It happens about this time every year.  A month into the college football season and the good teams and good coaches figure out what they have and what they don’t have and the bad teams do the same thing.

And that is the start of Phase 2 of the college football season, which is based not so much on W’s and L’s, but on having the games played well enough to impress pollsters and selection committee members choosing the four teams in the College Football Playoffs.

It’s then that you get questions such as:  Coach, why were you throwing the ball on fourth down with a 49 point lead? Coach, what was the thinking in having your starting QB in the game when you were up by six touchdowns with only five minutes remaining?

As we have witnessed in the last few days with the unfolding and seamy college basketball scandal, big time college football and basketball is big business–billion dollars. Television contracts and shoe deals elevate coaches salaries, which increases the pressure to have better facilities, which increases the pressure to win.

But when you have a playoff system of four spots for at least five teams, you need to look for angles. Margin of victories sometimes turns as many heads and switches opinions as much as quality of opponents

Simply winning is not enough.

Think it doesn’t matter?

Check what happened last season to Penn State.  All the Nittany Lions did was win a share of the Big Ten East title, win the Big Ten Conference championship game and beat one of their division rivals in head to head competition. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.