For the first time in a long while, I checked out after halftime of college football’s national championship game on Monday.
I saw what I needed to see.
Some people have talked about rigged elections over the last month or so, but really–if you want rigged–looked no further than the state of college football today.
Alabama, as most of us figured out prior to the season, won the national championship. The Tide’s receiver is all world. Nick Saban is a great coach and, oh yes, Alabama is one of the few teams that uses a fullback (really a linebacker brought in for goal-line situations).
Seeing the same teams in the title game pretty much every year is just another in a long line of reasons why college football has become boring.
The national recruiting rankings come out every signing day and they mirror what happens four years later. All five star recruits go to places like Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama and, almost every year, the same teams are in the four-team playoff.
So 2025’s National Title has already been decided and the winner is (envelope please), Alabama. What a shock because the Tide’s 2021 recruiting class has been ranked No. 1.
The rich get richer while the poor press their noses against Mansion windows.
What happened? There used to be a whole lot of different teams under consideration for the national title. Syracuse won it as recently as 1959. Hell, if Temple found 16 more points in the 1979 season, it would have finished unbeaten and probably would have played Alabama in the Sugar Bowl for all the marbles.
Those days are over, sadly.
Cincinnati gave Georgia a helluva game and probably should have won it except for some Andy Reid-level poor clock management in the final 2:45 of the game.
To me, Cincy proved it belonged in a four-team playoff–certainly more than Notre Dame did.
The gears of college football, though, are controlled by the Power 5 and they will never let a Group of Five team into the party.
That’s why the party should be more inclusive.
Teams like UCF (2017), Temple (2016) and Cincy (2020) deserved to be invited to the dance but will never be under the current system. If this were a graduating class of 129 in a high school, say, the 64 most popular kids would do everything in their power to keep the other kids from enjoying the same graduation.
That’s got to change.
How will it?
Ostensibly, the “bottom” 65 universities should also have strong presidents representing them and arguing a case for fairness to the governing body, the NCAA,
If some of those 65 can get even a handful of the other 64 to agree with them, then the rules should be modified to include things like an eight-team playoff, a scholarship limit of 75 (not the current 85) to make this entire boring offseason a little more interesting.
Anything less and you risk losing half of your fans and that’s not a business model even the most greedy among us should ever consider.
Until then, my interest in the so-called Final Four will continue to wane. I don’t think I’m the only one.
Monday: The projected Temple 22