One last take from Stewart Mandel’s Kings/Barons Version 4.0 ($$):
One undeniable consequence of the now eight-year-old College Football Playoff is the consolidation of power among a small handful of programs. With only a few exceptions, a program’s national profile these days seems to go hand in hand with regular CFP contention.
Therefore, this year’s edition sees the Kings undergo their most significant contraction to date.
That echoes the third point I made in my email to him:
I really like the theme [i.e., exclusivity] for this edition of your list, but I don’t think your kings are exclusive enough. I’ve thought about this a little, and I think I’d propose a new version of your perception test: ask 100 college football fans to list the four teams most likely to make the CFP field in a generic season. I suspect after tallying the vote, your current list of 11 emperor/kings would shrink to about seven. In fact, after you post this year’s list, I think I’ll post an approval voting poll on the subject, just to see what turns up as a result.
(Before you ask, no, I hadn’t seen his column before I wrote that.)
Let’s skip helmets, coaches’ pictures and Song Girls, okay? While we’re at it, let’s skip Mandel’s “only a few exceptions”, too. If you’re a true national power, it’s ludicrous to suggest you’re not a program at least in the conversation for being a national playoff contender.
So, Peyton and I have devised another poll. The link is here. The topic is simple: in a random, generic season, name the teams you would currently expect to make the CFP semi-finals. The ballot contains the top fifty winning P5 teams this century, as Mandel doesn’t include G5 teams in his list and nobody’s casting a ballot for Vanderbilt.
It’s pure approval voting, so don’t feel that you’re obligated to pick four teams. If you only feel confident with three choices, that’s fine. If you’re feeling five, go for it.
We’re not under time constraints, so we’ll leave the voting open until midnight Thursday and post the results on Friday. Have at it!