Numbers game: College Football Playoff replaces controversy with, uh, controversy.

The College Football Playoff was supposed to end the collegiate National Championship controversy, right?

For openers, let me disclose that I’m an Ohio State fan … raised in Ohio … big brother played for the legendary Woody Hayes … many relatives only wear scarlet & gray.

And, I’m a big Urban Meyer fan … loyal readers see my E + R = O post every couple of months since it’s one of my favs.

So, I was delighted to see the Buckeyes womp Wisconsin (59-0) behind a 3rd string quarterback in his first collegiate start … strip the nation’s leading running back of his Heisman trophy hopes … and, give the CFP selection committee a heavy dose of heartburn.



For years, college sports fans loved to hate the Bowl Championship Series … the system for designating a so-called “National Champion”.


There was a largely auto-piloted system that used stats and surveys of sportswriters and coaches to pick the top 2 college football teams in the country. They’d play and the winner would be crowned the National Champ.

Folks whined … especially from schools on the cusp of making it to the championship game.

You know, teams ranked #3 and #4.

“Let’s have a playoff and end all of the controversy!”

Enter the College Football Playoff … let the 4 best teams settle the issue on the field.

The inaugural College Football Playoff field was set Sunday.

No. 1 Alabama (12-1) against No. 4 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl; No. 2 Oregon (12-1) against No. 3 Florida State in the Rose Bowl.

Winners play on Jan. 12 to crown the champ.

Pretty simple, right?

Not so fast.

I think it was Yogi Berra who suggested changing the distance between bases from 90 feet to, say, 85 feet.

His rationale: it would reduce the number of close plays.

Think about that for a moment.

The biggest problem with the BCS was that only 2 teams got selected to play for the title.

So, the NCAA decided to move the bases and reduce the number of closes calls.

Now, teams 3 and 4 are thrilled, but teams #5 and #6 are squealing like little piggies.

I even heard somebody say on ESPN that the field should be extended to 6 teams in order to make the process less controversial.

English translation: move the bases again.

Think teams #7 and #8 are going to provide testimony on behalf of a 6-team field?

Why not a field of 64 like basketball uses?

Wait a minute, that got extended to 65, or is it 66 now?

Ah heck, let’s make it like t-ball and let everybody in …

Next year, that is … this year is ok since Ohio State made it.


Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10

While we’re on the subject of numbers …

The 2 teams that just missed the playoffs are TCU and Baylor … teams from the Big 12 Conference.

They think they got screwed because their league doesn’t have a conference championship game.

Why don’t they have a league championship game?

Simple — because the NCAA will only allow a conference championship if a conference has at least 12 teams.

You see, the Big 12 only has 10 teams.

You read that right.

Originally, the league was the Big 8 … with 8 teams.

Then, it expanded to 12 teams.

But, 2 teams bolted for other conferences and league decided to aspirationally hang with the Big 12 name.

Silly, but not uncommon.

After all, the Big 10 has 14 teams.

You can’t make this stuff up ….


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One Response to “Numbers game: College Football Playoff replaces controversy with, uh, controversy.”

  1. Scott Says:

    Don’t assume the playoff system was about ending controversy… unless the controversy you’re talking about is big money in college athletics.

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