I’m finally coming to grips and coping with the fact that there will never be a great way to determine the “best” team in football.
The first rankings for the college playoff system were released Tuesday night. In case you missed it the committee shares this country’s love for the SEC with the following rankings:
1) Mississippi St
2) Florida St
4) Ole Miss
Honestly I don’t really care about the “hits” or “misses” of the initial rankings. Sure Notre Dame probably got a little hosed being ranked at 10 considering they lost to the number 2 ranked Florida St on one play, while Ole Miss lost to two loss LSU. The committee is clearly emphasizing strength of wins as well. All in all that doesn’t matter because half of these arguments will take care of themselves over the next couple of weeks when all of these 1 loss teams are match up so arguing about it now seems a little arbitrary.
However, this system has finally led me to realize that I’ll never truly be satisfied with college football’s playoff system. I don’t believe that a four team playoff will ever satisfy my desire to find the “best” team in the nation. I heard a phrase on ESPN Radio this morning where Mike and Mike discussed that it wouldn’t find the “best” team but perhaps “the most accomplished.” Initially I liked that wording better but now I can’t decide if that is just a fancier synonym for an objective that can’t be determined. With 128 Division 1 FBS programs and each team playing only 12 to 13 games you can’t efficiently determine a true “best” or “most accomplished” champion. You throw into the mix a committee that while bound by certain criteria, will never be able to overcome at least some type of subjectivity, good or bad.
The NFL playoffs aren’t really that much better. You can feasibly win the Super Bowl having only played less than half of the league in a given season. The fact that geography and conferencing can affect a playoff almost as much as playoffs is a frustrating concept to come to terms with as well but that is another argument for another time.
Ultimately I’m not sure there is a much more efficient way to determine a “national champion” in college football. The change is an attempt to make it better which I respect, I just have to accept that it will never really be good enough.