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Miscellany

College Football Has a Four-Team Playoff

College football officially has a four-team seeded playoff, that will be termed a playoff. Teams will be chosen by a selection committee. The semifinals will be rotated among six bowl games. The title game goes to the highest bidder. The television deal will be in place for 12 years and replace the BCS for the 2014 season. Bowls and the financial distribution have not been finalized.

A few thoughts…

Four Teams: Sixteen would have been fairer. Eight teams would have been more competitively ideal. Six teams with the top two receiving byes would have been preferable.  We have four. It took a decade of relentless logical broadsides (and declining ratings) to get college football’s big wigs to add one football game that would pump four times as much money into the system. Nothing radical would be approved, though it seems silly to design a system to stave off the inevitable, rather than shape it.

Selection Committee: This was the best compromise, but not the best solution. The college basketball selection committee selects, ranks and slots 68 teams. A college football selection committee makes one decision of import, four vs. five, and its findings add no conclusive value. At best it will be debatable. At worst it will prove a more selective version of the Harris Poll. The composition of the committee makes little difference. The BCS did not prove computer polling was flawed. It proved the folly of using flawed computer polling.

Bowl Games: This is basically the bowl system with an extra game. It will pump way more money into supposedly “non-profit” games. Will we see the first seven-figure commissioner? So much for that whole corruption thing. Frolics for everyone!

The new playoff is neither ideal, nor revolutionary, but it should be better than what came before, if only because it adds two additional teams.

[Photo via Getty]

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