College Football Playoff Year Two Review

So we’re two years into the playoffs, and once again people are clamoring for an eight team playoff. Personally, I think they should quiet themselves for the next two years because so far, the four team playoff has worked perfectly. It has worked the way it was hoped it’d work.

In year one, Baylor got punished for playing a non-conference schedule so weak, Donald Trump thinks Baylor is weaker than Jeb Bush. TCU had only themselves to blame for blowing a 21 point fourth quarter lead at Baylor. Florida State belonged because they were undefeated, the defending national champions, and quite simply, Jameis “Famous Rapist” Winston deserved to be, as he says to women in public, fucked in the pussy, by Marcus Mariota. Oregon belonged and Ohio State clearly showed it belonged too, first by beating Alabama, then beating Oregon for the ‘Natty. So yea, for year one, four teams was the right number.

In year two this year, despite the semi-final blowouts, four was the right number and the four teams were the right teams. Clemson and Alabama were clearly the two best teams, as they gave us the best ‘Natty since Vince Young and Texas went up against Reggie Bush’s USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl. Michigan State and Oklahoma belonged, even if they didn’t play like it. Michigan State came in as the B1G champion, had a non-conference win against top 20 Oregon and beat three top 20 teams in its conference, with two of those being top 10 wins. Oklahoma was the Big 12 champion and had three top 20 wins in its conference and a solid road win out of conference at Tennessee.

In retrospect, it’s easy to say that Stanford and Ohio State belonged and that if we had an eight team playoff, they would’ve had their opportunity. Thing is, they had their chance and blew it. Stanford can only blame itself for not showing up at Northwestern. If you lose early, you can make it up by winning the rest of your games, but there is no room for error. Stanford was on their way to doing that until they couldn’t beat a healthy Oregon team at home. Lose twice, and you’re done. For Ohio State, their season long complacency cost them late in the season at home to Michigan State. For some stupid reason, they needed a loss late in the season at home to get rid of their complacency. They had all their players back from last year and once they got rid of complacency, they showed against Michigan and Notre Dame that talent wise and coaching wise, they were by far the best team. Again though, complacency cost them.

The one improvement the playoff committee can make is the years when the semi-finals are on New Years Eve, switch the games to the day after New Years. The ratings this year were god awful compared to last year. Nobody watches on NYE, so put the playoffs the day after New Years, so everyone can watch like they did last year.

So yea, two years in, the four team playoff is working perfectly. It punishes you for a soft schedule, gives you time to make up early season losses if you pile up good wins. Late season losses kill you. Conference champions are rewarded. How the games play out is beyond the control of the playoff committee, but they’ve done great so far picking the right teams. Let’s give the four team playoff a few more years to see how it goes before we yell for an eight team playoff.

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