Could we actually be getting an expanded College Football Playoff after all?
When I started reading in to what's going on in the world this morning--I really thought my eyes were deceiving me. I actually saw this tweet from Yahoo Sports College Football reporter Pete Thamel and suddenly my day got just a little brighter.
It's about damn time.
This move, should it happen, is the about face the so called, alleged College Football experts who occupy the "Playoff Committee" should have considered the first time they came up with their "master plan" of a four-team playoff.
To say that the current playoff system has been a disaster would be an understatement, unless I suppose your an Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State or Oklahoma fan.
Yeah, sure, in the south, College Football is still everything that most people live for in the fall. I get it. Even that is becoming less of a thing than it was even 5/10 years ago.
But something has to give. The game and the world around it have changed, dramatically over the past decade and the belief system of so many involved hasn't.
Right now, there are roughly 130 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. I've said 1,000 times, for 120 of those teams, there is currently ZERO chance of making the playoffs. We all know some combination of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State or Oklahoma is going to make the playoff. There are few things in life more certain than that.
Which on the surface begs the question: If you can't play for a championship, then why play?
IF....if we move to a 12-team playoff system, maybe we can have at least a little peace for awhile. Perhaps the playoff will actually generate some excitement and anticipation, particularly if the Pac 12 and the Group of Five are allowed to have teams participate.
No, at the time I write this--it isn't quite as simple as just saying "we're making a change now". There's TV money involved. For College Football, nearly everything revolves around that. The CFP has a deal with ESPN that they are currently tied to for the next five years. From what I understand, we wouldn't have to wait quite that long.
If it were to happen, the two parties would have to agree to a new deal, which in theory will happen but it's not an absolute guarantee. Why you ask? Because TV money, even from ESPN is not the sure thing it once was. The 4-letter network has been hemorrhaging money as viewers drift away from cable and move towards streaming content providers.
However, for College Football, I suspect the Disney Company will find away to scrounge up the money without upsetting its shareholders too much.
The question some older fans might wonder is this: What happens to the Bowl Game system?
Don't get your hopes up, to steal a cliche', it's a relic from a bygone era and is slowly fading away. Bowl games have largely lost their significance. I know--some of you will say "But they bring money to a town hosting a game....'. Um, I would argue that's overrated and most towns now know they don't have to rely on said money it means very little to them anymore. Bowl games largely exist to line the pockets of the people who put them on. Nothing more, nothing less. They serve little purpose now other than to give lonely guys something to watch leading into the holidays.
When you combine this with the explosion of "free agency" in college football due to the transfer portal and paying players, suddenly the great southern tradition has some warts. It's a big money making business that exists these days to create more money. Not for everyone---but the chosen few.
I think it is a safe bet the CFP is going to expand their system. It's not if. Just when. They have to. College Football is in the midst of a tremendous period of change where so many of the old traditions are going away.
College Football at its highest level seems to exist now only for a chosen few. If the people who proclaim themselves keepers of the game have any modicum of intelligence...or self-awareness, they should realize they have to change right along with it.