Best move, absolutely
The four-team seeded playoff is absolutely the way to go. I only wish that instead of running through 2025, the deal would last until 3025.
Why? Because the first time we get a paper-thin margin between the No. 4 and No. 5 teams, tons of fans will howl for an expansion to an 8-team playoff. That would be a terrible move — too many games for the unpaid players and a step toward watering down the regular season, like college basketball.
But for now it's all good. Even a former anti-playoff guy like me sees the value in appeasing the majority of fans. The annual postseason grumbling had gotten tiresome. And after that boring LSU-Alabama title game, much of it was justified.
Change is necessary
A sport more archaic than leather helmets wasn't going to make the quantum leap to a full-blown playoff of eight or 16 teams. That would be like asking Granny to go from rotary to smart phone overnight. Not gonna happen.
So the modest four-team model college football unveiled Tuesday was not only the smartest option but also the only option for producing significant change. And absent significant change, the game risked wholesale insurrection from fans weary of pollsters and computers intruding on the postseason.
That wasn't lost on conference bosses as they devised the four-team bracket, or on university presidents as they OK'd the concept. College football becomes a better place in 2014 and beyond.
A win-win solution
A four-team playoff system in college football was the only logical step that the conference commissioners and school presidents could have made considering the recent criticism over the antiquated Bowl Championship Series.
A playoff adds only one extra game to a team's schedule while keeping the regular season an important part of the equation. Plus, it will generate billions of dollars for the schools, TV networks, and cities that will host both the semifinals and national championship games.
So the new playoff model appears to be a win-win for college football and everyone involved. That is until someone feels they were unfairly left out of the mix for the top four teams. Then we'll hear the call for change once again.
Many questions remain
A four-team college football playoff will help quell the years of repetitive bleating about the game's lack of equity, true champions, etc.
But this selection committee needs to deliver some details. First: Who's on this committee? Wait, even before that: Who picks the committee? Conference commissioners and college presidents? Look at how long they took to get to a playoff.
Further, overlaying NCAA basketball tournament procedures onto college football will be a difficult fit at first.
Ultimately, some kind of playoff is warranted, so this might as well work. But as a bowl nostalgist, I'm bracing for a future in which they're flattened by a 16-team, trillion-dollar behemoth. Until then, this bridge should hold fine.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun