College Game Day kicked off the 2014-15 season in one of America's greatest cities: Fort Worth. With all the buzz and excitement that filled Sundance Square there was a certain air of confidence that permeated from each and every fan. The dog days of summer are over! Come out of your sports hibernation! Come and see the light! The September air has never felt so fresh, the sound of Lee Corso has never rung so true, even the idiocy that is David Pollack is welcome! Because it all means one thing: Football's back, baby!
This season the excitement goes beyond the renewed hope that this is the year for your team, it goes beyond the new uniform combinations of Oregon and beyond the fact that we have something other than baseball to watch. This year college football introduces an actual playoff system. Gone is the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and long live the days of the College Football Playoff (CFB Playoff)!
Sure the CFB Playoff has it's haters, but don't for a second think that I am one of those. I'm all for it! Here's why I love the CFB Playoff: progress. Is it a perfect system? Absolutely not! But is it better than the BCS? By the beard of Zues, YES! The BCS year after year failed college football. How can you have a landscape with so many teams that will never play each other and expect to chose the best two? Computer algorithms and writers voting just didn't cut it. Each year you had one, two or three teams that could have made a legitimate case for being in the national championship game. Yet, each year, as we all know since Auburn's grievances in 2004, were left out.
Does the CFB Playoff eliminate the fact that someone's going to get left out? Nope. But it sure does minimize the chances of an actual contender not getting a shot to play it's way into the championship game. Again, I don't think this is a perfect system, it's far from it. But what I do love is the fact that college football is taking steps in the right direction.
Yes, you can make the argument that a playoff system takes away from what makes college football "great" in your opinion, but I would disagree. By allowing a playoff system you are not negating the fact that every game still matters. Playing a 12 game schedule still means that one loss could be the end of the road for your team. Does it guarantee that? No, but neither did it when we had the BCS. You could still lose one game and get in the national championship game, it happened quite often. But what it does is give you a chance to prove if that one loss was a fluke or not. It gives more conferences a chance to prove their worth instead of just falling into this SEC bias we've found ourselves in for nearly a decade. Each game still matters because there can still be four teams that all go undefeated and your one loss team not get in.
Again, we haven't arrived just yet with the perfect playoff system. Eventually they're going to have to expand it. How far they should expand it is the real question though. Do we need something reminiscent of what college basketball has? Let's not be silly. Well then what about a twelve team playoff like the NFL has? I don't know if that is the best option for college football. It works well for the pros but college is a different animal.
To me, an eight team playoff would be juuuuust right. This way you give the best teams from all over the country a chance to prove themselves. Because college football has so many different teams and conferences there needs to be a way to minimize doubt. In my mind, this would do it. Yea you're going to get that ninth ranked team upset because they got left out, but I'm willing to sacrifice that more than I would the fifth ranked team. Here's my logic, the chances that a fifth ranked team could win it all is far greater than the ninth. I know that you could just ask, "Duh Caleb, but where does it stop?" At some point you just gotta treat it like a Band-Aid and rip it off.
I will say this, the new trophy they designed for the championship is lame. It's the most basic, ugly excuse of a trophy they could have come up with. I don't know who was in charge of that, but they dropped the ball. Hard.
All in all though, we are witnessing a great new era in college football. The work's not done yet, but we're on our way.