Path to College Football Playoff

Path to College Football Playoff

Han Vance on American college football: It is still on, y’all, for this fall.

And, per usual the Natty runs right through the South.

The Big 12 (Texas/Oklahoma) and SEC (Deep South and Middle South) and all-over-the-East ACC – who already plussed a Notre Dame for 2020, ND should be permanently forced to be in-or-out of a conference right now with no wiggle room whatsoever and certainly no more special ND-only exceptions – will crown champions, according to their leadership.

Then, those three champs can play in a 4-team college football playoff, finally the right size for the leagues it would represent. One at-large rounding out the field will come from within those three conferences; smaller leagues won’t get a sniff, if they are even playing.

So pack your bags SEC also-rans Alabama, you’re almost already back in the CFP. LOL. Little Yankee Saban start campaigning for your inclusion yet as the team that deserved it most just for showing up?

The playoffs with an “S” need to become a reality, 8-teamer would be best, but not this year, not without 2-of-5 Power 5 leagues. There needs to be – as there used to be – a coveted smaller program national championship, any team eligible that is not (Notre Dame or) in the Power 5.

But not this year. …This year, last year looks oh so good.

Pity that the Justin Fields versus Trevor Lawrence CFP rematch appears off, as the two clear national frontrunners for the Heisman and currently projected numbers 1 and 2 overall NFL draft picks, saw their collegiate conferences officially go in vastly different autumnal directions yesterday. Both went to high school near where I did in Georgia, both are on-field proven talents. Lawrence would go #1 to the league without playing college again, while Fields had a 180 QBR in one season as a starter, accounting for 51! touchdowns, 41 passing (a full 10 rushing, too) to just three interceptions, one in the regular season.

By easy UGA comparison, locally overhyped in the Peach State, Wake Forest grad transfer to Georgia QB Jamie Newman tossed 11 interceptions including more than a few multi-pick games as he was a sub .500 passer down the stretch in the 2019 regular season and low-level bowl, while playing against a much, much weaker whole season schedule than Ohio State, who easily made the CFP after playing in the Big Ten championship game. Newman threw 26 touchdowns last season, 31 in his whole career dating back to limited action in 2017, plus plenty of playing time in both 2018 and 2019. Keep in mind, he is slated to replace the all-time leader in completion percentage at Georgia, a guy who never ever struggled with interception problems or the SEC East.

While it’s not my position to hold a stated position on what the right and safe things to do are, here, so much as to report real realities as I see them, I feel sorry for us all. No Ohio State on the field weakens the game I love. No Michigan hurts the historical nostalgic followers of the sport, as they are the program with the most wins, cool helmets. Penn State still doesn’t deserve a football program I will always maintain, after their longtime institutional child abuse. F them.

A 10-2 earlier (Sunday) vote of Big Ten top brass strongly hinted at the news to come, as the Midwestern conference canceled fall 2020 football. Ohio State was a legit national championship contender and their fans must be in a deep funk right now. Nebraska and Iowa both voted to play and should be allowed in the too-small Big 12 for this season.

The West Coast won’t be part of it. With the whole Pac-12 in a rebuild, at best, they were quite unlikely for the CFP strictly for football reasons. They aren’t good enough to be in the playoff conversation for 2020, frankly. No Rose Bowl 1/1/2021 makes me sad to think of, though.

The Power 5 itself and NCAA Football as a whole has no real leadership, and this is the type of piecemeal “plans” you get, fans. The Pac-12 and Big Ten do have a new pipe dream of playing in the spring, which would require a country to heal more during the long cold winter.