I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I’m upset. I’m *insert other synonyms here*.
I’m at the point where I wish I didn’t care about college football as much as I do.
The FBS level of college football has 130 teams, yet it actively ices out half of those teams from even having a chance to sniff a national championship.
As you probably know, the College Football Playoff Committee dropped Cincinnati to #9 this week.
Undefeated #12 Coastal Carolina, #24 San Jose State, and NR Buffalo probably won’t crack the top 10 if they win out and end the season undefeated. SJSU and Buffalo would be lucky to crack the top 20, in all honesty.
So if this many Group of Five teams go undefeated and still have zero chance to make the playoff, what’s the point?
The playoff was supposed to be the chance for the G5 to finally get a realistic shot at a National Championship…Boy, were we wrong.
This is way worse than the BCS. Give me the computer systems again… PLEASE.
Let’s look at when UCF won 25 straight games and peaked at 7th in the top 25. I mean, what more does a team have to do to make the playoff? If a power 5 team rattled off 25 straight wins, many would be lauding them as one of the greatest teams ever (Like Clemson after UCF, or Alabama before them).
That’s why UCF claimed a national championship in 2017. They knew they weren’t going to get respect, so they took it.
They knew that no matter what they did, they had a glass ceiling of 7th or 8th in the country.
That 25-game win streak without a playoff berth should’ve been the wake-up call to the country, but UCF got looked at like they were crazy! Three years later, the country is starting to see it.
Cincinnati gets punished for not playing this past week, but Ohio State doesn’t play, and they hold firm at 4th (not to mention the Big Ten Championship nonsense, but I digress)…
Florida was a 23-point favorite at home and lost to 3-5 LSU. What’s their punishment? Dropping only one spot!
Could you imagine if Cincinnati lost as a 23-point favorite at home? They would have been dropped from the top 25 immediately, never to return.
But hey, it just means more or whatever…
Coastal Carolina gets bashed for a weak strength of schedule… but has a harder strength of schedule than Ohio State (77th vs.79th), and more wins against ranked opponents as well.
It’s the hypocrisy that frustrates me the most. You can’t tell Coastal “YOU AIN’T PLAYED NOBODY” when they have more ranked wins than #3 Clemson and #4 Ohio State and have the same amount as #2 Notre Dame.
The ceiling isn’t even glass anymore; that thing is solid concrete with steel reinforcements and a forcefield.
“If you’re a G5 team, you will get no higher than 7th, and you’ll take it and like it. Be grateful you even have a chance against a big and mighty power 5 team” – CFP Committee (basically)
This feels similar (albeit not life or death with no other consequences besides angry college football fans) to what people tell athletes when they protest racial injustice. “shut up and stop complaining, just be happy you get to play *insert sport here*. Be grateful you have what you have. It could be worse.”
Even better, sounds like the NCAA beating around the bush on maybe, possibly, eventually allowing players to earn money for playing sports. “Just getting the opportunity to play on scholarship should be good enough. You should be grateful just for that.”
Could it be worse than missing out on the playoff as an undefeated team? Yes. But just because it “could be worse” doesn’t mean we should sit idly by and just take 7th in the top 25.
Cincinnati was placed 7th at the beginning of the CFP rankings to give them false hope. It was so the P5 could say, “OH look, you got so close, good job, try again next year and maybe, just maybe, we’ll put you at 6th instead at the season’s end.”
That’s how the P5 keeps their power. You’re made to think you have a chance, but you don’t. The committee will find a two-loss team that they like more because of the conference sticker on the back of their helmet.
We can’t live in a world where Louisiana beats Iowa State by 17 in Ames, then Coastal beats Louisiana, and you sit here and tell me two-loss Iowa State deserves to be above undefeated Coastal.
The best solution is a 16-team playoff where all ten conference champions get an automatic bid to the playoff. Win your conference, and you get a chance at the national championship, just like *gasps* every other level of college football. Every level of sports, actually. The FBS is so far behind on this it’s painful.
Seeing as this will never happen, it’s time to get really radical.
As Nic put it so eloquently on Twitter, no more pretending “you kicking me in the nuts doesn’t hurt”.
Albert Einstien said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. So let’s stop being insane and actually change something.
It’s time to break away from the Power Five.
No more waiting for the system to change. Let’s leave it behind and do our own thing.
This is an idea that I have gone from loving in 2017, to hating from 2018 to the present-day. Frankly, I still hate the idea of a Group of Five playoff, but here we are.
Maybe there can be a reunion down the line, but it is clear that the G5 has no place here. If UCF can’t make it after 25 straight wins, what G5 team can?
Why sit around and just take one New Year’s Six Bowl per year? We all know multiple G5 teams deserve one this year.
There is no momentum being gained with the current system. The cycle goes: G5 team wins all their games up until the first CFP rankings -> committee ranks them 10th-15th if they’re in the AAC, 20th-25th if they’re in the other four -> G5 team climbs ever so slightly throughout the season getting to 7th or 8th -> G5 team falls because they won but didn’t win impressively enough -> G5 team loses and falls out of the top 25 -> repeat cycle.
I truly understand people’s fears of becoming the FCS 2.0, but dare I say that would be better than what we have now?
It’s not like it would affect the quality of play. That stays the same. The fan bases stay the same. The only thing that has the potential to change is the national spotlight. That spotlight is reserved for one or two G5 teams per year anyway, so it’s not really going to hurt anything.
Our own playoff, with our own TV deals. We decide what happens. We don’t allow the “big boys” to make our moves for us anymore.
Have an eight-team playoff, the five conference champs, and three at-large bids.
It’s not hard at all.
I’m done with this system. We don’t have a true playoff right now. We have a Power 5 invitational, and it will remain that way until we force it to change.