The College Football Playoff is set and you will find that the committee is again still very predictable. You will also see that the four teams with huge fan support have emerged as the four who’ll play for it all beginning New Year’s Day.
In the most unpredictable, unprecedented, and bizarre season in CFB history Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame were all chosen and anyone with any sense of how this committee and CFB as a whole, works, had to have known it would shake this way. It’s all about the money.
The eye test does tell me that these were the four best teams, but these programs weren’t only chosen to participate in the CFP because they were clearly the best. It’s also because they have a history of excellence and a reputation that affords them the most “casual” fans and the best opportunities to generate revenue.
Take No. 5 Texas A&M for instance. The Aggies usually draw 100,000 fans each week at Kyle Field. But they were overlooked and Notre Dame was chosen over them. Maybe it’s because ND is a far superior and more recognizable brand. The committee was willing to turn a blind eye to the 34-10 drubbing the Fighting Irish suffered at the hands of No.2 Clemson in the ACC Championship game.
How about all the residue left outside of the actual CFP. You have No.8 Cincinnati behind a two-loss Oklahoma (8-2) team and a Florida team that lost the SEC Championship and lost three games in total including a (37–34) home loss to a (3-5) LSU team.
What about 11-0 Coastal Carolina who never once broke into the Top 10 of the CFP rankings, even after taking a game against an undefeated BYU team on three days notice.
The bigger issue is that the CFP committee wants us to believe that all things are equal and every team really has a chance when we know this is so far from the truth. The Power 5 reigns supreme and that’s where they’ll always choose the four teams from under this current format.
Selection committee chair Gary Barta who’s also the AD for Iowa made it very clear who he actually works for and that’s the “Autonomy Five” conferences, as well as the elite within those particular conferences.
In actuality, he works for the TV networks and sponsors who provide the money for the CFP games and the other top bowl games. Maybe in another time these groups may have had the guts to take an upstart program like Cincinnati or an absolute underdog like Coastal Carolina, or even an up-and-coming Indiana team.
But how would they sell any of those teams to viewers?
They won’t so in turn they take the teams with the built-in following to boot. The surprise winners always make for good movies, but they don’t sell tickets or team merchandise, or better yet drive the much-ballyhooed TV deals.
The “Power Five” gains its prominence and influence from its ability to generate revenue. This causes decisions to be made pretty much entirely on that innate ability. Then you have the “Group Of Five” which features the likes of Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina left chasing an opportunity that will never come to fruition. The name “Group Of Five” shows the disrespect that they show those schools, not in the “Power Five”. The explanations that the committee gives for its decisions are comical.
What they’re doing is really trying to deflect the huge money grab that’s occurring on the backs of unpaid college athletes who’ve played through a global pandemic. Also, the fact that the entire thing is ultimately set up to prioritize the brands who make them the most money lets us know that the college spirit is nonexistent in these scenarios. Just playing the game of football stopped a long time ago.