There’s a very real scenario in which we actually get to watch an Alabama-less College Football Playoff for the first time since the inception of the format.
For the sake of parity, though, I hope that isn’t the case.
I’m well aware that my job is to sit here, research a few picks from the upcoming slate of games and tell you why they’ll make you money. I still plan on doing that, so if that’s why you actually clicked on this article, fear not. The picks are going to be on the second page, so you can skip to those if you don’t have the time to hear my argument about Alabama’s inclusion potentially saving the college football’s playoff.
Who’s got time for that anyway?
For the contingent of you still reading, think about this: what other competitive league allows actual human beings – regardless of how qualified they may be – to determine its respective playoff field? Like, at the core of that premise, doesn’t it immediately lead to a subjective postseason? Let me put it like this, every single metric that decides why a one-loss Alabama team is ranked a slot higher than a one-loss Oregon team is centered around conference bias and standards influenced by opinion.
Does an SEC schedule immediately mean you face more quality teams than a Pac-12 schedule? Probably, but why should it be up to a committee or bias fans to decide which conference is the strongest in the country?
If only a playoff could help us decide once and for all.
With LSU and Georgia both ranked in the top-four, we’re headed toward a playoff featuring two teams from the same conference for the second time in the last three years. Maybe that isn’t so bad, maybe you can stomach two, but what happens when LSU and Georgia meet in the SEC Championship, the Bulldogs win, the Tigers drop to the three spot, Ohio State and Georgia round out the top three and the committee decides that Alabama deserves a playoff berth over Clemson or Oregon?
Sure, it might not go down that way, but the fact that three teams from the same conference could occupy 75% of the available spots means the format needs to transition from a decision-based, subjective model to a more number-centric formula. If it actually happened, if the Crimson Tide actually snuck in alongside the Tigers and Bulldogs, the subtle rumblings for reform would grow much louder. It’s the type of scenario that could force a hand.
Here’s my pitch: take the winner of each power-five conference and allow the next best team to have an at-large bid for a grand total of six teams. At that point, seeds can be determined by record and tiebreakers – conference record, common opponents, etc. – and the top two get a bye. Even if that last at-large team is decided by a committee, human influence is limited significantly. The playoff needs representation from each major conference.
Let the head-to-head matchups decide which conference produced the best team each year, instead of letting a group of people just pick.
Three SEC teams included in 2019 would be the last straw, it would bring us much closer to a deeper field.
I’m willing to suffer through the powder keg.
Are there flaws with my argument? I mean, sure. I’m merely a betting writer. I just feel like there’s a better way to do all of this that eliminates most of the controversy and loosely follows that suggested roadmap. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue, as long as you’re not a cyber bully in the mentions, so reach out on Twitter @ColtonDodgson and let’s talk. I just want it to be better, as I’m sure you do too.
Okay, if you skipped all of that for the picks, here you go, not that you earned them or anything. If you actually read my thoughts on the CFB Playoff, I sincerely appreciate you.
Let’s get into it.
Page 2: Play of the Day