Last night solidified why a college football playoff is inevitable. The sport has gotten so big that we virtually have to enter into this unchartered territory. I had been on the fence about this topic, but last night my mind was made up.
We were one sleazy coach and a tattoo parlor away from having witnessed The Ohio State University and Notre Dame play an incredible football game for the 2013 MNC. No doubt, that game would have been epic. It also would have been akin to watching Ole Miss and Vanderbilt play for all the marbles. Alabama proved, once again, that the SEC is the elite college football conference in America. So, to sum up that thought, a playoff will bring us year-in year-out what almost didn’t happen this year.
There is zero doubt in my mind that if we had a 4 team playoff this year, Notre Dame would not have been playing for the MNC. There is zero doubt in my mind that if we had an 8 team playoff that Notre Dame would have made it out of the first round. You can bicker about how many teams and who those are, but I guarantee you Alabama would have made it into the title bout. Had Ohio State not been on probation, the best team would not have won the National Championship, and that’s a shame. In a world of transparency, we need a clearly defined winner. A playoff is the only system that allows that.
Stumbling slightly off the beaten path, I’m fairly certain that if we had a 16 team playoff that allowed multiple schools from the SEC to play, you would wind up with at least 3 in the final 4 if scheduling allowed such an event to take place. Point is, and I’m not trying to be SEC homer guy, but the SEC is the home of the best football in the nation. To have any type of scenario where an SEC school doesn’t have a fair shot at playing for the MNC at the current day in age is a travesty. I know how that sounds, but it’s the truth. Notre Dame can’t play with SEC schools, but had a place in the big game when more deserving teams did not. It’s not just Notre Dame. I don’t think Oregon, Stanford, Ohio State, Kansas State, or others are in the same class as the big boys of the SEC. I believe the two best teams in the nation played on December 1 in the Georgia Dome. I believe the best team in the nation won that game and walked to a much-too-easy win against a team that shouldn’t have been in Miami.
Lots of rambling thoughts, but bottom line is I do believe last night proved the need for a playoff system, and I’m glad we’re moving in that direction. We’ll argue about that format for years to come, but the good thing is we won’t be stuck with 4 teams for very long. It will get to 8 and then 16 within a decade, and to me, that’s a good thing.