Maybe the timing on this couldn’t possibly be worse seeing as we just saw arguably the most stirring Rose Bowl any of us have ever seen betwixt Penn State and Southern California, or maybe that’s a small point of the overall point.
But three years and six games in, the CFB Playoff continues to be an underwhelming, but yeah, a definitive exercise.
We’ve had six semifinal games and as of this past weekend, we’ve now had four of them that have had 20-plus point margins of victory.
The winners have combined to outscore the losers in semifinal games a whopping 231-79, and just one of the games, Ohio State over Alabama in year one of this thing, was a one-possession game. Every other game has seen the margins at 17-plus points and above.
The upshot of these mostly yawners is that everyone gets that warm feeling inside after they’re over that “the two best teams are playing for the title.” That’s what everyone was after, right?
That’s not to say that dramatics and ambiguity should be more important than “getting the best two teams to play for the title,” but as long as college football schedules are wholly unbalanced which will be until forever, there’s never going to be any consensus on how many teams need to be weeded out or left in to determine that the “best teams” are all playing for a title.
The only thing that will further happen is people complaining about not enough teams being in, simply because they want more football at the expense very likely of more lopsided games and teams that didn’t really earn their way into the thing in the first place.
Which is probably why, thankfully amidst these blowouts, the siren call of the college football socialist wanting some version of 8, 16, or whatever amount of teams in is a dull roar at best because no one really feels like the two best teams once again aren’t playing for the title.
There’s no argument that Clemson and Alabama, both of whom drubbed their foes in games where even the blowout scores make it look closer than the games were (a combined 55-7 margin) are the two teams who represent the best of college football this season and belong playing in its last game.
But it’s also true that the CFB Playoff has mostly watered down the bowls, the majority of which aside from maybe the Rose and the Orange between Florida State and Michigan, all for what a bunch of people wanted … this feeling of grandiose finality of the two best teams getting in.
If the ends justify the means, that’s good enough for most, but the cost has been a system that hasn’t produced many amazing games to this point.
Maybe this all changes, and we’re just in a period where the upper crust of college football is about two teams annually and the rest are significantly behind. Wait, isn’t that what the BCS was supposed to teach us? Anyways, what the CFB Playoff HAS taught us cleanly is that four probably is more often than not going to be maybe one, sometimes two too many, but it’s worth figuring that out by having a system that lets those extra two in.
The expense has been mostly non-competitive football in six of the eight most important games of the season to date, but we’re getting those two best teams playing one another every time, unequivocally.
Still, the yearning for a few more Rose Bowls like Monday nights exists. Hey, can’t we just have it all!?