Sports Commentary: Looking ahead to next years playoff format
By Joe Biddle, Columnist
I apologize in advance if I play any part in jinxing your favorite college football team.
Right now we can only wish the upcoming 2014 Championship Playoff was in effect today.
You would not need a committee to determine the best four football teams. There would be no grounds for an argument over the last team in.
The latest BCS standings have four unbeaten teams in the top four positions. No. 1 is Alabama, but hot on their heels is No. 2 Florida State. No. 3 is Ohio State while No. 4 is darkhorse Baylor.
Alabama would play Baylor in one semifinal game. Imagine Alabama’s defense against Baylor Coach Art Briles’ anything goes offense. Not only do the Bears play at a speed that would leave a triathlete limp, they score touchdowns in less time that it takes to boil a cup of water.
I’m just saying. Bama may blow Baylor’s doors off, but on paper it would make for an attractive show.
No. 2 Florida State and equally undefeated No. 3 Ohio State would match up in the second semifinal game. It would give the Buckeyes the opportunity they have been crying for, to be on a par with the other three undefeated teams.
Jimbo Fisher has taken the Seminoles to a place they haven’t visited since Bobby Bowden was a Boy Scout. Or so it seems.
Led by quarterback Famous Jameis Winston, FSU is a balanced team that would challenge Ohio State’s team speed. Granted, the Bucks are undefeated in what has been a sub-par season for Big Ten football.
Let’s take a look at this season’s future.
Alabama has UT-Chattanooga (Puh-leeze), No. 6 Auburn and the SEC Championship Game.
FSU has Idaho-ho-ho, unranked Florida and the ACC Championship Game. Ohio State has unranked Indiana, Michigan and the Big Ten Championship game.
Baylor has No. 10 Oklahoma State this week, followed by TCU, Texas and the Big 12 Championship.
Let’s look at how difficult these teams have had it during the regular season.
Alabama has defeated No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 13 LSU and No. 21 Ole Miss. Florida State has knocked off No. 3 Clemson, No. 7 Miami (Fla) and No. 25 Maryland.
Ohio State has beaten No. 16 Northwestern and No. 23 Wisconsin. Baylor has only one Top 25 win, as it beat then-No. 10 Oklahoma.
As you can see, there is still a lot of football left. This is the final year of the BCS formula, where only the top two teams make it to the Final Dance. The winner gets a crystal football. No one will remember who was runner-up in 10 years, or less.
At least they will have a true champion emerge from a four-team playoff.
I believe when the NCAA decision makers see the money and excitement generated by the inaugural playoff, there will be a growing demand to expand the number of teams to eight and perhaps beyond.
The current FCS, the former Division I-AA teams, have had a 16-team playoff for years.
Their coaches and players are all for it. It is the only way to crown a true champion. The Football Bowl Subdivision team may have to cut one of their regular season games, but most of the teams we are talking about already schedule money games where they pay inferior teams to play them at the power team’s stadium.
I remember when then-SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer announced a two-team expansion in order to gain a conference champion and create a BCS championship game. If you weather a conference championship game and win a BCS championship game, you deserve a national championship.
Here’s hoping next season’s four best teams are as clear-cut as we have at this point in the season.
Posted on: 11/21/2013