College Football Playoff Expansion to 8 Teams

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The College Football Playoffs begin on Dec. 29. Obviously, we are all very excited to see some talented teams square off for their chance to win a national championship, but it leaves us wanting more. For instance, why hasn’t UCF been given their opportunity to play for a national championship after being undefeated 2 years in a row? What about a couple years ago when Boise State got no love and ultimately started this conversation about a playoff system in the first place? We all wanted a CFB playoff and they gave us one because the BCS was a steaming pile of shit, but I still don’t feel satisfied. This isn’t entirely what I asked for; give me Alabama vs. UCF!

Some of the Problems with Expanding to an 8 Team CFB Playoff

The main problem with expanding the CFB playoff is the fact that it is likely too much to ask of these college athletes to play an extra game. The toll that these kids take on their bodies throughout the season is too much for them to have to play another game. I get it, they have been playing all season long, most of the teams in the playoffs will have played 13 games by that point, including the conference championship. Then you tack on 3 extra games for 2 lucky teams? Wow its almost like they are playing an NFL regular season. That’s definitely too much for these kids, that ultimately someday want to play on Sunday, to endure. 75% the guys on these teams aren’t even going to make it to the next level, and the guys that doe will be playing against much stronger talent then they ever have before, with those extra 3 games and maybe more.

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Former Clemson star linebacker Ben Boulware said after winning the national championship in 2016, “If we had to do another game after this? God, no, I’d literally die.” Sounds like a guy I want playing for me in the NFL, am I right???

No football player goes into college thinking that there is no shot they make it to the next level. There is always some glimmer of hope. And if they did go in with that thought, then they are either at a school that this playoff doesn’t effect or they aren’t playing a whole lot anyway. Even if those kids are good enough, but aren’t expecting to be at the next level, then wouldn’t they be playing for the love of the game and have the wish to play as much as possible? If that’s not the case, then what are they playing for anyway?

The way I see it, any football player would kill to win a national championship against the best talent, and if that means adding on an extra game then they should be that more excited about the level of competition. Of course, the safest way to do this would be to give each team in the national championship ample amount of time to get their team fully healthy and ready to go. So, with the first round being on Dec. 29th; the second round being the following Saturday, Jan. 5th; and the national championship taking place two weeks later on Jan. 14th. That gives everyone an extra break to prepare for the game, and rest their bodies so that there are no injuries.

The other way in which some have discussed going about expanding the CFB playoff to 8 teams is by eliminating a game from every teams schedule each year so that teams don’t have to play an extra game. I have heard that this would be either by eliminating the usual cupcake game from each teams schedule or by taking away a conference game.

I see no reason why you should eliminate a conference game from the schedule. The point of these games are to see who is the best in the conference. Eliminating one of these games means that not everyone plays maybe the best team in the conference each year, and we may not have those conference wins that mean something come conference championship time. So don’t take away a conference game.

When it comes to the cupcake game, every team plays some school for the blind or little sisters of the poor that boosts their team’s morale early in the season or maybe as their homecoming game. It is something that I guarantee you will see somewhere on each team’s schedule, unless of course they are that school for the blind or little sisters of the poor and they have to play Alabama week 2.

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Some college football pundits say that this would be wrong to take away these games. Their reasoning is because that means that these teams don’t get paid the millions of dollars to get stomped on each week. Also, sometimes you get those crazy upsets like when Appalachian State beat Michigan in 2007 or when Troy beat LSU in 2017. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good upset, but it’s not like there still won’t be these games. Each team will still schedule 3 non-conference games, they will be able to play whomever they want. If they want to play the little sisters of the poor, then sure go ahead and have an easy schedule; but if you want to schedule like Alabama week 1, then go right ahead and have that tough non-conference game. All of this is up to the programs to decided if they want to make their season interesting. Get rid of one of the cupcake non-conference games.

The Whole Point of a CFB Playoff in the First Place

Think about the point of the CFB playoffs. The whole point in the beginning was to give teams like Boise State and UCF a chance to play for the national championship. Since its inception, there has been no non-Power 5 school in the playoff aside from Notre Dame, who is an independent, but its goddamn Notre Dame (Yikes, took God’s name in vain and said Notre Dame in the same sentence, Catholics won’t like that). Also, no one wants to see strength of schedule 61 Notre Dame in the playoffs anyway, at least with this format (Notre Dame fans won’t like that either).

