I was thinking about a couple of topics today related to college football. There’s not any research here…just my own thoughts and questions. Opinions are not the norm for my random tangents, but this is still pretty random.
“9 wins isn’t what it used to be.”
Why not? Being from Nebraska, I saw years and years of 9 win seasons. For years, victories over Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and the like contributed to 9 win seasons for decades. Now, in the Big Ten…and playing 1 or maybe two more games per season, I constantly hear how 9 wins isn’t what it used to be. It’s as if playing Purdue, Illinois, and company somehow doesn’t measure up to what it used to be. Sure, there are more games to get to 9 wins…..but scholarship limits are different, rules are different, and the wear and tear of the “longer season” makes it different. Additionally, now every school has facilities and programs to make their athletes better. So what was Nebraska’s advantage is now lessened.
The following is not a commentary on any coaches. It’s merely a reflection on this topic. Over the Bo Pelini’s seven years, Nebraska was one of ONLY three teams that won 9 games each of those years (Alabama and Oregon). So, if it’s so easy and not what it used to be….why aren’t more teams doing it? And now, just two years later, that list is down to Alabama. So, I guess, maybe it’s not what it used to be. There used to be more teams doing it!
“The playoff needs to expand to 8 teams!”
I’m starting to believe that the only people that say this are the ones that want their team to be in the discussion. I, for one, do not want the playoffs expanded UNLESS we’re going to seriously consider every conference. I think it’s wrong to tell approximately half the FBS that no matter what they accomplish on the field, they will not be considered. Short of that, four is plenty. We don’t need more at large teams and we don’t need all 5 of the P5 conferences represented.
In my opinion, the first change that needs to be made is that ONLY conference champions are considered for the playoffs. In other words, if you don’t win your conference….you’re out! I don’t want to hear from you. Sorry, 2016 Ohio State. You lost the one game that was critical. You may very well be the best team in this conference….but you didn’t win the game you needed to win.
I know there are those who are going to argue that point. But look at it this way. We’ll have our four teams and I think the majority of the fans would agree that Alabama appears to be the best team. If we have our four team playoff and they lose on a fluke play in overtime where they turn the ball over six times in the first game….they’re out….even though we all still think they’re the best. They don’t get another chance. It’s too bad that they won all the games before that…they lost at a critical point.
If only conference champions are considered….we only have to pick the four best out of five teams. The one left out likely knows why. And, I bet we’d solve the conference realignment and scheduling issues pretty fast too.
Even without conference championship being a requirement, expanding to eight teams doesn’t solve the right teams getting in. All that would happen is the argument of who should be #4 would change to who should be #8…and from a larger pool of “tier 2” teams.