College football postseason changes adopted, but is it best option?
Have you ever wanted a toy so badly you would have done just about anything for it? You would wait in line at the mall to let Santa Claus know what you wanted every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You would write a letter and send an email to the North Pole. You do extra chores around your home to make sure you stay on the Nice list. You are unusually extra nice to your little sister for agonizing weeks. You would be sure to pull out the advertisements in the Sunday paper and circle what you wanted for your parents, subtly reminding them that if you did not get to unwrap it on Christmas morning the next year may be full of tears.
Christmas morning comes and you grab the nicely gift-wrapped box you know is the object of your desire but your parents make you wait to open it for last. Then the moment comes, you unwrap in a flurry and are super excited to hold it above your head showing it off, and you make sure everyone you see that holiday knows you got exactly what you wanted.
By mid-February the fascination with this highly sought after prize has worn off and you wish you had asked for something else.
On Tuesday evening I unwrapped that present, and I am wondering if there is a return policy on it.
College football’s four-team playoff format has been approved, and I should be happy about that. After all, I have been mapping out playoff grids for years as a college football fan, going back as early as 1994 if I can recall. That was the season Penn State went undefeated but was tied in to a Rose Bowl trip while top-ranked Nebraska got to play for the national championship crown against Miami. This was the first time I thought to myself that college football’s bowl system was stupid, to put it nicely. That was when I first found myself asking why college football does not institute a playoff system. It took me a number of years to fully understand the reasoning, which I shoved aside simply by saying that if every other level of football, from high school, college and the NFL could use a playoff format, then 1-A football surely could as well.
You would think that I would be elated that college football’s powers have announced a four-team playoff model will begin to settle the postseason starting in the 2014 season. On the surface, the format seems to be well thought-out. Six bowl sites will be used to host the national semifinal games on a rotating basis, which places the emphasis back on the New Years Day bowl games and may even add to the tradition. A selection committee will determine which four teams will be placed in the playoff field, which brings a new set of pros and cons but until we know more about the makeup of the committee it would be unfair to accurately assess.
Instead, I find myself wishing that we could have stuck with the status quo. My problem is not with the playoff format. My problem lies with the people in charge of creating and maintaining that postseason format. If the purpose of a four-team playoff was to make things better overall, I ask now if that has been accomplished. It seems there are still some flaws in the new system that existed under the old format. In some cases, the problems have become more existent.