Photo Courtesy of Athlon Sports
Followers of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football have had much to be excited, or angry, about this year, with the advent of a new playoff system between the top four teams in the country. This has led to a very interesting season, with surprise teams in the top five and huge upsets that changed the NCAA’s playoff picture. But not everyone is a supporter of this new bracket. Some coaches, players, and fans had grown accustomed to the previous concept, which contained a single championship game for the number one and two seeds. Others simply think that their favorite team could be the number one or two seed and not even get to compete for a national title. So is the new playoff idea a brilliant concept or an unnecessary nuisance?
I believe it is a fair way to decide who is the best team in the nation. Although those who dislike the possibility of upsets will disagree, the playoff bracket itself is as balanced as possible. The number one seed, Alabama, will face off against the number four seed, Ohio State, on New Year’s Day of 2015 in the Sugar Bowl. Oregon, ranked number two, will match up against number three, Florida State on New Year’s Day as well in the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (formerly individual end-of season games for top teams in different conferences) have been converted into both the bowl games and the semifinal games for the national championship this season. Different bowl games will act as the semifinals next year.
So what are the benefits of this new idea? According to collegefootballplayoff.com, the official website of the playoff, the new system “preserves the excitement and significance of college football’s unique regular season where every game counts.” I could not agree more with this statement. What sets college football apart from other college sports is that the entire playoff picture can change with just one game. The new structure “respects the academic calendar while limiting the number of games played for student athletes,” according to the official website. It is even better that this decision could help positively impact academics as well.
I also believe that the new playoff structure gives each team an equal opportunity to make it to the big game. Seeing the same teams compete for a title over and over again can get boring, and having a college football playoff allows for plenty of chances for upsets. However, the new playoff is not for those who don’t like change or want their number one team to be guaranteed a spot in the title game.
Overall, I believe the college football playoff system was a much-needed addition to an already stellar college football season. It is nice to see a measure taken to balance out the college football year, which has had some very unbalanced schedules. I can say that I am looking forward to New Year’s Day to witness which teams will face off for a national title.