COLUMN: A College Football Playoff Hater’s Guide
The College Football Playoff and its committee brought in before the 2014 season to identify the top college football teams and have them fight for the national title. That hasn’t happened.
After the 2012 National Championship game between the University of Notre Dame and the University of Alabama, many individuals believed the Bowl Championship Series’ entirely automated system was faulty. The computers couldn’t watch the games, and the system biased against certain conferences and colleges.
The CFP Committee, which made up of athletic directors from different schools, intentionally chooses not to watch the games and skews rankings to obtain the greatest matches for ratings and money for their conferences, steps in. As a result, we find ourselves in the same position as a decade ago,
with schools like Notre Dame being blasted out by Alabama in the playoffs due to the powers that be overvaluing them.
The only difference is that, instead of a bunch of computers, 13 human people with more crooked teeth than Iowa athletic director Gary Barta chose the Irish over Texas A & M or the unbeaten University of Cincinnati.
So, how do you feel about this season?
Despite the fact that the CFP has rhetorically asked “Who’s In?” in every ad for the last seven years, as though all 130 Football Bowl Subdivision teams have a chance, just a handful have a genuine chance this season. At this point, Alabama and Clemson have their sports wrapped up,
and an unbeaten Ohio State would also get in, leaving one possible place open.
It will, however, reserved for clubs with the highest income, such as Oklahoma, Notre Dame, or Georgia.
This puts teams like Indiana, one of the few appealing schools in college football’s quagmire, out in the cold. They, like many other worthy teams, such as the University of Cincinnati or Iowa State, have most certainly already been ruled out of contention for a national championship by the committee due to their lack of a successful past.
Last season, Indiana failed to win a spot in the New Year’s Six, with its lone blemish being a one-score defeat to Ohio State on the road. Even if they were unbeaten, IU would have a difficult fight against the CFP’s establishment.
Even if the planned expansion to 12 teams is approved, up-and-coming colleges like Indiana would be ignored in favor of clubs like Texas and Michigan, who are no longer exceptional but have name recognition and brand value much greater than the quality of their current teams. Despite showing time and time again that, come January, they turned inside-out much like their supporters’ coats,
schools like Notre Dame will nearly always have a chance.
If anything, increasing the number of teams to 12 strengthens the committee’s grip over the sport’s environment,
since the boundary between “deserving” and “undeserving” teams blurs. College football is undergoing an unparalleled change for the worse, thanks to the impending 16-team superconferences.
College football is on the verge of losing the one quality that distinguishes it from the rest of the American sporting landscape: its soul.
A game once defined by fierce regional rivalries, decades-old customs,
and singing the fight song with classmates and alumni has devolved into a cold-blooded financial grab.
College football, like ESPN, is being pushed to extinction by the wealthy and powerful. Of course, the individuals who are most worthy of all of that money – student-athletes —
will get none of the money they generate for their multibillion-dollar universities and conferences.
Fans will lose interest in feel-good tales like Indiana, Cincinnati, and Coastal Carolina if they realize that none of it matters in the big scheme of things. The spirit-filled sport will characterized by indifferent spectators and heartless businesses,
reducing it to a nationally broadcast NFL audition for student players.
The popularity of college football will continue to grow. However, if the sport’s most powerful institutions continue to undermine it by putting ratings and brands before the spectacle, pageantry,
and emotions that have characterized its 152-year history, it will struggle to find a permanent place in people’s hearts, as it has in the past.
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