But anybody who thought there wouldn’t be much controversy in selecting four teams from five power conferences with a human committee is getting a reality check this weekend as there are at least six teams with very legitimate arguments to be in. We might see TCU get in over Baylor despite the Bears finishing with the same record as the Horned Frogs and beating them straight up during the season.
There’s no perfect solution in selection the playoff participants – there will always be controversy – but here’s a simple solution that makes this much easier (and entertaining) in the future when the current structure lapses contractually. Make it eight teams, take the five power conference winners, the best team from the non-power-five conferences and two wild cards. The committee ranks the teams, decides the wild cards, determines the non-power-five invitee and would also have a set-in-stone standard for breaking any ties in the Big 12 to avoid this TCU/Baylor-type of controversy.
An eight-team playoff system needs seven venues to play in (four in the quarterfinals, two for the semifinals and one for the finals). Use the six bowls that are already part of the playoff rotation (Fiesta, Sugar, Rose, Peach, Cotton and Orange) and add one more – we’ll say the Outback Bowl for the sake of example. Those seven would rotate each year in terms of which one gets which matchups.
Here’s what it could look like this year:
Perfect? No. Free from all controversy? Definitely not. But this system would decrease human error, still find a way to get more deserving teams a chance to play for a national title, increase revenue across the board and create a better postseason experience for everybody involved in college football.
Hopefully we’ll see something like it soon, but in the meantime, enjoy the first Selection Sunday in college football history today.