The Official Student News Source of HSEHS


The Official Student News Source of HSEHS


The Official Student News Source of HSEHS


Will College Football Ever Get the Postseason Right?

The Fundamental Dilemma That Faces the College Football Playoff Selection Committee

The way that college football picks a national champion has never been good. For the longest time it wasn’t even really decided by a game but rather but a poll. That’s why in some instances there would be multiple national champions. Now, the College Football Playoff, or its commonly used shorthand CFP, helped to somewhat alleviate this issue with their being four teams that were selected by a committee of “qualified” individuals. 

Next year the CFP will be expanding to 12 teams and frankly, it is coming at the perfect time considering that the current iteration has begun to show its many flaws. This year saw likely the closest competition for the last two playoff spots yet. 

Between Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Texas all had at least some argument to be considered for a spot. Alabama won the SEC but wouldn’t have even been in the game if it weren’t for an improbable fourth-and-goal touchdown from the 31-yard-line. Florida State was undefeated and won the ACC but their quarterback Jordan Travis, went down for the season and after his injury the Seminoles looked just good enough to beat teams that were not exactly of playoff caliber. Texas won the Big 12 and beat Alabama earlier in the season but played a relatively easier schedule than others and had a litany of close games against far inferior teams. Georgia was 12-0 and looking dominant before losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship. 

Now consider that prior to this weekend of football Alabama was ranked eighth by the CFP committee, Florida State fourth, Texas seventh and Georgia first. With all the information that has been gathered the most obvious choice seems to be Texas for one of the two spots. The CFP committee agreed, as they put them third. 

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This is where it gets tricky though. Go ahead and throw Georgia to the wayside, their loss to Alabama largely invalidates them in this exercise. You are now left with Alabama and Florida State which puts the fundamental purpose of the CFP in question.  

Does the CFP reward the four best teams or the four most deserving teams and does it rely on the eye test or numbers? 

The proposition that the four best teams are picked using the eye test opens the door for more mayhem than you would think. Say hello to Oregon, who has two losses on the season, both to Washington who is sitting pretty, ahead of this quagmire as the DeFacto second-ranked team, only behind Michigan.  

Those aforementioned losses have come by a combined six points and using the eye test they look like a top four team. The Ducks have torn through the toughest division in college football (this year) like they were Muhammad Ali facing amateur boxers, beating them to a pulp. 

If Washington is considered to be a playoff team, and Oregon’s only losses are to Washington, why are they not being thought of as at least a fringe-playoff contender? The Ducks have looked just as dominant as any team in the country and with the eye-test alone, they just might be good enough to sneak into the playoffs. But they didn’t, there is a reason that I didn’t mention them earlier when talking about these fringe teams. Oregon finished ranked eighth by the CFP committee.  

Oregon didn’t deserve to be in the CFP according to the committee, their two losses, regardless of opponent were deemed too much and thus they were excluded. The issue of who deserves to be in the CFP now brings us to Florida State. 

On paper, Florida State deserves to be in the CFP. They are an undefeated Power 5 conference champion and despite their most important player getting hurt, they deserved a spot in the CFP. They won every game in front of them and should be rewarded for it. But they weren’t. 

Alabama was selected as the fourth and final team by the CFP committee. Did the Crimson Tide deserve it? Sure, they won the SEC and being Alabama will get you a lot of goodwill from college football circles, but did Florida State deserve it more? The Seminoles deserved it more, but the eye test simply just didn’t back it up. Their offense was a shell of itself and while their defense was phenomenal, it wasn’t enough to push Florida State into the CFP. 

The answer to that question about how the committee evaluates teams isn’t black and white. They continually will choose eye test of numbers or deserving over best and vice versa. The constant contradistinction and backtracking will never end. The 12-team playoff may fix some of these issues but in reality, it won’t. We will still be talking about how this team got snubbed or how this team was unfairly let in.  

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