Dec. 11, 2016
Two years of the Playoff, and we are right back where we started...
Flash back to 2011, Kate Middleton and Prince William had a royal wedding, Charlie Sheen was “winning,” and college football celebrated an all SEC National Championship game with an LSU vs. Alabama rematch. Aka, the straw that broke the old BCS system’s back.
With the old system, a mix of computers and polls would decide who the best teams were, inevitably excluding at least one deserving team. After 2011, the momentum of a playoff system gained ground with conferences around the nation, eventually leading to the system that started in 2014: 4 teams, 3 games, one champion.
The idea was, the question of “Who’s better?” needed to be answered on the field, not by computers or polls. Those were thrown out in favor of an expert committee to decide who the best four teams were. Fair system, right?
Through the first 2 years, there were not many complaints about who got in (2014, Ohio State getting in was a travesty till they rattled off 2 wins with a 3rd string QB to win it all.) The games were settled on the field and the results were rather conclusive: If you win, you are the best. Games settled on the field… Settled on the field…
As you can see, there is a point I’m trying to make. The idea of the sports is win head-to-head and you are the better team.
So someone please explain to me why Ohio State is “unequivocally better” than a Penn State team that beat them back in October.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
I’ll tell you what the playoff committee said. “When comparing resumes, Ohio State had beat three teams who are currently ranked in the top 10, including 2 of those games on the road. Penn State played a good non-conference schedule, but failed to beat Pitt and did not have a competitive game against Michigan. Because of that, it was obvious that Ohio State was the better team.”
Obvious? Obvious?? Are you kidding me?
Did they really forget about that night October 22nd when the Nittany Lions overcame a double digit underdog scoring line to beat the invincible Buckeyes?
Are they ignoring the fact that Ohio State didn’t win their conference championship, or even their own division?
The precedent has now been set by this committee of “experts:” They are choosing who they THINK are the better teams, rather than giving way to the obvious on-the-field results. Sound reminiscent of a similar system…?
We changed to the new system because we wanted to see who was better when the games were played. And when it came to the debate between #2 OSU and #5 PSU in the polls, somehow that idea was suspended for words like “resume” and “key statistical categories.”
If games aren’t going to be decided on the field any more, than let’s just crown Bama already and get it over with. Or, if resume’s and eye test mean more, than even if Bama loses to Washington, they should still move on, because their one loss is better than Washington’s one loss. (Gosh, please understand I am kidding.)
Now let me be clear, I am not saying that Penn State was on a track to win the national championship. What I am saying is that if we continue to give value to “resumes” over on-the-field results, then we are bound to repeat history, as we did in 2011.
I want to see a college football world where we respect when teams win head-to-head.
Shocking, I know.
Playoff committee, ya’ll have seemed to set us back a couple steps from where we were. Fix it moving forward.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.