Post-Season College Football Thoughts

So I’ve had some time to reflect on the 2015 National Championship game.  For the first time in as long as I care to remember, there wasn’t a team from the South playing (and usually winning) the National Championship (2004 – USC vs. Oklahoma), so my attitude leading up to the game was relatively casual.  I probably watched a combined hour of Oregon and Ohio State football during the regular season, but I did watch the playoff games on January 1st.  It’s fair to say that I don’t have any familiarity or connection to either team.

It seemed that most of us here in the South felt the same way.  Through many of my conversations with friends as well as callers into Sports Talk radio, most of us down here didn’t really care.  It seemed that the default position of Southerners was to pull for Oregon – because Urban Meyer coached at Florida.  Living deep in Bulldog country will do that to people.  I don’t have a problem with that.  I was pulling for Oregon, but really just hoping for a good game.  Luckily, that’s what we got.

The playoff system faced such a backlash when it was announced, and for good reason.  Originally the committee was going to take conference title into account, which would negate any benefit to a playoff.  They got rid of that (thank God), and picked the four top teams, regardless of conference.  This was an EXCELLENT decision, and it made college football much more entertaining in 2014.  Instead of thinking about the top two teams, now there was a chance for four teams, and those teams would have to play and win two more games against the other best teams in the country.

This move made us college football fans – even SEC fans – pay attention to other games outside of our conference and region.  I’ve never paid that much attention to TCU, Baylor, Oregon, or Ohio State, but I did this year.  Maybe not by watching their games from kickoff to the buzzer, but I did keep my eyes on all of the top teams.

Why was the playoff so great?  Because there is a true champion.  There is no debate.  TCU and Baylor did everything possible to earn their way in, and remember that Ohio State’s inclusion in the final four was seriously questioned when it was announced.  Doesn’t seem like that was a bad decision now…It’s what makes college football so much better than the NFL, which has sucked for about the last ten years.  All the players on those four teams played their hearts out, because their time is limited as a Buckeye, a Duck, a ‘Nole, or part of the ‘Bama legacy, not because their time is limited by a contract.

After some time to reflect, I have some suggestions.  First, I would like to see them expand to an eight team playoff.  Talk about exciting?  Imagine the implication of every game on every team’s schedule – there would essentially be NO off-week.  Play the four opening round games on New Year’s Day, the next two games the next weekend, and then the National Championship on the next Monday.  It would give college football fans a true playoff, and the ratings would be insane.

A couple other things that need changing:

  • Touchbacks to the 20, not the 25.
  • Clearly defined rules on targeting.  I didn’t like seeing players get kicked out of a game for an inadvertent hit.
  • Change the minimum requirement for Bowl Eligibility to seven wins, not six.  This may cut down the number of bowls; so be it.  A 6-6 team is not a ‘winning’ team.  Bowls are supposed to be a reward.
  • Lower ticket prices to the bowl games.  Judging by the attendance of the vast majority of the bowl games, they had a REALLY hard time filling seats.  A stadium at 25% capacity selling $100 tickets isn’t worth as much as a stadium at 70% capacity via $40 tickets.  Make it about the fans, especially the ones that travel, or want to travel.

Congratulations to Ohio State.  They earned it with a 3rd string QB, a future all-pro NFL running back, and a defense that had more NFL starters than the Falcons.  It’s good that Ohio State won.  Maybe some humble pie for the SEC?  Maybe dispersion in the college football landscape?  Whatever.  I’ll take it…  I’m still a die-hard SEC fan, and am more excited about next year because of the possibilities…

Now I, along with the rest of us college football fans, will retire into hibernation.  Yes, signing day is coming, and spring practices will give us a little taste, but it’s going to be a LONG nine months until toe meets leather on campus again.

Images: Google Image Search



  1. Steven Bremer
    01/14/2015 / 8:37 AM

    I loved the playoffs, minus the Noles getting the beat down. I am a die hard Noles fan, but the way they played against Oregon made me think that TCU or Baylor should have been in the playoffs.

    I am glad to see that Jameis is going to the NFL. I appreciate that he helped us get a National Championship, but he was too much of a distraction.

