When the first College Football Playoff rankings came out last week, we were stunned when the committee put the (then) 8-0 Western Michigan Broncos at 23rd, just a spot above the Boise State Broncos who had lost just days prior to Wyoming. The Broncos then beat Ball State and Kent State on the road, and played the waiting game for this week’s rankings to come out. Rankings that would find the Broncos at 21st, up from the prior week’s 23rd.
And some people, like CBSsports.com’s Jerry Palm, have the Broncos still not in the New Years Six picture, opting for the Mountain West’s San Diego State to fill the void. It’s worth noting that while the Aztecs are 8-1, they have a pretty ugly loss to South Alabama and have played a really light schedule thus far.
So what if Western Michigan runs the table? What if, on December 4th, they’re 13-0 and holders of the MAC Championship? Do they get in? Common sense says “yes they do” with no other Group of Five team undefeated. But what if Boise State, San Diego State, or some other team comes in and snags the bid? Boise State is ranked 22nd, immediately behind the Broncos.
The answer is simple: The Western Michigan Broncos should boycott all bowls and protest the egregiously unfair system that is the College Football Playoff.
How can you not reward a team for winning all of its games? How can you leave a team home that is blowing their opponents out of the water? How can you claim fairness, then decide that only one or two of the “Group of Five” conferences are elite enough to play ball with the big dogs?
You can’t, and WMU should make a very vocal point about it.
Here’s what the Broncos would stand to lose:
- A bowl berth - Obviously, the most apparent. The game could possibly equal a 14-0 record, but would come in a must less publicized bowl game.
- Extra practices - Probably the biggest loss of them all would be the extra 2-4 weeks of practice you get if you’re going bowling. It’s not so much for the upperclassmen as it is for the young guys to get more reps and work towards the future
- Money - Yeah, money. But not a lot of it. The “best” MAC bowl (Miami Beach Bowl) pays out a measly $1,000,000 to each team. That number drops to $750k for the Dollar General Bowl (which the Broncos want to avoid due to the comical namesake). The bottom half includes the Potato Bowl ($325k) and the Camellia Bowl ($100k, lowest in all the bowls)
But think about what a message like this sends, not just to the College Football Playoff Committee, but to other Group of Five programs. It sets the tone that the Group of Five deserves a bigger slice of the pie than they are getting, and that the unfair views these schools are getting will not be tolerated.
Just look at the disparities.
Right now, each Power Five conference gets $50,000,000 each year for showing up. Each Group of Five conference gets $18,000,000. Then, you factor in the New Years Six payouts, which include $6,000,000 to each team that makes it (which, as we’ve learned, doesn’t even sniff G5 schools), and $4,000,000 to each team that makes one of the four non-semi final bowl games. So in the current system, you have the Power Five conferences making a COMBINED $302,000,000 versus the Group of Five’s $94,000,000, with only one conference making more than the others by virtue of the committee selecting which team gets the lone Group of Five bid.
This, in a system that is deemed “fair”. Seems one-sided, doesn’t it?
If the Broncos stand-up after being snubbed, how many more programs will join suit? How long does it take for the Group of Five to get a seat at the actual playoff? I mean, you play the games to win titles, right? And if you’re in the FBS, you want the National Title, correct? Then the Group of Five should have at least one spot in the College Football Playoff or else they should jump ship.
There, I said it. That would be the end goal in all of this. If Western Michigan has to take the stand and fall on the grenade, so be it. But, if they’re not in Dallas (or better) after those final rankings come out on December 4th, and they’re holding a perfect record, something needs to happen, or else we’re just living in a broken system with no hope for the future.