Thoughts on CFP
Written by Rich LaMonica on 12/05/2023
The final CFP poll came out and fury was felt by undefeated Florida State. They did everything they were supposed to do in order to punch their ticket and were left out due to their star QB being injured. You may be thinking, this is the last time this will happen since the format goes from 4 to 12 teams in 2024. This will again be the case for those that are in positions 10-16 as all will make a case stating they deserve to be there and a group of people in a room will make the decision utilizing a business matrix. Every Football and Sports analyst has weighed in on this entire debacle. Senators are suing (wasting time and money) on attempting to stop the business of college football from leaving FSU out of the fight.
A decade ago this format came into play to do away with the BCS. This was supposed to fix any issues that were present with the BCS. Now we have experts arguing that you must have a team from conference X or it is not a true playoff. If the basis of selection is based off a Coach winning championships in the past. Are we taking away from that Coach? No, but it is hard for a fan to not see that it doesn’t matter what that team does this year, they will be in the conversation from the playoffs whether they are in the top 4 or 10. Just because a conference had been good for a decade does not mean they are the best team this year. This is the reason a pre-season poll is garbage. Polls are for betting lines and bringing money into games. If a team was good in 2003, they are not that team in 2024. The same can be said from 2023 -2024. The players are being paid generously now for the most part which equals out the playing field from schools who were already ensuring their players were taken care of. This does not mean an 18–22-year-old kid (for the most part) will be the same year 1- year 4 plus or even get better. Yes, some will- be that good or better but some will find themselves being college aged young men. With that, their minds are still developing, and they are influenced by their peers. This results in all kinds of different scenarios for them not developing as others. So bottom line is, do away with pre-season polls and don’t have one until four weeks into the season. Base it off current stats not last years good teams they may have played. You may witness pure football come out again. You won’t see teams ranked based on hype/history or hope but will see ranks on merit.
As we move toward the 12-team playoff, how do we fix college football? First off remove alignment of bowls with conferences. This creates a clear path for all to achieve a decent bowl game. Then select the weeks of games for the playoff continuous from end of regular season and conference championships. The FCS has it working without drama and without using bowl games to attempt and generate income.
Keep it simple: This season is this season and this season only. Don’t create rankings based off of last year or recruit numbers, base them off of the first four weeks of the current season. Utilize the same format as FCS to generate the playoff of the top 12 and remove conference alignment from bowls. Put more focus on the process then the money generated from it and the game will remain something to watch into the future.