Wasserman: The price we’ll pay for the College Football Playoff Expansion

When Brian Kelly kept his attack on the field in overtime against him Alabama On Saturday night, time stopped. The entire country slipped to the edge of their seats, some of us dripping sweat on our foreheads.

This was a playoff between SEC’s performance rivals. With the sport now in existence, the results of such games go a long way in determining the ultimate national champion. So we watched eagerly.

Kelly, the first-year coach trying to prove him frantic LSU The fan base that this show could rival at the highest level under its watch, they didn’t want the game to carry over to another overtime. His team just scored a goal and was one more point away from tying the game and forcing it into a second overtime. Instead, he chose to go for two. He was at home. His team proved that he can score. He had a gigantic, evil wolf on the ropes.

He wanted it with everything on the line – his team’s season, a potential spot in the College Football Playoff and approval for his fan base. He put his hands on his chips and slowly pushed them to the middle of the table.

all in.

stakes.

drama.

Mastering college football.

Kelly succeeded. quarterback Jaden Daniels I found a narrow end Mason Taylor A short yard from the end zone before the talented freshman crosses the goal line. LSU won 32-31. The Tigers are still alive for the SEC Championship – and the supposed playoff location that comes with that tournament – while Alabama’s national title hopes have faded.

Yes, this was a normal match. But it was basically a playoff, where the winner takes it all. This is how college football works with the current four-team system. The locations are absurdly exclusive compared to other sports, which is why college football has the most compelling regular season. Although some teams may benefit from the doubt – like teams in the SEC like LSU with two losses, which still cling to hope they can win the sport’s best and deepest conference – everyone at the Power 5 level has a chance. Win all your games, you are subscribed. It’s simple. And once you lose, things may or may not fall your way, but that loss exposes you to the possibility of disqualification.

There were no CFP banners on the field in Baton Rouge on Saturday, but we all had a playoff game in November.

It looks like Everyone with expansion From the college football game. There is excitement about how to give it access to more teams and add the aforementioned bets to other games that some of us may be going through right now. The little man was finally seen. The G5 teams were finally represented. Branding playoffs on campus is an exciting new prospect in a sport that has evolved significantly in the past three years. The pros of expansion are often highlighted in the media.

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Oddly enough, there weren’t many who voiced negatives. Do we really want to tinker with the exciting regular season that this four-team stadium has to offer? To get all the benefits of the expansion, you have to admit that we’re removing the magic from the big regular season breakout games that already exist.

What were the top three results of last weekend? LSU over Alabama, Georgia During Tennessee And the Notre Dame During Clemson. All three losers in those games were represented in the top 12 of the latest College Football Committee rankings released Tuesday night. Tennessee was fifth, Alabama ninth and Clemson tenth. There are no consequences for the loss.

blah.

Oh, this year Ohio StateMichigan Game? You know, the game that would likely host two undefeated Big Ten East teams for a chance to win their conference and make the playoff? Well, with an expanded field, the results of that game wouldn’t matter to the national title race. Sure, fan bases will always care because it’s such a bitter competition, but the only consequences of losing that game would be an inferior seed and listening to the rival fan base debate. Ohio State might lose the game, but it would be the No. 7 seed in the college football playoffs and host another team and be a 23-point favorite instead. amazing.

Understandably, you’d like to see new teams. We are tired of the same results every year. So what do we do? We are changing the definition of success – being in the top 12 instead of being in the top four – rather than forcing improvement and excellence.

What Michigan did last year was special. After constant default during the Jim Harbo era, the Wolverines restructured their staff and went into business. They defeated Ohio State at the end of the year. They won the Big Ten. They made the playoff. This is something Wolverines fans can be proud of. This is something they can cherish forever, becoming the exclusive club the hard way. pure method.

That’s a real feat, not a phony feat that could have come from Michigan making it another year as the No. 11 seed. Or make it happen. Cincinnati Feel through the 5 set barrier break. Meaningful ones. They are real. They are important.

In the future, we have to celebrate the forgotten teams because we lowered our standards. Those 9-3 teams that James Franklin puts on the field are frustrating Pennsylvania state fans? Yes, these teams may do CFP now. Change your view from failure to success because this is much easier than asking Penn State to make a team that can win it all. Franklin can cash out the guaranteed $75 million because he’s doing the playoff now without needing to improve the product.

