• phil cantor/@osgphil

The 2020 Rose Bowl scenario should change the College Football Playoff but won't



Finally we're beginning to see some push back from people who despise the "College Football Playoff" and question about how the Rose Bowl can control the game's post-season.


If you follow the game at all, you know how the CFP has managed to piss off just about everyone not named Alabama or Clemson. And before you say it, outside those fan bases the rest of us are tired of seeing them make the football version of the final four every....single...year.


Yes, in the playoff's six year existence, 'Bama or Clemson has been in it five times each. One the two teams has won four of the six titles.


Sure, you can say, be better--beat them, but the deck is totally stacked against almost everyone else. You can hope for an LSU 2019 season where you have a generational offense and stacked defense and run the table--but that seems to be the exception.


The whole subjective process by the 20 or so members of the CFP committee is really the problem and since they hold all the cards, we will never see a Group of Five team, or likely a Pac 12 team ever play in the "playoff" as it currently exists.


I could, and have gone on about how this whole system is set-up for certain school to keep raking in tons of money and others to not and how it will never be right until the best teams settle it on the field. But I'm also a contrarian who believes you shouldn't keep doing things the way they used to be done just because #History.


Which brings me to another problem. It's raring its head in 2020, but it also is a large reason the playoff exists in the form it currently does.


The Rose Bowl. The "grandaddy of them all"....


Somehow the game/legend of the game has become the single most powerful force in all the game. The Rose Bowl forced the previous change from the BCS to the CFP, and the game has dictated what conferences have to do for their respective bowl games for decades.


Now, in 2020, a.k.a The Year of the Pandemic, the Rose Bowl is insisting its game be played in Pasadena, California where there are no free hospital ICU beds available and most of the state is under a lockdown or severe restrictions due to an exploding COVID-19 problem.


The Rose Bowl at best will be played with nobody in the stands. Rules in place right now prohibit gatherings of any note, which means the teams playing in the game would have zero friends or family there.


By the way, the CFP semi-final is due to be played in the Rose Bowl.


It also means despite these restrictions--it would place stadium workers and anyone else who would be required to be at the game in danger of catching the virus. But nope, that isn't slowing down the Rose Bowl committee who is adamant the game will be played.


Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney both made strong statements that they wanted no part of going to California if they're assigned to the Rose Bowl.


"It makes no sense to fly kids across the country to play in a stadium with no fans," said Swinney. “It is an absolute shame and a sham if parents can’t be watching their kids play. “Somebody’s gotta wake up in that room and figure that out," said Kelly.


Swinney makes the stronger point, Kelly I think was trying to say the same thing only it comes across as leaving the Rose Bowl wiggle room.


The point remains the same. There's NO legitimate reason to play the Rose Bowl game in California THIS year. There's nothing to be gained other than maybe some old white guy in a bad suit not getting paid. Seriously. That's one of the stupidest, silliest things about "Bowl Committees" and why the college football bowl system is a sham that needs to die.


They literally consist of highly paid, mostly white men who get six figure paychecks for organizing one football game. That's it. They have little say in the teams assigned to their "game" and they don't do much of anything else other than say some of the seven figure pay day they get from ESPN goes towards charity. Some bowls it can be as little as 10%, others do much better.


But seriously, that's what they do. It's why bowl games are a scam and its why they should not continue. Too many people have their hands in the collective cookie jar though and there's too much at stake for ESPN programming in December, so they won't.


I don't know about you, but I'd rather see a playoff system like what the pros use. Or even the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) uses. 16 teams playing for a shot at the belt.


College Football is capable of pulling it off, it's already done on a lower level. Nothing else needs to be said.



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