Give those undefeated teams like UCF this year and last year, Western Michigan in 2016, and Boise State in 2006, 2008, and 2009 a chance to play against the best teams in college football. College basketball does it, why can’t college football too? We have all seen what can happen when you give these teams the opportunity to play against the best teams in the country. In basketball UMBC (16 seed) beat Virginia (1 seed) last year in March Madness. In football, you have UCF beating Auburn last year in their bowl game and finishing the season undefeated.

What the CFB Playoffs Should Look Like

The way the 8 teams should be selected is based on whom is the best team in each Power 5 conference, the best non-Power 5 team, and then two at large bids. So, this would mean that we would have essentially 6 Conference Champions, and then two really good teams, all competing for the national championship. If we took this year, 2018, for example, if we are going purely off of where each of these teams fall in the final standings:

1 Alabama (SEC Champ) vs. 8 Washington (Pac-12 Champ)

4 Oklahoma (Big-12 Champ) vs. 5 Georgia (At-Large Bid)

3 Notre Dame (At-Large Bid) vs. 6 Ohio State (Big-10 Champ)

2 Clemson (ACC Champ) vs. 7 UCF (Best Non-Power 5)

You’re lying if you think that those first round games aren’t amazing. Plus, it gives these teams that otherwise would never play each other the opportunity to prove themselves against the best. What I love about an expanded playoff is the potential match-ups and stories that could come from it. Where else could we see a 1 seed Alabama play against a 7 seed UCF in the national championship? The answer is no where.

Think about the money that could be made off of this playoff. The amount of amazing talent and games that would be played is absurd. If the CFB playoffs know what is good for them then they should expand.

How fun this year’s 8 team CFB playoff would be? The answer is super fun; that is what you should be thinking. Unfortunately, the CFB playoff doesn’t compare to March Madness and, for right now, never will. They absolutely should expand to an 8 team playoff.

-Parmesan Don

@parmesandon

CFP Rankings 11/26/18

Week 13 of College Football brought a major shake up to the top 10. Don’t worry, I am sure the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will waste no time letting their biases get the best of them and getting the whole thing wrong. Rest assured, ya boy is here to set the record straight.

  1. Alabama (12-0)- Duh.
  2. Notre Dame (12-0)- The Irish gave us a scare this past weekend versus USC. Going into halftime down 3 placed Notre Dame’s ass firmly in the jackpot. Just like the Bible, another Book helped lead them to victory. Great comeback to finish the season undefeated. 
  3. Clemson (12-0)- Wow! The Tigers put up 56 points against an unranked, barely bowl-eligible team! Unreal. How do they do it? Clemson’s schedule is such a joke this year. Keep in mind they gave up 510 yards and 5 touchdowns to Jake Bentley. A guy who is such a cheap knockoff of what a quarterback is supposed to be, I call him Jake Kia.
  4. UCF (11-0)- Gotta let them in. Now is your chance, CFP Selection Committee. Make an example out of them! They won’t do it though. Knowing the committee, they will use McKenzie Milton’s knee explosion injury as a reason not to put them in the top 4. Ya know, the same reason they kept out Ohio State when they were on their third stringer in 2015.
  5. Georgia (11-1)- Not too impressive of a win against Georgia Tech, but they got the job done. Good win.
  6. Ohio State (11-1)- Made a hell of a case for themselves this past weekend. The Buckeyes put an end to Michigan’s “Revenge Tour” by hanging a 60 burger on them. They won 62-39. What a performance by Dwayne Haskins too. 396 yards and 6 touchdowns against Michigan should put him on anyone’s Heisman Watch. I’d love to see him throw for 800 and 8 on Clemson.
  7. Oklahoma (11-1)- Another week, another game the Sooners refuse to play defense. They gave up 56 points to West Virginia and still won. Luckily for them, they are one of the worst teams to get into a shootout with.
  8. Michigan (10-2)- Brutal loss to Ohio State. This was an absolute killer to their season and they will need all of the help to get into the playoff now. There is still hope, Wolverine fans. Just kidding, your dreams are dead.
  9. Washington State (10-2)- Their loss last Friday to Washington does not seem so bad in comparison to others. Either way, my dreams of a Mike Leach championship are over. As are Mike Leach’s. 
  10. Texas (9-3)- Say what you will, but they are the best 3-loss team. A good season with good wins will get you some good rewards. You can catch the Longhorns next at the Big 12 Championship. And guess what? They are playing a team they already beat in the Oklahoma Sooners. 

