The College Football Playoff committees selection process makes about as much sense as the construction workers plan to work on Arkansas Road, Well Road’s roundabout and Harrell Road at the same time here in West Monroe.
We’re going nowhere fast, ladies and gentlemen.
It feels like we’re going in one big slow circle that rotates the same teams on an annual basis, despite other teams’ worthiness of at least being in the conversation. For the first time in my life I actually watched the selection show and said these words to a friend, “You know, I can understand why fans up north don’t care about college football as much.”
There’s no variety. There’s no fairness in terms of competition, and 2020 has shown that more than any other year.
The playoff poll exhibited this throughout the season, constantly undermining Coastal Carolina’s perfect record (including a gamble to schedule BYU at the last minute), while overlooking the University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s strong resume (which included a double-digit win over No. 6 Iowa State).
They even dropped Cincinnati in the poll after an idle week while keeping an inactive Ohio State firmly in the Top 4 with three less games overall. They’re not even trying to hide their bias.
Before the final rankings were released on Sunday, it seemed like the country, as a whole, shared their frustrations with the poll that was released on the Tuesday before.
This is what American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco told ESPN’s Paul Finebaum last week: "To be honest, Paul, after I watched the show last night I didn’t know where to begin," he said. "Which adjectives apply? I never thought I’d say it, but if this continues, I’d say let’s bring back the BCS and the computers. It would be a fairer system than I’m seeing now. This is the seventh year, and it does appear that the deck is stacked against us and the G5.
"The committee is honestly undermining its credibility with the rankings. It defies logic, common sense and fairness. I’m not the only one. I think there’s universal criticism … It’s clearly become a [Power Five] invitational. That term has been used. Certain teams, because of their name, branding, pedigree or whatever, are given the playoff privilege, it seems to me."
He’s right. Couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s a rotating door, and if there was ever a season for one of these Group 5 schools, like Coastal Carolina, ULL or Cincinnati, to get a shot at the College Football Playoff, 2020 was it.
Because let’s face it, there is a very short list of impressive teams. Especially when you consider Florida fell from No. 6 to No. 7 in Tuesday’s poll before playing Alabama in the 2020 SEC Championship Game. The Gators lost to an LSU team that had roughly 50 scholarship players in The Swamp. I’m sorry, but that’s far from an impressive college football team, and the committee is telling us that’s the seventh best team in the country when Coastal Carolina is 11-0 with two ranked wins (BYU, ULL).
The final ranking all but solidified these thoughts. Notre Dame was crushed by Clemson and still got into the playoffs, and Ohio State looked unimpressive against Northwestern to improve to 6-0, and guess what? They’re the No. 3 team in the College Football Playoff.
So let’s cut the nonsense. Let’s stop playing pretend. The committee won’t ever give a G5 school a legit shot at making the College Football Playoff, and what will end up happening is an expansion of the playoffs to make up for that fact. Well, that and the whole financial reasoning behind it, which presidents will be on board with now that the pandemic has hurt athletic departments across the country.
What should happen is a separate playoff altogether. Give hardcore fans the option of watching a Power 5 playoff and a Group 5 playoff. That’s three more meaningful games for college football fans to sink their teeth into. Crown a P5 champion and a G5 champion, so folks like myself can stop griping about the lunacy of these playoff polls.