Getting “Politricks” Out of College Football
“A camel is a horse put together by a committee” Jim Valvano
I didn’t think this fantastic 2016 College Football Season could get screwed up BUT I underestimated the damage a committee could do to a relative simple process. I forgot that committees are made up of individual egos and a collective ego. These egos must tell the world that THEY ARE IN CONTROL. They will decide regardless of facts.
The 2016 season had a clear final four playoff. But the committee muddied the water. The purpose of the playoffs was to settle the National Championship ON THE FIELD. No popularity contests, no “politricks” no lobbying just the play on the field to decide the National Championships.
So what happens? Let’s review:
1. There are 5 power conferences which produces 5 champions
2. There are only 4 spots in the playoff system so one team is going to be left out.
3. The first 2 years every team selected was a champion of their conference – so far so good.
4. 2014 Ohio St. got in despite many pundits wanting 2 SEC teams AND The Buckeyes WON the National Championship!
1. There are 5 Power Conferences & 5 Conference Champions
2. There are still only 4 spots in the system
3. BUT the dreaded committee had to complicate a simple task.
4. The committee wanted Ohio St. in the Playoffs – The Bucks are a good team but LOST to the Big 10 Champ Penn St. ON THE FIELD. Not at a conference table, not at a chalk board, not by popular vote – ON THE FIELD.
5. Penn State won The Big 10 Championship fair & square ON THE FIELD.
6. Washington won the PAC 10 Championship ON THE FIELD.
7. Clemson won the ACC Championship ON THE FIELD.
8. Alabama won the SEC Championship ON THE FIELD.
9. Oklahoma won the Big 12 Championship ON THE FIELD.
So the committee’s task was which of these 5 CHAMPIONS they were going to pick to fill FOUR SLOTS – simple. Oklahoma looked like the odd team out. BUT WAIT – HERE COME THE EGOS. All of a sudden The Committee decided what happened ON THE FIELD DID NOT MATTER. The committee knew better than the scores on the field. They chose Ohio State who was SITTING HOME while the 5 other teams were winning their Championships ON THE FIELD. So basically Ohio St. got a bye to get in the playoffs.
Ohio State is a good football team however Penn State beat them head to head. Ohio St. beat Michigan State by one point and one week later Penn St. beat the same Spartans by 33 points. What arrogance the committee displayed by saying that Ohio State is a better team than Penn St when Penn State BEAT THEM ON THE FIELD.
If this committee was involved in the 1983 Basketball Tournament they would have given the Houston Cougars the National Championship over Jimmy V’s Wolfpack because the Coogs were a better team despite the fact that The Pack beat them ON THE COURT. They would have overturned Buster Douglas’ KO over Mike Tyson because Iron Mike had a better record.
So what is the solution? There are a few possible solutions but the key is to give the committees as LITTLE INFLUENCE AS POSSIBLE. They blew it this year & we can’t let this happen again. I never want to hear the phrases like “their body of work” or “their resume” I just want to know THE SCORES & THE CHAMPIONS.
1. Keep a 4 Team Playoff BUT Only Champions are eligible. No more nonsense about strength of schedule, a body of work etc. Just THE CHAMPS. The only decision which CHAMPION stays home.
2. Expand to 8 Teams. All 5 Champions are automatically in & 3 at large spots but ANY UNDEFEATED team from a non-power 5 conference gets in. So Western Michigan would have had a shot this year. Cinderella comes to college football.
I could be supportive of either system but the key is to have what happens on the field count more than someone’s opinion. That’s what the playoff system was supposed to do. I would enjoy reading your opinions.