  2. Clay
    01/14/2015 / 11:07 AM

    I’m not sure we need an 8 team playoff to determine the best team in the nation. With 8, the focus of discontent shifts from who is the 4th or 5th best team to who is the 8th or 9th best. It’s not a good thing to have teams play 11 games, a conference championship game, and then quarterfinals, semifinals, and national championship game. I hate to say it, but that’s just too much football. It’s really too many “do or die” games.

    We saw evidence of this with TCU fans mockingly asking for a final, final game with OSU. Give me a break. TCU was impressive beating the 3rd best team in the SEC WEST without their best player. Big deal.

    I agree there are too many bowl games. I wasn’t even interested in watching 90% of them.

  3. Drew
    01/14/2015 / 12:13 PM

    There was a good article from USA Today in December about bowl attendance declining but TV ratings going through the roof. I predict as long as people tune in we’ll see more bowl games. Five wins and you’re in!

  4. Mark
    01/14/2015 / 12:36 PM

    It is a shame the committee wasted a space on FSU, they were 2012 Notre Dame all over again.

    Go to an 11 game schedule and play real out of conference games.

    Go to an eight team playoff, while people will argue about numbers 7 and 8, you at least get the guaranteed best 4 teams in.

    Also scrap conf. champ games, as they are worthless.

  5. Mark
    01/14/2015 / 12:36 PM





  6. Joe
    01/14/2015 / 1:30 PM

    Let’s call a spade a spade here, there was no maybe about the humble pie dished out to the SEC. 2-4 against ranked opponents from the lowly other conferences. This doesn’t mean the SEC is bad and it really necessarily mean the B1G or Pac-12 are that much better than everyone thought. Just means football is about matchups, playing it on the field, and that the gap between one conference and another might not be as wide as some think. It’s time to ditch the conference power narratives.

  7. 01/14/2015 / 11:11 PM

    I’m a fan of the 8 team playoff. I don’t think there are necessarily 8 teams that could or should be champion but I think there’s a strong case for more than 4 (it is the Power 5 after all). Sure there will be arguments about 8/9 but the team that gets left out doesn’t have the same arguments that they are deserving of a championship that the team left out of a 4 team playoff does. I could see a 6 team playoff working but not a huge fan of byes.

    The hidden side of bowls is that most of them require the participating schools to purchase a huge block of tickets, so even if no one shows up, the bowls are still making money off tickets and the schools are getting screwed. This needs to go, as do about half the bowls. We’re seriously rewarding teams for playing 4 crap non-conference opponents and then winning two conference games by dumb luck. 78 teams played in bowls this year, that leaves only 50 that didn’t.

  8. Owen
    01/14/2015 / 11:58 PM

    to be fair NO ONE has ever paid that much attention to TCU or Baylor. Even graduates of those schools. They have no football tradition.

  9. Woody
    01/15/2015 / 12:59 PM

    Tradition has no bearing on the playoff. The bottom line is an 8 team playoff is more desirable considering quality teams like Baylor and TCU were left out. And for those who only root for the south and don’t care all I can say is if Mizzou had beaten Bama in the SEC title game you’d be agreeing with me right now.

  10. Agent
    01/15/2015 / 3:59 PM

    Hope y’all enjoyed the bowl season of northern aggression. What a thrashing for the SEC in particular.

    Btw, Baylor couldn’t close a done deal game. They were overrated even in that bowl game. No way they deserved a playoff slot.

  11. 01/15/2015 / 5:55 PM

    I think the argument for the 8 team playoff was made by the Baylor v Michigan State game. It was No. 5 v No. 8 and it was an exciting, high scoring game, with a come from behind win by the underdog at the end. Both teams definitely deserved a seat at the table this year.

    I think you’d see relatively little quibbling over who’s excluded since more than likely it’ll always include at least one Power 5 team, but still leaves room for a dark horse or two.

  12. Owen
    01/15/2015 / 7:23 PM

    I’m responding the article which said that he had not followed Baylor or TCU before. I know tradition doesn’t matter (that’s why OSU would have jumped OU or UT just like they Jumped TCU and Baylor right?)

  13. Ryan
    01/16/2015 / 12:41 PM

    How would an 8 team playoff make for a more exciting regualr season? With double the number of teams included in the playoff, there is less of an emphasis on winning every game. The importance of the regular season is what makes the sport much better than the NFL. Every game matters. With an 8 team playoff, a team with 2 losses (Michigan St.)would have been included this year.

    Let’s enjoy the excitement that came with a 4 team playoff before jumping to 8.

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