Do you know what could save a lot of grief, angst, gnashing of teeth, and tearing of hair in CFB? The Playoff Committee (committee) keeping its collective mouth shut so that the final rankings reveal is the only reveal. Just leave things up to the AP Poll, Coaches Polls, and other guesses before the Grapevine Gurus come forth with the Playoff Proclamation from their $600-a-night tower in Texas. But, this would not allow ESPN to make money for six weeks as CFB fans wait in breathless anticipation for the seers to speak.
Rece Davis: ‘We get the rankings the same time you do.’
Really? Then before the reveal of the in-your-face to the Indigenous People of Florida, why did Herbie have the Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama helmets sitting over his left shoulder on a bookshelf? I’ve got a few questions for the committee before they get to manipulate a Playoff three times as large as today’s Playoff?
FSU without its starting QB is not good enough to defeat Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama, but is good enough to defeat Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, Missouri, and Penn State?
Strength of Schedule matters, right? I believe FSU went undefeated including a win against No. 13 LSU, No. 15 Louisville, No. 22 Clemson along with SEC member Florida . That’s three top-25 wins, the same number as No. 1 Michigan. The ACC finished with four ranked teams. Didn’t the B1G finish with four ranked teams too? (Yes)
Puddles new friend Liberty played the 133rd most difficult schedule out of 133 teams ranked in the nation, and finished in every other meaningful metric, other than wins and losses, behind SMU? If it is only wins and losses that matter–why isn’t FSU in the final Final Four?
The committee gets an F in logic, but moves into a 12-team brave new Playoff world in 2024. A Playoff with a format as illogical as trying to fit five things into a four-thing jar. The 2024 Playoff format: 12 teams, top four ranked conference champions seeded 1-4, and with a first-round bye, the six highest ranked conference champs in the field, and six at-large teams. We already have a recommended change to the format which IMO will be approved. With the demise of the Pac-12 (RIP), the format will likely change to the five top-ranked conference champions with seven at-large teams in the field.
Using the committee’s ultimate 2023 ranking, taking into account conference realignment, and using the five-seven format, below is the 2024 Playoff field.
1. Michigan (B1G) vs. winner of No. 9 Oregon (B1G) at No. 8 Ohio State (B1G)
4. Arizona (B12) vs. winner of No. 12 Liberty (CUSA) at No. 5 Washington (B1G)
2. Texas (SEC) vs. winner of No. 10 Missouri (SEC) at No. 7 Georgia (SEC)
3. Florida State (ACC) vs. winner of No. 11 Penn State (B1G) at No. 6 Alabama (SEC)
In what post-season event played in college athletics is a team ranked No. 14 by a Playoff Committee the superior-seeded team to every team except for the No. 12-seeded team, a team that is ranked the No. 23 team? Answer: None.
In the above format, the 9-3 B12 champion Arizona would be seeded ahead of 13-0 Washington, and one-loss teams such as Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State. They get this by playing in a B12 conference that falls between the Power-2 and the G-5?
On its own, this format will likely not stand.
Then add in the first three teams to miss the Playoff being, No. 11 Ole Miss, No. 12 Oklahoma, and No. 13 LSU. (All three happen to be SEC teams come 2024) Do you think one of the designers of the 2024/25 Playoff format, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, would not be feeling the heat from his constituents? Especially, with five B1G schools in the field, compared to four SEC teams?
ESPN will lose its exclusive Playoff broadcast rights in 2026, thus Fox, CBS, NBC, and likely Apple, Amazon, along with ESPN, will all be in the Playoff broadcast rights mix.
The 2024/25 format will go away, with the possibility that there will be a 16-team field. In such a case and using the ultimate Committee rankings, seven SEC teams would be in the field, five B1G teams would be in the field, two ACC teams, one B12, and one CUSA team.
If Clemson, FSU, UNC, and Louisville escape the ACC and join the SEC, while Notre Dame, basketball power and AAU member Kansas join the B1G, will there even need to be a Playoff that isn’t a ‘World Series’ between the B1G and the SEC? Especially if some ‘World Series’ money is sprinkled on the lesser conferences to keep the lawyers and politicians away from the door?
A 12-team field will be superior to what we will have this season, but it is far from a finished Playoff product. IMO, the less fiddling that human beings have to do with creating and seeding the CFB Playoff field, the better.
Agree? Let me know in the very special Our Beloved Ducks forum.
Aiken, South Carolina
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck
Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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