college football to start adding teams to the playoffs.

For the record, I'm dead set against adding teams to the playoffs. Four is plenty. The fewer the teams, the more meaningful the regular season is. I'm one of the rare birds who actually liked the old BCS picking just two teams to play in the national title game.

In the five years of the current format, we still haven't had a major conference champ go undefeated and get left out. That means that every team out there, at some point, did something to cost itself a chance to get into the playoff. In other words, don't lose a game and/or don't get stuck in a crummy conference.

Eventually, however, there will be enough of an outcry and there will be too much money to make that college football will give in and start adding teams.

Already, there's an ugly look about this.

UCF fans are embarrassing themselves by making up fake national champ posters in between using Twitter to lose their minds and manners by yelling at anyone who dares to point out that UCF's strength of schedule is a joke.

Meantime, Georgia coach Kirby Smart is showing up on ESPN like he's running for dog catcher and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney is getting crushed by Ohio State fans for not stomping his feet and holding his breath over the Big Ten being shutout of the final four again.


Because the crying is not going to go away, college football will add teams. Here's one proposal if (when) it happens:

Expand to six teams. Each of the five major conferences sends one representative chosen however the conference wants to choose them. It can be a conference regular-season champ. It can be the conference title game winner. It can be the highest-ranked team. Whatever. However the conference wants to pick its playoff team.

Then have a committee pick the sixth at-large team from the independents or smaller conferences.

The top two teams, as picked by the committee, get a first-round bye.

Will that satisfy everyone? No, there will be always be complaints, whether the playoff stays at four teams or goes to six, eight or even 16. The NCAA men's basketball tournament has 68 and you still have controversies over who got snubbed.

We can argue about how many teams should be in the football playoffs. But what we should not argue about is this season's playoffs.

The committee got it right.