College Football Playoff: My Picks + Systemic Scraps
Han Vance on American college football: Scrap the sucky system.
If the relatively ancient American team sport of pro baseball can quickly change, there is no excuse left for college football carrying on with this charade. Sad as it is to stomach for many Southerners, UCF does have a valid claim to that national title, as does any undefeated FBS football team of any year.
There simply must be a path to a championship for all participants of any sport, and it has to be proven on the fields. The little TCU Horned Frogs who had just reached the Big 12 and had national championship worthy teams prior, who I saw at the Peach Bowl – decimating Ole Miss’s very best team ever, who had led the SEC in total defense and scored prolifically and beaten Bama with shady recruiting practices aplenty – would have won it all had they and Baylor not had to sit out of the CFP after a hair-split.
The college football playoff is such a bad joke, folks!
There are 10 – not four – ten FBS conferences called the Power 5 and the Group of 5. There are, as you’d guess if you can read, five conferences in the Power 5 alone. While the Big 12 has just 10 teams and the Big Ten has way more than 10 teams, some things are actually as they sound.
A “playoff” non-plural, is a weird word invented for the greedy money-craving powers that be with the most gravitas in college football, the brass of the top conferences on their summer boats, the big money bowl games’ guys, the TV contract fund takers.
This great sport is for the fans, the alumni and for the kids playing on the field, not them, not these crusty old behind-the-times wealthy few white men still controlling OUR not their sport.
These kids can’t even get a part-time job, while coaches make many millions…and no, it does NOT trickle down. Half may graduate. They are long shots for a long professional sporting career, to a man. Likely to have lingering body pains for life. And, most are never a pro at all; the rest average a cup of coffee in the NFL to a couple years in the league.
And the word is PLAYOFFS. With an “S”… Like every other sport in the world. It is not just possible – we should demand it…NOW!
Let the kids who take the hits have a chance to settle it on the football field every year, instead of in the realm of public debate. Eight teams, five Power 5 conference champs, one or two at-large, which will still come from wherever feels right, but you can’t complain that much if you don’t win your big conference unless you are Kirby (bad at it) or Lil Nick (best at it ever).
Then at least one Group of 5 school. Two would be more fair, really, but they’d love just one. And, seeing as Butler was an almost-in bucket from the too many teams NCAA March Madness hoops crown, I bet before long one of them would win…it all, not just a round.
You say no you are the same folks who knew Bama would kill Clemson and then watched the Tide get dismantled as I projected. You thought Ohio State had no shot in that first CFP, when they busted Bama out of the first round, with a third-string quarterback. You don’t know what you can’t see, because you too are still living in the past.
It is time for college football to get in the now…NOW!
My CFP Picks:
1. OHIO STATE – Justin Fields and the single best head coaching mind in college football right now win it all. Phil Steele and I both picked the Suckeyes in the offseason – and they are back.
2. GEORGIA – Kirby is so happy to win the SEC in an in-Georgia rematch of his white whale, Bama and to get past rival-Georgia-owns Clemson in overtime in the first round of the CFP, that he runs out of good ideas. Calling for a mid-field fake punt on 4th and 11 in a late tie game (for backup QB D’Wan Mathis), Justin Fields – who threw for 50 touchdowns last year while UGA struggled to score over 20 points and then came to Athens and told his practice buddy Jamie Newman to bolt Athens immediately with his pro draft stock in place – tips off his defense, yelling “watch for the fake.” Georgia fans say it was all the refs fault and we’ll be even better next year. Fact: Kirby needs to win the whole SEC this year to match the pace Mark Richt set at Georgia his first five years. To match it.
3. CLEMSON – Loses to Georgia, per usual. Look it up.
4. BAMA – Lose to Ohio State in a classic Rose Bowl.
…And, we don’t even get to go to the games to party…sad.