As reported on Wednesday, NCAA presidents will meet to discuss the consensus agreement of the conference commissioners that entails to having a college football playoff system in 2014, based on the long proposed plus-one model.
Let’s look at the pros & cons in a two-part series, starting with the pros:
Four is the perfect number. More often than not, four teams is roughly the number of teams that are in the fight for the National Championship at the end of the year. If you look at 2011, you would have had LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Stanford, with little argument that those were the four best overall teams. It tends to work that way, time and time again. We’ve seen plenty of times where one team gets snubbed, but outside of 2008 when Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and USC all had title-esque runs, never have we seen several teams snubbed.
More revenue is always a good thing. Let’s face it, a playoff, albeit the plus-one, will bring a ton of revenue. Essentially, there is one more game on the docket, and a major bowl game at that. Television rights will go through the roof, as will a bidding system to host the games. All four schools in the field would profit greatly on Final Four garb, in addition to having National Championship merchandise should they win the national semifinal. It ends up being a cash cow not only for the four schools, but the NCAA, the networks and even the hosts of the conference championship games, as their importance can be further stressed, should the plus-one require that only conference winners participate.
We’ll get the best Title Game possible. Much was said about the snooze fest of the Alabama-LSU rematch, but with the proposed playoff system, the odds lessen that blowouts or dull affairs would take place. Sure, there’s no guaranteeing that two defensive teams don’t play each other, but using the 2004 season as an example, one would think that USC wouldn’t beat Oklahoma 55-19 in the final if the playoffs were implemented. The chance of a team laying an egg is lessened, as in theory, those teams not prepared to play in the Final Four, would be eliminated in the national semifinal, and not make it to the National Championship Game.
We get an undisputed winner. Just as four teams represent a solid number of legitimate contenders, the odds of there being any dispute as to who the clear-cut national champion is essentially reduced to zero.