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COLUMN: Questions Concerning the Future of the College Football Playoff System

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COLUMN: Questions Concerning the Future of the College Football Playoff System

Breana Norton, Sports Editor

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This past college football season was an exciting football season to say the least.

We had coaching fiascos, a self-appointed championship team, and the dynasty of Alabama reaffirming itself.

But the most pressing issue happened during the postseason: bowls.

Out of 130 teams in NCAA FBS, 80 are playing for a bowl game, which is over half of College Football.

Why don’t we just hand out a Participation Award for average teams?

Sure you may get to say, “We won a bowl game!” but so do 39 other teams.

When you have the majority of football playing for an extra game, you begin to wonder if it’s worth it.

The Attendance Numbers

Some of the “lesser” bowl games have barely anyone in attendance.

In the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, which featured Utah and West Virginia, less than 20,000 people were there, and the Cotton Bowl stadium seats over 100,000.

This results in a seemingly empty stadium when the game is broadcasted. Think this is embarrassing? For sure.

I think we should decrease the number of bowl games and make them mean something. Maybe shoot for around 15 or 20 bowl games—aside from the College Football Playoff bowls. It should be a great accomplishment to reach an extra game.

Not a average team who had an average season play for an average bowl game that no one comes to.

The Playoff Picture

Then the most controversial decision of the season: Alabama or Ohio State for that fourth spot in the College Football Playoff?

But can you really pick out the BEST four teams?

Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma and Alabama all had a legitimate spot in the Top-4.

But what about Big 10 Champion Ohio State or a very competitive Penn State? Maybe even give University of Central Florida a fighting chance?

I’ve heard the arguments: Ohio State has two loses and blowout loss from Iowa, Penn State didn’t win their conference, and UCF who?

Breaking news: Alabama didn’t win the SEC, and Clemson had an embarrassing loss to Syracuse earlier in the season. Auburn was very much on the table as a two loss team before they lost to Georgia in the SEC Championship.

People have begun to argue their case for an 8 team College Football Playoff, and I am completely behind that.

Every Power 5 champion gets in and then you have three extra spots for other deserving teams.

I know its also a conversation of money and scheduling, but many companies would be more than willing to pony up some more money to headline a PLAYOFF game. And who doesn’t like a few extra football games New Year’s Weekend?

The Inclusion

Here’s another problem with the College Football Playoff that was implemented in 2014: only Power 5 conferences get in.

If you aren’t in the SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, or Pac 12, you’re out of luck.

Take UCF for example. Whether you think they are legit or not, they never had a chance.

I like what they are doing: stirring the pot about the title game.

Yes, I know Alabama WON the National Championship. I watched the game, and I think they deserved it.

However, I think there needs to be a conversation about non-Power 5 teams. They could, at the very least, compete for a National Title. Everyone says that can’t play a playoff-worthy performance against a Power 5. We’ll never know if they can compete if they never get close to the top 4.

Coastal Carolina won the 2016 College World Series by beating Arizona.

This would never happen in football. Never. Coastal Carolina wouldn’t even be on that playoff committee’s radar.

Every conference champion gets in to the March Madness bracket. I know that’s unrealistic for football, but mid-major conferences, including Villanova, Gonzaga, and Xavier, make it to the Final Four and sometimes even take home the Championship.

This goes to show that in every sport besides football, a smaller school has the opportunity to win a National Championship.

The 2017 football season brought up a lot of important topics and questions to consider for next year. Whether or not the Playoff will expand, the questions and arguments will only get louder.

 

 

 

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