There is a college football match to determine the national champion.

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This is it.

But we’re calling out the teams that don’t deserve that distinction so we can all feel better for the little guy. Lesser teams can hang banners now because it’s not fair that they can’t compete with Georgia and Alabama.

And in the cases where it’s not for the little guy, all we do is give the Alabama World Team a second chance so they can compete for the National Championship in the years they don’t deserve to be on the field. The first team to win the new College Football Playoff as seeded #6 or worse would be a great team that got a third chance and got hot at the end of the year. The 2015 Ohio State team that missed the playoff game because it lost to Michigan State At home in November, he didn’t deserve to win a national title as he raged all year long despite his immense talent. Now we are once again opening the door to incredibly talented teams that weren’t great and didn’t deserve to be celebrated.

Regular seasons no longer matter for Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and Clemson. Losing three games? No problem, you anyway.

Which brings us to the concept of schadenfreude. In college football, we get just as much fun watching other teams suffer as we watch our own teams thrive. It is unlike any other sport. This is what makes the annoyance so compelling. It’s not just about defeating a team you’re not supposed to defeat. It’s a joy to watch the team’s best season fall apart in front of the whole country. This is an example of college football.

The response to this is to be expected that we now attach more importance to games that would otherwise have been overlooked in the past. But don’t we get a playoff? TCU When you travel to Texas on Saturday? My colleague, Sam Khan Jr., will argue that UCLA is divided on a different level than LSU or Alabama. Yes, that’s right because LSU and Alabama are built differently and play in an infinitely more difficult conference. When you win the Securities and Exchange Commission, you reap the rewards of that distinction. And even if the TCU is sticking to a different standard, if it wants to compete for a national championship – because that’s what this is all about – shouldn’t it beat the triple loss? long centuries In the playoff this weekend? Maybe the TCU is held to a different standard because it’s a seven point underdog for a three losing team.

However, the beauty of it is that TCU doesn’t need to win by 100 to impress the commission. All you need to do is win and keep winning playoff games from now until the exact Sunday. There is no Power 5 team that does not control their own destiny. Wake ForestAnd the Syracuse And anyone else – want to compete for a national title? Be excellent, don’t lose and win your conference.

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If you’re concerned about the group of five, that’s fine. that’s fair. There’s an element to this that stinks when you love undefeated teams UCF In 2017, they were eliminated. If you want to call it College Football Playoff, it’s only fair that you want everyone to be seated at the table. But if we focus on being crowned a national champion, the group of five has to be the victim. And Cincinnati proved that it’s not impossible for a Group 5 team to win a national title. The Bearcats also showed what happens when you take on a team that is already equipped to do just that.

It seems to me we’re more interested in making sure everyone is included than actually crowning the best team. And unlike other sports, the national champion in college football during the playoff period was unequivocally crowned the best team each year. This is not a scenario that everyone likes. This is a big company where we demand excellence so that we are seen as one of the best.

That’s how the world works, isn’t it? Nobody cares if you are among the highest paid people in the world if you don’t produce. It is work and then it produces. Here, we change the results without requiring action.

The playoffs have been expanded since 2014. We just played playoff matches in the regular season. We love the regular season and are changing it up for the inclusion. Yes, the UCFs in the world will work now, but so is the Alabama team that lost twice.

You might say it’s going to create more exciting games at the end of the year, and for sure it will. And we’ll be watching them all because college football is so much fun and none of us can get enough of football. We will watch this sport no matter what the system looks like.

Oddly enough, despite all the cheers we’re getting from everyone about how great an expanded College Football Playoff is, no one is willing to stand up and talk about the cost of the expansion: We’re handing out trophies to inferior teams as we ease up on the regular season. And we won’t get new heroes out of it. The same teams you’re tired of watching now will win the next edition of the playoffs too, because they’re in a league of their own.

Expansion is expensive.

Most people, funny enough, are willing to go over the price.

(Sam Khan Jr. takes the other side of this debate. You can read it here.)

(Photo by Jahmyr Gibbs and Micah Baskerville: John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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