OUR VIEW: College football playoffs in the works — finallyA playoff system is finally coming to college football, and all we can say is that it’s about time.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
A playoff system is finally coming to college football, and all we can say is that it’s about time.
All major college sports — except football, that is — have had very structured, very understandable systems to determine a national champion.
Baseball and softball teams qualify through regional tournament play, for instance.
Basketball champions are determined via large postseason tournaments, whose participants are chosen by a national committee. The process isn’t perfect, but the best teams do get in.
College football, meanwhile, has been stuck in its archaic system since the beginning of the sport itself. Good teams qualify for postseason bowl games. Pollsters and computers determine the champions from there.
To say it’s been controversial is an understatement.
However, it appears that controversial past is behind us. Last week, NCAA officials said a four-team playoff is in the works for 2014. Administrators confirmed it Tuesday.
Starting in 2014, the NCAA football champ will come out of a four-team postseason tournament. A panel will choose the four teams, based upon record and strength of schedule, with conference champs being preferred.
There will be problems, to be sure. We worry that a strong team from a minor conference will be excluded, since that team may finish with a great record but against a weak schedule.
And fans will still feel that exceptional teams will be excluded, since only four teams will qualify. That’s a very valid point, and we prefer that the postseason tournament include eight teams. Still, a four-team playoff is better than the current system, which is based on proud (but flawed) heritage and greed.
College football needs this new system, since so many fans are frustrated by the process.
It makes sense to find a better system to determine the NCAA champion. Although fans eventually will clamor to expand the postseason championship tournament, a four-team playoff is a great start.