After 15 hard fought weeks, the top four college football teams in the nation have finally been determined and will battle it out for a spot in the title on New Year’s Eve. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio St. and Washington are the last remaining contenders, three familiar faces and one we haven’t seen in a long time.
The first matchup will feature the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Washington Huskies, as one of college football’s most dominant programs it has ever seen takes on a team who just won their first conference title in 16 years. The second will showcase the Clemson Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes, two teams that have been here in the past and won’t be satisfied with anything short of a national title.
Although there has been little dispute over which teams were chosen for the playoff, heavy controversy has surrounded the road that got them there, specifically Ohio St. The Buckeyes finished with an 11-1 record, finishing third overall in the country. Going into conference championship week, Alabama, Clemson and Washington geared up for their respective conference championship games, ready to prove to the world why they belonged in the College Football Playoff. However, Ohio St. was already celebrating, as their regular season loss to Penn St. had kept them from the Big 10 championship. Their absence from the game didn’t hurt their case in any way, and while the other three teams put their season on the line, the Buckeyes were preparing for their semifinal.
After three years of the current College Football Playoff system, it is clear that it needs an overhaul. This season showed that being left out of your conference championship game has nearly no implications on the the final rankings. Many believe that the removal of conference championship week and doubling the playoff size to eight would be a more effective way of determining the true champion.
The size of the playoff isn’t the only flaw in the system. The College Football Playoff selection committee, consisting of 12 members, has been in question since its announcement. Despite her vast field of knowledge and incredible service for our country, many believe that former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is not the right person to be picking the best college football teams. The committee also contains multiple NCAA athletic directors, many of whom work at schools that have competed for a spot in the playoff, putting them in a position where they will always push for their team as much as possible.
Whatever the NCAA decides to do, there must be some sort of change made. The current system has not worked over the past three years and will not work in the future. Whether they decide to completely overhaul the system, or just swap out a few of the committee members, it will be a positive change for college football.