Should the College Football Playoff System be changed?


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Football players from Army and Air Force talk after a grueling rivalry game.

T.J. Minsky, Staff Writer

The past couple years, controversy has been brewing about the College Football Playoff ranking system. For people that aren’t familiar with the sport, four teams are selected to go to the College Football Playoff. These teams are determined by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee who chooses the teams based on record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results against common opponents, and other factors. 

College football is a different sport in the sense that the playoffs are decided by a committee of people who usually have a higher level athletic position. In other sports, the playoffs are generated based on team record and there is no group of people picking teams to go. Lately, the controversy is stemming from the fact that smaller schools are not getting a real chance to prove that they can compete. For example, as of November 16th, an undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats team is ranked #5 in the country (one spot out of the playoffs). The Bearcats are boasting a 10-0 record but are currently ranked behind teams such as Alabama and Oregon who are both 9-1 respectively. The truth is that the committee does not respect smaller teams as much due to the opposing teams they have played. Although, they beat the current #8 ranked team, Notre Dame, on the road. 

Cincinnati’s head coach, Luke Fickell, recently put out a statement regarding the rankings, “The reality is, (the Blue Bloods) are going to have some opportunities… It’s just the way college football is in particular and when you do get those opportunities, you have to perform.” It is evident from Fickell’s response that he just wants his team to compete each day without worrying about the outside noise.

If this Cincinnati team finishes the season undefeated and is not given a spot in the College Football Playoff, the system will eventually have to change. Smaller schools deserve a shot to compete with everybody else. The only possible way to find out if schools like Cincinnati  are capable of winning against high level teams is to give them a chance. The playoff system eventually needs to be changed to allow for more parity in college football – whether it be an 8, 12, or 16 team playoff.