College Sports

How the College Football Playoff system is like many of our New Year’s resolutions

Clemson wide receiver Diondre Overton, left, and place-kicker Drew Costa low-five on the mid-field Sugar Bowl logo Saturday.
Clemson wide receiver Diondre Overton, left, and place-kicker Drew Costa low-five on the mid-field Sugar Bowl logo Saturday. AP

New year, new me. Right?

Isn’t that what we’re all saying this time of the year?

Well, for the College Football Playoff that’s not the case.

Instead, I’m saying: It’s not me, it’s you.

Yes, the College Football Playoff sucks and this year has done a lot to prove it.

This has nothing to do with the CFP semifinals and championship game. The four teams involved – Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama – certainly deserved to play their way toward a national championship.

However – as other bowl results proved – so did several other teams.

There was one undefeated team this season – Central Florida – and it defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl on Monday. There were five teams with just one loss, including one – Wisconsin – that didn’t get in the playoff despite its lone loss being against CFP No. 5 Ohio State, a team many thought was deserving to get in ahead of Alabama.

The Knights proved they can play with the big boys by beating the Tigers, who were a playoff shoo-in had they beaten Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

The Big Ten went 7-1 in bowl games, showing that the conference apparently was stronger than it was given credit for. That being said, perhaps a one-loss Badgers team – which took out another near CFP team, Miami, in the Orange Bowl – was better than we all thought.

Again, the College Football Playoff sucks. However, I’m not saying it’s a bad product. I’m saying it’s a lacking commodity compared to what it could – and should – be.

Going to a four-team playoff was one of the best things to happen to college football, but it’s not enough.

I’ve often argued for a 16-team playoff, and why not? The Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) has 24. Nonetheless, I’d be content with eight teams.

As one of my colleagues suggested, why not include conference champions from each Power 5 conference, the best team from the Group of 5 and two at-large squads.

Let’s examine what that would have looked like this year. Probably something like this:

1. Clemson, 2. Oklahoma, 3. Georgia, 4. Ohio State, 5. Southern Cal, 6. Alabama, 7. Wisconsin, 8. Central Florida.

Looks pretty solid to me.

While many of the reasons to get Central Florida and Wisconsin – primarily – in the mix come in hindsight, an eight-team playoff would have taken the guess work out of it.

They should be able to decide the winners and losers on the field.

Yet, that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.

The culprit? One would have to assume money. Isn’t that always the reasoning behind something that lacks logic?

Therefore, for now we’ll have to continue to settle. At least it’s not the Bowl Championship Series anymore.

College football has made resolutions once. Perhaps eventually we’ll get there.

For now, though, the sport’s start to 2018 will be similar to most of our New Year’s resolutions: good in theory, but unreliable.

David Wetzel: 843-626-0295, @MYBSports

Editor’s note

The College Football Playoff semifinal games were not over at press time. Go to myrtlebeachonline.com and pick up Wednesday’s edition of The Sun News for a recap and more.

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