Still No Respect for UCF

I have nothing but respect for MY defending NCAA Champions. I have already discussed my hatred for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, so I won’t bore you all again, but they are hell bent on keeping UCF anywhere close to contention. They should be in the top 4. It is only fair considering how they were snubbed last season.

Danny Kanell actually made some good points about this the other day, I know I’m as surprised as you are. He said, “The biggest argument I have about UCF is, ‘Oh, they’d get blown away by teams like Alabama and Clemson.’ You know who else gets blown away by Alabama and Clemson? Every other team on their schedule.” Great point. Alabama is winning games by an average point margin of 35.9 and Clemson is at 32.1. Everyone seems to be okay with Power 5 teams getting blown out, but hate the idea of an outsider hypothetically getting routed. LSU got shut out by Bama, 29-0. Still in the top 10 even with 2 losses. If UCF got beat by a ranked team, they may drop out of the top 25 all together.

I have been saying this since the beginning of the season: If UCF doesn’t make the College Football Playoff they will go undefeated again and crown themselves back to back champions. Real Napoleon level stuff and I love it. The NCAA will have to recognize it. So what if they get blown out in the Playoff? Let them. Make an example of out them if you want. No one is going to beat Alabama anyway. The CFP committee seems not to think that. Sure. Let’s pretend; it’ll be fun.

If you have read my CFP rankings, then you know I have MY defending champions in my top 4. I have made the point several times that if you let in Clemson with their schedule then you have to let in UCF with theirs. All year, they have been saying that UCF would get crushed if they were to play a ranked team. Well guess what. Not only did they beat a ranked team, they destroyed a ranked team. Last Saturday, the Golden Knights played #24 Cincinnati and dominated them 38-13. People like to say that UCF doesn’t have as good of a defense as they did last year. While that may be true, they held Cincinnati to their lowest point total of the season. Maybe they will give up a lot of yards to a Playoff team, but Georgia gave up 500 yards to Oklahoma last year in the semi-final and again, no one seemed to care.

The most recent College Football Playoff rankings have the defending champs at 9. I am so glad that UCF jumped Ohio State. I am sure Columbus is going nuts right now and that brings me happiness in a way I cannot describe. But, the Buckeyes gave up 51 points to an unranked, not bowl-eligible Maryland team, so it makes more sense than the CFP committee normally does. What still kinda irks me is that Oklahoma did not move at all after giving up 40 points to Kansas. The Sooners still have to play West Virginia in back to back weeks so that should knock them out. 

Bottom line is: UCF should be a lot higher and deserves some respect, but I am glad they are back in the top 10.


Condoleezza Rice in Sports

Whether you agree with her politics stances or her administration, we can all agree that Condoleezza Rice is an amazing person. She is a former Secretary of State (first African-American woman), a current provost at Stanford University (First African-American), recipient of 13 honorary doctorates and, of course or I wouldn’t be writing about it, an avid sports fan. 

Sports fandom was instilled in her at a very young age. Her father was a football coach in Birmingham, Alabama, so you know she was living, breathing, and eating football. Rice grew up rooting for Alabama and the Cleveland Browns. Complete opposites in terms of willingness to admit it. Aside from just being a fan, she also competed. She took up ice skating and golfing when her family moved to Denver, Colorado. So, on top of being an amazing person professionally, she was also a huge advocate for sports. Rice was even awarded the Billie Jean King Award by the Women’s Sports Foundation and was one of the first two women to ever be admitted to Augusta National Golf Club. I knew about her time as Secretary of State and some honorary degrees, but I didn’t know she was a secret baller. 

