NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10: The Coaches' Trophy, awarded to head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Our writing staff tackles the issue of the new college football playoff.
Aside from the recent NBA Draft, the biggest story of the week has been the formal announcement that in 2014 college football will say goodbye to the BCS as we know it and computer rankings. The four-team playoff is happening! A selection committee will decide who gets in, many of the current bowl games will be used for the playoff games, the money will go to the conferences and the championship game will be bid out like the NFL does the Super Bowl.
With all there is to think about, we asked our writing staff to answer the following questions:
So the NCAA football playoff is here (in 2014). The popular consensus is that this has been long overdue. What do you think? Is it is as good as everyone thinks? Do you have any concerns about the new system? When will be the soonest we see Arizona or Arizona State as a part of the playoff? Lastly, will the bidding process for the national championship game help or hurt the Phoenix area?
Here is what they said:
It seems that everyone got what they wanted, except it isn't perfect at all. Yes, there is a playoff, but the Boise States and the TCUs of the world still are going to be left out. Instead of computer rankings (which I didn't have a problem with because they were a part of the formula combined with the coaches), there will be a selection committee. Why? It works for the NCAA Tournament. And people are always better at ranking things objectively than computers. Naturally.
There will still be controversy. There will still be teams crying about how they should have gotten in. I think they should have kept the computer system in and use the top four.
As for our Arizona schools...uh...that's almost funny to think based on history. However, if both Todd Graham and Rich Rodriguez can build their teams the way they hope to, it is certainly possible that in 2014 or 2015 they could have a shot at it, assuming the Pac-12 champ makes it in.
Bidding on the championship game? Phoenix should easily be in the rotation, despite the mess that happened with the Fiesta Bowl committee. We will see the game here regularly. No problem. It's great here.
Honestly, the whole playoff system in college football is beyond overdue. But I think that the bracket should definitely be expanded beyond four teams. If I were in charge, I would have a minimum of 16 teams in the playoff bracket. We have seen the wonders a larger sample size has done for college basketball, so why not install a similar (but smaller) system for football? Everyone loves the underdog, so getting to see them succeed is always fun.
Another concern that I have pertains to who will be selecting the playoff teams. We are not sure who will be on the committee at this time, so it will be interesting to see if bias and corruption leaks its way in with the new system.
It will probably be a while before we see either of the two main Arizona schools in the playoffs. It is only four teams and one or two of those are going to be from the SEC every year. After that, there are the bigger Pac-12 schools, Big 10 teams and even Big 12. ASU and U of A are in a QB transition phase, so to predict when they could be one of the four best teams in the nation would be a leap of faith.
I think the bidding process will help Arizona. The state already has the Fiesta Bowl and continuously continues to win Super Bowl bids in the University of Phoenix stadium, so I think they will get some National Championship games as well. Arizona has a lot to offer in terms of accommodating fans and players, so they should be okay.
I'm happy a playoff is finally here, but as Dan Wetzel discusses in a better manner than I ever could it is still a flawed system. Moving past all of that the playoffs are going to create a huge buzz. The regular season doesn't lose any importance because only four teams are in it, at most one team with two losses could get in. In the future it could even lead to higher profile non-conference games, which would be great for the sport.
I don't think ASU or UofA are anywhere close to making it to the playoff system. Out of the two I do think Rich Rodriguez will get the Wildcats there before the Graham gets the Sun Devils.
So we get a playoff, that's great. But there's a selection committee? That is just ripe for criticism. Maybe 1 and 2 will be easy to choose, but 3 and 4? Not so fast, my friend, as Lee Corso would say. Get ready for debates.
I see this playoff as a slight improvement, but it would be better with eight teams and not four. Why can't anyone figure out a way to use the bowl games as playoff games? The winners of four big bowl games (Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta) go to two semifinals, and the winners of those play for the national title in the BCS national championship game. Is it more complicated than that?
Maybe that's too many games for college kids. I get that. But no matter what gets changed or what new system there is, not everyone's going to be happy. At least there are playoffs now. I just wish there was a way to take out the human judgment element of it.
I think it's going to be a very long time before we see Arizona State or Arizona in these playoffs. There are at least four programs (USC, Oregon, Stanford, Washington) in the Pac-12 ahead of the Arizona schools and that won't change for a few years.
I don't mind the bidding process, and why shouldn't Arizona/Phoenix benefit from it? This area has hosted a BCS title game, two Super Bowls and another one coming and plenty of major sports events. People want to come here in the winter, and clearly those who organize bids know what they're doing. I envision Arizona being a major player in bids for future BCS championships.