The fifth College Football Playoff bracket was revealed Sunday with little suspense, practically no controversy and few legitimate complaints from Georgia and Ohio State, who were snubbed for the fourth spot in favor of Oklahoma.
Though some of the sport’s tastemakers were swayed by Georgia’s strong performance in a losing effort to Alabama on Saturday, the CFP’s selection committee went by the book in rewarding a conference champion, played it safe in taking a one-loss team over a two-loss team and made the decision to reward the team that had the better season. In other words, the committee did exactly what it was designed to do.
But lost in the arguments over the last week about whether the playoff should be four or eight and the hair-splitting bout whether four best teams actually means four most deserving is a structural problem with the sport that the Playoff was designed to solve but actually has made worse.
Since the inception of the four-team format, there have now been 20 playoff spots awarded. With Notre Dame making it for the first time this year, they have now gone to a grand total of 10 different schools.
Even in a sport that has been defined by dynasties and epochs of greatness, at what point does the reliability of college football’s top programs being in the Playoff start to become a little bit stale?
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