New college football playoff format may not end controversy

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel is sacked for a loss by Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Jordan Jenkins back in October. Georgia won that matchup but would be left out of a four-team playoff in favor of Florida, according to a Sports Illustrated survey.
(John Raoux / Associated Press)

Those of you thinking the new four-team playoff coming in 2014 will simplify college football’s maddening postseason process should think again and then read this Sports Illustrated story posted Thursday.

Writers Pete Thamel and Stewart Mandel convened a panel of 11 college football athletic directors to conduct a mock selection of the 2014 playoff using this year as a model.

As you may know, a to-be-determined selection committee will pick the four playoff teams starting in 2014. Those schools will meet in semifinal games leading to a championship.


Picking the four teams might turn out to be as controversial as the BCS system the playoff has been designated to replace.

SI’s mock selection committee ended up with a Final Four of Notre Dame vs. Oregon in one game and Alabama (presuming it wins the SEC) against Florida.

Three of the four picks are not even conference champions. Notre Dame, of course, is an independent while Florida and Oregon did not even win their own divisions of the SEC and Pac 12.

Georgia could be left out despite defeating Florida and Stanford could be left out as the possible Pac 12 champion with a win over Oregon.

What about one-loss Kansas State?

Sports Illustrated concluded, “The resulting process may be may be more complicated and controversial than the current system.”

Selection committee members generally concluded what has been widely speculated: that leaving the No. 5 out of the championship process is a lot more difficult than leaving out team No. 69 in the NCAA tournament bracket.


“It hits you in the face when you start looking at the last couple of spots and how many teams can make legitimate claims for consideration for the last two spots,” said Mississippi State Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. “It’s going to be a daunting task when the real committee gets together.”

Gee, I can’t wait.


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