Dan Wetzel is rooting for Georgia to run the table through the SEC Championship Game. That’s not because he’s a huge fan of the Dawgs. They’re just a means to an end he’s been jonesing for.
One of the things that can change that thinking is when enough of college football is repeatedly left out of the playoff, rendering even historic, so-called Power Five conferences to second-tier status. Many believe the 2012 BCS title game featuring two SEC schools — Alabama and LSU — was a chief motivation for the other leagues to ditch the BCS and create the four-team playoff.
Well, if you think eight is great, if you want to increase not only the number of thrilling playoff games, but also turn these snoozy November Saturdays into a free for all where all the major conference championship races matter, then the tipping point is laying right there to be had.
All it requires is seven results, all but one of which is the predicted outcome.
Notre Dame wins out, defeating Syracuse and USC.
Alabama defeats the Citadel and Auburn.
Georgia defeats Massachusetts and Georgia Tech.
And then … Georgia upsets Alabama in the SEC title game.
That’s it. If those seven games go like that, then the College Football Playoff will feature two SEC teams (Georgia and Alabama, which isn’t dropping past four due to one loss) and an independent (Notre Dame).
One other conference will claim the other spot. It’s most likely the ACC, since Clemson is heavily favored to win out.
It could be any league though. It doesn’t matter because you’d have just two conferences represented in the playoff field … and three major conferences wondering how in the world they ever agreed to a playoff of just four squads?
Oh, my stars! It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Dan’s world has a place in it for Central Florida, not because the Knights are one of the very best teams in college football, but because they’re not.
Much of the debate this fall about the playoff has centered on whether it is inherently unfair to programs outside the Power Five — most notably Central Florida, which is on 22-game win streak but stands virtually no chance of making the playoff.
UCF, due to its schedule, isn’t being mistreated by the committee, though. That said, an eight-team playoff would allow room for it to come in as a No. 8 seed and take an underdog swing at whoever earned the right to be No. 1.
I know my snark isn’t going to sway any of you committed eight-team advocates, but I’ll leave you with a question just the same. How does any of Wetzel’s argument for an eight-team field not apply equally to a sixteen-team field?