Time Out: College Football Playoff will not end controversy

Photo by Kevin Kuo

Thankfully the BCS era is finished and the NCAA college football playoff will commence this season. After begging for years, fans have gotten their wish. The Wicked Witch, which was the BCS, is finally dead. The BCS should have ended five years ago, and regretfully, we all had to witness the turmoil of the 2012 BCS Championship, which was a rematch between LSU and Alabama.

Those three and a half hours were the biggest waste of time in my life, and the BCS system showed it wasn’t suitable at choosing who plays for the championship on its own.

A team that didn’t win its division never should have been allowed to play for a championship. It was a catastrophe that fans, especially LSU fans, will forever remember. That game is when people realized real change needed to occur because the bias in the BCS was too high. The SEC bandwagon was at a tipping point and needed to be derailed, as it eventually was by Florida State.

Leaders of the new college football playoff chose a college football selection committee, and those members are several athletic directors, former head coaches and other college football fans.

In total there are 13 members in the committee. The only female is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice is a former Stanford graduate and has been a long time college football fan. Archie Manning and former Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich are also on the selection committee.

There was much controversy as to who was chosen because each person on the committee might have a bias towards their team or conference.  Nine of the thirteen members are not allowed to vote for the schools that they each work for or still have connections to.

The SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences all have three members of the 13 that have affiliation to that conference. The ACC only has Radakovich and the Big 12 Conference has West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who has ties to University of Texas and Stanford University as well.  There are also two independent representatives on the selection committee including Lieutenant General Mike Gould who was the former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy.

Looking at the numbers, it appears the ACC and Big 12 conferences are at a major disadvantage.  The SEC conference having a major advantage on the selection committee is what people were afraid of. Frankly, Americans are sick of the SEC hype train that occurs every year. Currently, there are seven SEC teams in the top 15 of the AP Poll. The past weekend, many members of the media were bragging about how many SEC teams are ranked so highly when they are the ones who ranked themselves. Fans shouldn’t have votes, and in the last ten years, it appears every media member has become a fan of the SEC.

Even though I think Kenny Hill and Texas A&M are legitimate but good trying to finish the season undefeated. Georgia losing this past weekend guarantees that no one from the SEC East will finish undefeated. Even if the SEC champion has two losses, I guarantee you they will have a representative in the playoff. The SEC is the only conference where a two-loss team would be chosen because the national perception is that they are better than everyone.

But this is the first year where the polls are worthless in determining who will participate in the first playoff. The selection committee will start releasing their own top 25 ranking list on October 28.

Committee members will come up with their own top 25, and teams that appear in at least three will be discussed. When a school comes up that one of the nine voters has a connection to, they will leave the room.

Personally, I think if  you attended the university or played football there, you should not be allowed to talk on behalf of that school. Tyrone Willingham (Michigan State), Steve Wieberg (Missouri) and Tom Jernstedt (Oregon) will all get free passes to vote for their alma maters.

Selection Sunday is when the committee will select the teams to participate in the playoff as well as who will participate in the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange and Peach Bowls. There are six bowls that will rotate each year. This year the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host the semifinals of the playoff, and the national championship game will be hosted at AT&T Stadium.

Once the selections for the playoffs are released, expect there to be plenty of backlash. I don’t want to imagine the backlash that will ensue if two SEC teams are picked to make up the four playoff teams. There are five power conferences, and it’s most likely that the Big Ten conference won’t have a member this season.

Florida State is the front runner for the ACC, but if they lose a game, chaos could ensue. The same can be said for Oregon. Either Baylor or Oklahoma State will represent Big 12, and the most likely SEC representatives are Alabama, Auburn or Texas A&M. There are seven teams fighting for four spots, and that doesn’t include BYU, which is a shoo-in to go undefeated.

Fans wanted a playoff so teams like BYU would have a shot if undefeated after Boise State was passed over in their best season in 2008.

It doesn’t appear that four teams are enough for a playoff, but that is better than what we had. Maybe they should move to eight teams, but don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. On December 7, the fate of the college football playoff will be known. Brace yourselves America, winter is coming.