The College Football Playoff, without question, has been a success, but there are ways it can be improved. Dan Wetzel is sure of that.
“I’ve maintained all along the best thing the committee can do is stop giving out the weekly rankings,” the Yahoo! Sports columnist said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It’s much better for the media, guys like us, because it gives us infuriating things to talk about. But they would really do well if they just came out at the end and had one thing with the way the basketball committee does it. Their weekly rankings and explanations just too often aren’t consistent and all sorts of bizarre criteria come up and thought processes and it gives us too much data to kind of look at the committee and make our judgments on either they’re inconsistent, they’re making it up as they go along, or I think a lot of people think the personality of the committee comes out. And we think, hey, it really feels like Barry Alvarez and Tom Osborne have a lot more influence over this committee than other people. And they say all 13 voices are equal. That’s just not how group dynamics work. So I think they would save themselves an incredible amount of trouble if they just came out at the end and just gave us one ranking.”
Still, Wetzel, who co-authored “Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series,” prefers the new system to the old one.
And it’s not even close.
“No one’s sitting there going, ‘Boy, I wish we could go back to that old system,’” Wetzel said. “Everyone loves this. Ohio State wouldn’t have gotten a chance last year. Last year’s BCS would have been Florida versus Alabama. Alabama probably would have won that game considerably. It just was not a great Florida State team. They’re undefeated – and because they’re undefeated, they would have gotten in. We would have had a totally different champion and probably a very unexciting thing. Instead we had an awesome deal.”
If we still had the BCS, Clemson would likely face either Alabama or Iowa in the national championship game. Thanks to a four-team playoff, Oklahoma, Michigan State – and even Ohio State and Stanford – still have a chance of winning it all.
But four teams, Wetzel said, is not the ideal number.
“I think the ideal thing at this point is eight teams with five automatic bids – (and maybe six automatic bids),” he said. “I could be swayed one way or the other with the top team from the other conferences (getting an automatic bid) or just (having) three at-large bids. But if you do that, every conference race (is important). Everyone says, ‘Well, the field will keep expanding.’ It actually won’t. This is all about business. And what it does is, all the conference championship games would be basically play-in games. So each conference would get great television value out of having that game. . . . So I think eight is the right way. I think all five major conferences get their champ in. You somehow make the Big 12 have a conference title game to kind of even it out as best you can, try to get some more uniformity in scheduling. I think that’s ideal. That’s where they’re going to get to. There’s way more money to it, and I think eventually it’s going cut down on the angst from each conference about getting left out.”