As exciting as College Football has been for so many years, problems with regards to its playoff system has always been an ongoing issue. No matter what the NCAA does, fans and teams seem to never be satisfied with the committee’s decisions. After finally creating a playoff where the best four teams meet for a chance to appear in the national championship, flaws are still present in this system. The latest victim to the committee is now fifth ranked Michigan.
For some reason, the NCAA continues to ignore strength of schedule when considering who should be in the final four of the College Football playoff. We see a case of Washington getting rewarded with a fourth seed for going 11-1 but not really showing any wins against ranked or even impressive teams (with the exception of Stanford). But, upsets happen all of the time, and they also lost to their Pac-12 rival, USC (who was ranked as well).
The only reason for keeping Michigan off of the final four; they lost to ranked 2 Ohio State in double overtime. Not to mention it was at the Buckeye palace. Now, Michigan had a worse record than Washington going 10-2, but with a much tougher conference. The Big Ten has boasted some of the best teams in the country such as, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State, Iowa, and of course Michigan.
Michigan has defeated what used to be ranked 8 Wisconsin, now ranked 8 Colorado, Penn State, and a scrappy Michigan State team. They have done all of this with talented head coach Jim Harbaugh at the helm as well. It’s no wonder why people still complain about the flaws in this type of system.
For me, the only real solution is, have a March Madness style tournament, where sixteen teams are in a bracket and all of the games are one and done. This will create an even bigger level of excitement, and will also get rid of most of the complaints going around. You would also scratch the useless bowl games that never really matter. It’s annoying when there are multiple no loss, or one loss teams that deserve a shot to be in the championship but never get that opportunity because of the so few selections that they can make.
There are so many factors to what goes into making these decisions that it would be logical create a tournament like that. However, considering the fact that this newer system has only been in place for a couple of years, it probably won’t be for awhile until they change it once again.
We’ve seen the same problem in the past, even before this four team playoff, where a team like Boise State would have the opposite problem as Michigan, and never get a chance to be in the big game because of their weak conference. There were a few years where Boise State went undefeated and were good enough to be in it too. They just never received the credit that they deserved, which is a shame.
If I were Michigan though, I would be quite angry but still optimistic. Washington still has to go up against number 8 Colorado, and if they can’t come out with a win, then Michigan may have a slight chance of sliding into the top four. And if they don’t, then there will be backlash as usual. It seems like college football can’t go a year without having drama. This year has been no different.