Mark Twain famously said that history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. Today’s college football playoff debate does in fact rhyme with the BCS, and the AP/UPI/Coaches/Insert Poll Name Here era of “deciding” the national champion. When it comes to the college football postseason, it’s all about the click-bait, and conflict, of course moves the needle.
The same will hold true if/when they go to 8, and then if when they go to 16. Today it’s about #5 and #6 getting shout out. In the future it will be about #9 getting shafted, and then #17 getting left out; if and when it comes to that. It may not because the more teams you add, the fewer the number of deserving teams get jobbed.
And that’s what today is really about- ARGUING and DEBATING! (especially if you have strong feelings about Notre Dame)
And you thought it was about learning bowl destinations, you silly goose!
It’s the very fiber of the being of the sport and it always has been. It gels with the all too painfully American idea of “I feel this, therefore it is true, facts be damned” or “It’s my opinion, therefore it is right, numbers and stats don’t apply.”
Right now the answer is pretty simple- five conference champs, highest rated group of 5 and two at larges. Given the long layoff between now and New Year’s, you even have plenty of time to make all the logistics work.
It all makes perfect sense, and that’s why it won’t happen. They don’t want sense, they want that which can be argued, both for and against.
In the past, under the previous systems, this was clear, but never stated. Now, in the era that sees ESPN owning and managing the entire college football postseason, it’s overt and obnoxious. ESPN promotes the rankings show each week more egomaniacally then TMZ every time they have, well, any time TMZ promotes anything.
And when ESPN does their incessant obnoxious self-promotion and cross-promotion of the rankings, you’ll notice the theme- banging you over the head with debate and argumentation.
By the way, the rankings show only needs to be a tweet or a press release; maybe a desk segment that’s three-four minutes tops. Anything beyond that is just made for TV crapola in order to sell cola, fried chicken and credit cards. And then they want you to get hooked in the same way smart phone makers and social media platforms want to ensnare you- by constantly showing you things that you disagree with, and thus feel the need to strongly respond to.
That’s the squeeze and we already told you what’s the juice. Now excuse me I have to post this on Twitter.
Yet another year where teams that have an argument as to why they should make the playoff are on the outside looking in…
An eight-team playoff with defined criteria would be a simple solution.
– Power 5 champions
– Highest-rated Group of 5
– Two at-large (includes Notre Dame)
— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) December 2, 2018
If the college football postseason makes no sense that’s because it’s by design. They may go to 8 or 16, or maybe not, but we do know that they never embrace the concept of common sense.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.Follow paulmbanks