Nov. 16, 2016
What to do about High Ranked Non-Power 5 Teams?
This issue seems to reappear towards the latter half of the season every year in college football. Without fail, some small conference behemoth wipes the floor with their conference and rises into the national spotlight. This season, it's Western Michigan. Last year, it was Houston. Two years ago, it was Boise State. You get the picture. The debate never ends over this situation. Some believe that they only win because of the competition, as smaller conferences present less of a challenge. Others think that an undefeated team is an undefeated team, and that they deserve a shot. It's a touchy subject, one that will most likely never be resolved completely. Here's what I think should happen.
If a team has won the games, they should play until they lose. Western Michigan, for instance, will not lose for the rest of the season. They are dominant in the MAC, steamrolling pedestrian opponents. They have two wins against Big 10 teams, albeit Northwestern and Illinois. With small conference teams getting to the playoffs, it's put up or shut up, and the Broncos have put up. They have surpassed 40 points seven games this season, their offense is without a doubt a national power. I want them in the playoffs just for entertainment's sake. Imagine Western Michigan getting matched up with someone like Louisville, two teams with prolific offenses and defenses that have yet to prove themselves. There would be about 140 points scored that game, which is my favorite brand of football. A new team in the playoffs could improve viewership as well. A refreshing break from the steady diet of SEC, ACC, and Big 10 would be much appreciated by the public. Not to mention, the entire state of Michigan, and possibly even all surrounding states, would be tuned in to see if hometown Western Michigan can make history.
I believe the College Football Playoff system itself could use some revisions. Double the teams, double the fun. An eight team playoff would truly provide the answer of the best team in the nation. This season is a great example. Alabama, Clemson, and Michigan should undoubtedly make the playoffs if they win. But it's unfair that out of Washington, Ohio State, Louisville, and Wisconsin, that only one will make it. All teams that are on the bubble are good enough to win a championship, and deserve the chance. I want to see more small conference teams playing significant games like this, so I would throw Western Michigan in there as well. The tournament system has brought college basketball billions of dollars. While 64 teams can't compete because of the obvious differences in rest time requirements and game length, an eight team could be beneficial for everyone. Eight openeings also may increase the level of play at the end of the season, making one final push for the playoff instead of disdainfully taking a smaller bowl bid.