I’m pretty sure I’m the only person left that doesn’t want a college football playoff, but it appears I’ll be out of luck once the current BCS contract ends and a four-team playoff is implemented. At this point it seems like the only thing left to decide is the format, a question that’s been creating all kinds of hate and discontent lately. Nick Saban accusing others of being self-serving while making his own self-serving argument? It must be Wednesday.
The two most popular ideas being tossed around are the “four best teams” plan favored by the SEC, and the “conference champion” plan that was offered by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney. The way the latter would work is that the top four conference champions would be selected out of a pool of the top six teams. If there aren’t four conference champions within the top six, the remaining spots would be filled by at-large teams within that group. This is the plan supported by the Big East.
It seems like picking the four best teams is the obvious answer, but it really isn’t. Think about it for a second. The rallying cry of playoff supporters has always been that the national champion should be “determined on the field.” Relying on some BCS ranking system to pick who gets to participate wouldn’t serve that purpose any more with four teams than it does with two. Deciding the “best” is subjective. Deciding conference champions is not. There is going to be a subjective element in the selection process because of who gets ranked in the top six, but the best way to minimize it and have the national champion truly decided on the field is to give selection priority to conference champions.