The four-team playoff was nice but we learned this week it is probably not going to survive into puberty. It is never going to fulfill its end of a 12-year contract, get its learner’s permit, celebrate bar mitzvah or grow tall enough to ride the roller coaster at Six Flags Over Central Florida.
We learned this week the College Football Playoff is only a warmed-over version of the BCS system that was, for 16 years, treated like leprosy by national media power brokers clamoring for NFL-type playoff order.
Me, I loved the BCS for exactly the reasons others despised it.
The BCS was outrageous, unfair and provoked chaos—everything a crackpot sportswriter is looking for in a bankrupt system. I liked the BCS because it was NOT the NFL and the literary chicanery it provided helped put two of my kids through junior college.
Dan Wetzel, the outstanding columnist at Yahoo!, promised me college football would be better with a playoff and took credit (deservedly so) for helping to dismantle a corrupt cabal that made Venezuela look like Switzerland.
Dan even co-wrote a book, I think it was with Ralph Nader and Michael Moore, called “Death to the BCS” that successfully executed its working title.
Dan and others cheered the new playoff but that was just, as it turned out, attention deficit disorder.
Just like “Tide,” the dish-washing detergent, not the team from Tuscaloosa, the new system needs to be improved only four years into its rinse cycle. It looks too much like the old system and is starting to show signs of “ring around the collar.”
Close your eyes and this is 2011 all over again. Two schools from the Southeastern Conference are playing for the national title, on Southern ground, against a backdrop of indifference and\or discontent.
Six years ago, it was Alabama vs. LSU in New Orleans. Alabama got into the title game without winning its own division of the SEC West. The Crimson Tide edged out angry Oklahoma State for the final participant spot.
This year Ohio State, champion of the Big Ten, got left out of the mix. Alabama people said Ohio State should not have lost so badly at Iowa. Ohio State people said Alabama should not have played Mercer. And Alabama got to the title game without winning its own division of the SEC West.
In 2011, Alabama people said Oklahoma State should not have lost at Iowa State. And Oklahoma State people said Alabama should not have played Georgia Southern.
You call this progress?
The four-team playoff was also supposed to end “outlier” schools claiming independent championships. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.