After last night's snoozer of a National Championship Game, college football fans are looking forward to the four-team playoff starting in 2014 like it is going to introduce an entirely new era of the sport. Well, unless the entire Southeastern Conference is going to be banned from playing in that playoff--nothing will change.
It becomes more clear each year that the elite teams of the SEC are moving farther away from the rest of the field--rather than anyone catching up to them. It took all of five plays last night to realize that an undefeated Notre Dame team had ZERO chance of beating Alabama. Twitter was afire with talking heads, journalists and former athletes all picking teams that would have been a "better" matchup for the Tide.
One of the more popular selections was Oregon. "At least they would score" was the usual argument. They apparently forgot that Oregon struggled to score against Stanford in a PAC-12 loss this season. And Stanford lost to Notre Dame (even though it was only because the refs totally blew a touchdown by Stanford on the second-to-last play of the game and refused to overturn it on replay). I'd have given the Ducks one more touchdown than the Irish scored last night--meaning it still would have been a blowout.
So everyone believes that if we do away with the BCS and go strictly to a four-team playoff, we are going to end up with classic championship games--and the SEC won't win seven years in a row. Well, if the playoff had been in effect this year, your "Final Four" would have been Notre Dame versus Oregon--which didn't even win its own DIVISION in the PAC 12--and Alabama versus Florida--which didn't even win its own DIVISION in the SEC. Tell me how that is any better?
I don't mind at all that the SEC wins the "national championship" every year. At least they do it playing real football. Nick Saban and Alabama don't run the spread, read-option, throw-it-on every-down, run with the quarterback junk that has taken over college football and turned it into a video game where the only determining factor is who gets the ball last to put the final points on the board. The Tide rolls with power running, short passing and a smothering defense that turns these running backs disguised as quarterbacks that so many teams have now into the same useless player that NFL defenses have made Tim Tebow into being.
So college football fans can set their sights on 2014 all they want. But unless the rest of the sport gets back to the basics and plays the brand of football they play in the SEC, what they are going to see won't be any different than what we are seeing now.