A lot of playoff proponents mock the worry I and many others have about how an extended postseason would dilute the significance of the college football regular season. How can we be serious, they say, about claiming every game counts when each week a powerhouse team takes on 1-AA Podunk State A&M? Aside from the obvious rebuttal – ask Michigan about that – it’s a distortion of what we’re talking about. Let Bruce Feldman explain.
The reason why so many people are skittish about a playoff was because they know that college football has, by far, the best regular season in sports. Every game can matter in a way they simply cannot in other sports. And the connectivity that inspires from coast to coast is a very cool dynamic about this sport. Last year’s Oklahoma State-Iowa State Friday night game was a great example of that. That game mattered to a lot of folks outside of just Oklahoma and Iowa. The drama and anticipation kept building as the Cyclones upset bid mounted. People could see the potential of the Cowboys’ dream season getting ruined that night. They also knew how that would impact other programs.
You don’t get that in other sports when you can have a 9-7 team win a Super Bowl.
No one inside the sport wants to risk spoiling that aspect of college football, and if you get too big of a playoff, you will end up with a handful of teams that simply had too many stumbles in the regular season…
Granted, there are many playoff proponents who don’t consider that a bug, and that’s cool. Just don’t justify an enlarged postseason field by brushing aside my concerns. The reality is that you risk turning college football into something a little more like every other sport out there when you grow the size of a playoff. And I don’t want college football to be more of the same.