The NCAA finally gets it right

By Jeff Gilley, Staff Writer

September 5, 2012

Perhaps the biggest debate in sports over the past few years has been the need for a playoff system in college football.  Many fans have been in favor of a playoff system because it has the potential to better determine a worthy national champion.

It would be an understatement to say that the Southeastern Conference (SEC) has dominated college football.  Texas, in 2005, was the only non-SEC team to win a national championship.

Since then, only the University of Alabama, Auburn University, University of Florida, and Louisiana State University have won the national championship with Florida and Alabama winning two apiece.

Obviously something had to change, and beginning in 2014 it will: the NCAA approved a four-team playoff system to determine the national champion.

Playoff formats, such as the one approved, had been presented in the past, but were not taken seriously and no progress had been made until now.  For this new system that will go into effect in 2014, a committee will select the top four teams to compete in the playoff system.  The committee will most likely consist of current conference commissioners and athletic directors with the possibility of including former coaches as well.

Strength of schedule will be the biggest criteria for the selection committee in determining the top four teams.  Other criteria will include head-to-head matchups and conference championship results.

The main question now is if this new system is enough, or will this system be expanded in the future?

Brian Brennan, an avid college football fan and host of a sports radio show for HPU, believes this is just the beginning.  “This is a step in the right direction,” Brennan said.  “I’ve always thought the BCS was kind of stupid, and because of it the best team didn’t always win.  I like the four-team playoff, but I think it will expand to eight and maybe 10 teams in the future.  It’s as if the four teams are a sample to see how successful this will really be.”

Although further expansion of this playoff format is a possibility, it does not seem likely any time soon.  The NCAA cited many reasons for not expanding further including concussion and injury risks, as well as academic concerns for players.

If there was a playoff system last season and the top four teams were chosen, LSU would have played Stanford and Alabama would have played Oklahoma State.

These matchups will be riddled with NFL talent and will be a great way for individual players to showcase their abilities to NFL scouts, coaches, and fans alike.