Parity has returned to college football. Not since 2007 has there been so much tumult in the top 10 and as we enter the second half of the season, it’s clear any team can fall at any time.
Even Georgia, seemingly invincible this season, looked human in Week 1 against what turned out to be an incredibly weak Clemson team. Yes, even Georgia, set to be ranked No. 1 in the regular season for the first time since 1982, is vulnerable.
The College Football Playoff Committee has never selected a controversial field since the four-team field was introduced in 2014, but we might be heading that direction in December. We had a ever-so-small taste of hesitance in 2020 with Texas A&M finishing No. 5 just below Notre Dame, and while that wasn’t so much a controversy as it was a coin flip, the seeds have been planted for indecision and this is the year those vines break through the earth.
A 12-team playoff is on the horizon…
If an expanded playoff is implemented before 2027, the CFP’s Board of Managers must make the decision before January. There is no doubting that deadline. For that to happen, something radical must happen to force their hand. The only driving force against time isn’t money, it’s emotion. When chaos reigns, people look for solutions, even if they do not fully understand their options. Might that hasten the implementation for a 12-team playoff starting as early as 2023? It certainly can not be ignored.
As with most things in college athletics, it’s just a hypothetical, but amid the stormiest season yet in the playoff era, expansion appeared to be the only remedy to clear the skies.
I realize I’m guilty of painting with an overly broad brush when I say this, but imagine how much better national college football commentary might be if pundits didn’t need constant stimulation from shiny new toys.