Along with her other sports accomplishments, Condoleezza Rice was the first woman to ever serve on the College Football Playoff Committee. Her three year term had a couple of questionable decisions like Ohio State making the playoff, but they ended up winning it all. Just another take blowing up in my face. To be honest, the CFP committee has gotten a lot worse since she left. While a lot of people may not have agreed with her being on it in the first place, at least she wasn’t biased. Sure, she was associated with Alabama and Stanford, but she also wasn’t the freaking Athletic Director of a school that is always on the bubble (@Gene Smith and Ohio State). In my opinion as someone who hates the CFP Committee, Rice did great.

Now, Condoleezza Rice has reemerged back into the sports world. There have been reports by Bleacher Report and ESPN that she is being considered for an interview to be the next Head Coach of the Believeland Browns. What? She has no coaching experience, but what do they have to lose? You know Hue Jackson is bad when picking a replacement that has no experience doesn’t sound like the worst idea. Personally, I would love to play for such a respectable person, not Hue Jackson who couldn’t coach a Rally’s Drive-thru. Sadly, the Browns are denying such reports. Condoleezza Rice has also come out and said that she is not ready to coach yet.

Not ready? Rice was the Secretary of State during the Iraq War. I think she can handle the Browns. This also begs the question: if she claims she is not ready to coach YET… does that mean she is preparing?

CFP Rankings: 11/19/18

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee has not gotten any less corrupt since last week. Thankfully, nobody here at Soft 7 Sports actively works for a program that is currently in contention to make the playoff. I understand no one is completely unbiased. But, at least we don’t have a huge bonus and our jobs relying on the antics we pull. Consistency and maybe a laugh or two are my only goals.

CFP Rankings 11/19/18

  1. Alabama (11-0)- Duh.
  2. Notre Dame (11-0)- Still nowhere near Alabama. They are only ranked second because somebody technically has to be. The Fighting Irish actually impressed me on Saturday with a 36-3 win over #12 Syracuse.
  3. Clemson (11-0)- Unlike ND, Clemson still has yet to impress me. Great job beating powerhouse Duke last week! You all definitely deserved to be at the top of College Football Playoff discussions with all the juggernauts you play! But, the Tigers are undefeated so here is your top 4 ranking.
  4. UCF (10-0)- We’re all going to respect them now right? No, just me? Okay. We said they couldn’t beat a ranked team and then UCF not only beat, but destroyed a top 25 Cincinnati team, 38-13. Consistency, y’all.
  5. Michigan (10-1)- Struggled early this past weekend. If I know one thing, it is that Harbaugh has a tough time playing from behind against top tier opponents. Good job coming back against the Indiana Hoosiers. If only Michigan was undefeated.
  6. Washington State (10-1)- Put up 69 points on Kevin Sumlin and the Arizona Wildcats. Gardner Mustache threw for 473 yards and 7 TD’s. He can do literally whatever he wants against any Pac-12 opponent, except USC apparently.
  7. Georgia (10-1)- Throw some B.S. at us at the end of the season, you’re going to get some B.S. thrown right back you. They played UMass last week and wonder why they aren’t being taken that seriously. I hate how the SEC does this at the end of every season. I am surprised that it hasn’t come back to bite anyone yet. 
  8. LSU (9-2)- Would have dropped for the same reason as Georgia, but as it turns out, Oklahoma and Ohio State suck. I can’t justify it.
  9. Oklahoma (10-1)- The Sooners gave up 40 points to Kansas. KANSAS. They didn’t even have Les Miles yet. I feel like giving up 40 points to Kansas should get you blackballed from the CFP for at least 5 years. I don’t care if it was garbage time, you should be ashamed. 
  10. Ohio State (10-1)- I watched their last game at a Rooster’s (fine establishment) around a couple of OSU fans. I have never wanted to kill myself more over football. These people were jumping up and down, high fiving, and screaming in a family restaurant. Why? Because they just won in overtime after giving up 51 POINTS to an unranked, not bowl-eligible Maryland team. They may call it the best fan base; I call it the largest group of assholes who feel no shame outside Gillette Stadium.