The college football playoff format has one giant flaw. It’s 100 percent subjective.
It’s strictly a guess by a panel of voters on which four teams deserve the honor.
And that’s wrong, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the schools selected.
There is an easy solution… an eight-team playoff where the majority of teams earn their spot based on winning a conference title.
It would have worked almost to perfection this season. Take the Power-5 conference champs _ Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington.
That leaves three other spots as so-called wildcards. In this case, one would be Central Florida for going undefeated. An unbeaten team should get an automatic bid despite being a Group-of-5 conference school, especially one that hasn’t lost a game in two years and beat Auburn in a bowl game one year ago.
If you really want to put a qualifier on it, say the unbeaten team has to have at least one victory over a Power-5 team. UCF doesn’t have that this season, but I think the team hasn’t proven its worth.
That leaves two other spots. One would go to Notre Dame, the other unbeaten team. Obviously, the Fighting Irish going undefeated is an automatic qualifier. The other spot this year is subjective. I can live with some subjectivity as long as most the spots are earned. Georgia likely would get the other playoff berth this year.
There you have it. Seed them however you want. Yes, that’s subjective, but you still have to beat the best to be the best at some point.
If I were doing the seeding, it would go like this:
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 UCF
No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 7 Washington
No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 6 Georgia
No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Oklahoma
That also would increase interest in four more bowl games that become part of the playoff. I would have five bowls – Rose, Orange, Cotton, Sugar and Fiesta – be part of the playoff every year. Three others would rotate in. Some to consider might be Peach, Gator (Taxslayer), Citrus, Outback, Holiday, Liberty and or Sun Bowl.
Is it perfect? Of course not. Arguments will continue over the wildcard entries. That’s fine, and sometimes fun. At least most of the teams in the playoff make it by on-the-field play, not by people around a big table decided they are worthy.
This week’s Walk of Shame goes to the NFL for its not-so-random drug testing harassment of Carolina safety Eric Reid.
When Reid returned to his locker after the loss to New Orleans Monday night, he found the above notice to get tested again, his seventh time in the 11 weeks since being signed by the Panthers.
Reid knelt during the anthem, with Colin Kaepernick, while they both played for the 49ers. Kaepernick, as I’m sure everyone reading this knows, still doesn’t have a job in the NFL. And he probably isn’t getting one, despite being better than most of the backup quarterbacks in the league, along with some of the starters.
The purpose here isn’t to rehash all those arguments of the protests by the players. It is to show how disingenuous the NFL drug-testing policy is when it wants to make a point.
Reid wore shoes Monday with drawings that honored civil activism and the right to protest. Reid also is standing with Kaepernick in a photo on his Twitter page. They are wearing T-shirts that read: I Know My Rights.
So now the NFL is performing its own little protest, leaving a note for Reid to take another pee test, No. 7 in 11 weeks.
“That has to be statistically impossible,’’ Reid said after the game. “I’m no mathematician, but there’s no way that’s random.”
USA Today did the math using the Cumulative Binomial Probability Calculator. The odds for Reid being randomly selected for seven drug tests in 11 weeks is 0.138 percent. Reid might have a better chance of winning the lottery.
It’s obvious at this point Reid doesn’t have a substance-abuse problem of any kind. This is strictly the NFL being the big-bad bully because they don’t like him.
It probably has less to do with protests during the anthem and more to do with Reid’s ongoing lawsuit against the league for collusion and questionable on-field fines.
It would seem the NFL is adding to Reid’s case by forcing him to take endless drug tests. Frankly, it looks petty and laughable at this point.
Asked if the “random tests’’ would become part of his case, Reid simply smiled and said, “Duly noted.”