Imagine a smoke filled room of a dozen or so men that have spent a lifetime in football. These men are tasked with finding the best and brightest that college football has to offer. They watch hours of film that turn into weeks. They meet every day for months as they try and figure out just exactly who they are going to choose. They call friends and colleagues that have also spent a lifetime in and around the game of football to ask their opinion. They hire countless scouts and outside firms to give them reports. These men are tasked with just finding one guy that they will select number 1 in the NFL draft. He doesn’t have to be the best, just capable. These men draft a bust about half the time.
College football, in trying to determine the 4 “best” teams, flies in a dozen or so guys that shoot the shit over some hors d’oeuvres, and then fill out a ballot based on self serving interests. However, let’s pretend way beyond reality that these men genuinely are trying to find the best teams in the land and there are no politics involved. The task is simply impossible with the tiny sample size of a 12 to 13 game season and 130 teams. It is certainly beyond the scope of trained, unbiased professionals. These guys, that are great at their actual jobs, are certainly not capable of the impossible task. However, let’s just pretend these guys are as good as the team of NFL coaches and executives trying to draft players and hit half the time. That means every year, roughly 200 college kids are robbed of their rightful place in the playoffs. These kids, just a few years removed from getting their driver’s licenses, are told they must stay home by a bunch of old men a few years away from losing theirs. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I read that somewhere. There is no real rules for these men to select the teams. They just pick whomever they wish, with zero accountability. That’s just not cool.
Using this year as the example, no one on the planet can prove Oklahoma is better than Ohio State. Most of us have our opinions. Does that mean I think the committee got it wrong? I have no idea, that’s the point. The reasoning for the committee is that Oklahoma’s loss wasn’t as bad as Ohio State’s loss. Ohio State got trounced by Purdue. That means every game counts, and even though Ohio State has better wins against better teams, per the committee’s own rankings, they are left at home. As a Buckeye fan, I have absolutely no problem with that. Don’t get beat by Purdue by 4 touchdowns.
My problem is that if every game matters, why is a team that has won 25 straight football games not invited? The committee, based on their own selections, just said who you beat doesn’t matter, it’s who you lost to. At least this season that’s the criteria. Well, the UCF Knights are unbeaten. They have been since December 17th, 2016. Are they one of the 4 best teams in college football? No idea, but based on my theory, neither are two of the teams that were selected. I would certainly say that UCF is deserving. That’s why men on the committee should be deciding how we pick the teams, not which teams we pick.
Settle it on the field, with a predetermined rule set that everyone, especially the players, know before the first kickoff of the season.
Personally, I would take the Power 5 conference champs, 2 at-large teams, and the best of the Group of Five. I would prefer a mini playoff to pick that G5 team, but I just don’t see how that would be feasible. I have heard plenty of solid ways to slot the playoff spots with a predetermined rule set. Any system that settles it on the field will be imperfect. It’s an imperfect world. However, it certainly would be better than Selection Sunday over some cocktail wienies.