For all those whining about another Alabama-Clemson national championship game, guess what? It’s exactly what college football needs. The national title game is supposed to have the nation’s two best teams fighting for the right to be called champions. For the third time in four years, the Crimson Tide and the Tigers will meet in the College Football Playoff national title game and rightfully so.
CFP Expansion = More Blowouts Even as the CFP will present the nation’s best two teams in next Monday’s championship game, college football pundits, fans, and others clamor for expansion of the playoff system. Expansion will not create a better product, which is designed to find the nation’s best college football team. Expansion will likely create more bad football.
If the CFP had been expanded to say, eight teams, this season, No. 7 Michigan would likely have earned a spot. In the CFP era. No. 7 teams have not fared all that well in bowl games. They are 2-3 with Michigan’s loss to Florida this year. Teams ranked No. 8 have suffered similar fates. UCF lost to LSU this year and USC was pounded by Ohio State in 2017. No. 8 teams are also 2-3 in bowl games in the CFP era.
In a likely scenario, No. 2 Clemson would have faced No. 7 Michigan. Clemson derailed third-ranked Notre Dame in their bowl game last week. This is the same Notre Dame that started the 2018 season with a win over Michigan. Would Clemson-Michigan make the CFP more competitive? Get us closer to finding the nation’s best team? You can answer that yourself.
Even More Bad Football For some, an eight-team playoff still isn’t enough. Let’s have a playoff-like they do at the FCS, Division II, or Division III levels. Ok, great. We’ll have 28 or 32 teams in the field. We’ll even keep the bowls and let them serve as playoff games.
Consider this. Prior to Dec.31, there were 27 bowl games played. Take a crack at the average margin of victory. It was 20 points. Only 10 of the 27 games featured a one-score difference at any time in the fourth quarter. In other words, most of these games were blowouts.
The CFP Gets It Right Most of the arguments for expanding the CFP are purely political. “It’s not fair,” some suggest. Well, entering the 2018 college football season, most so-called experts believed that Alabama and Clemson were the two best teams in the country. The polls thought so too. As the teams won all of their games, the CFP committee agreed that Alabama and Clemson were the nation’s top two teams.
“But, the Pac-12 never gets in.” Well, maybe teams like Washington and Washington State should win all of their games. “But, what about Georgia?” Yeah, no question the Bulldogs are a very good football team, but they weren’t good enough to beat LSU. They also weren’t good enough to beat Alabama to win an SEC title. “But Georgia should have got in over Oklahoma.”
Here’s the problem with all of those statements. None of the teams mentioned are Alabama or Clemson. None of them won all of their games during the regular season. Clemson and Alabama did and they both won their bowl games, also known as the national semifinals. Like it or not, the nation’s two best teams will meet again on Jan. 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., for the national championship.