Stop trying to fix a broken system


Quin Norris, Sports Editor

Once again, this college football season we have seen three familiar faces in Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State make it into the College Football Playoff. In the playoff’s seventh year many individuals point to its apparent shortcomings of not giving teams a fair shake as Alabama and Clemson have appeared in six playoffs while Ohio State and Oklahoma have both appeared in four playoffs. To put that in context these four programs account for 20 of the 28 available playoff spots over the last seven seasons. This has left many pundits to call for the expansion of the playoff in order to give more teams a chance. The bases of many people’s claims would be to expand to an eight-team playoff that would include all power five conference champions, the best group of five conference champion and two wildcard teams. 

While this would increase the opportunities given to teams would it change people’s actual issue with college football? I would argue that this is merely a facade to distract from everyone’s real issue. College football has become boring. We see Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State all the time and as consumers of the product of college football we have become bored of the dominance. The real issue with college football is that all the best players continue to go to the same programs and has created a power vacuum in the sport. In Nick Saban’s thirteen seasons at Alabama he has more number one recruiting classes than not while never having a class ranked lower than third. In recent seasons Clemson and Ohio State are right there with Alabama as one of the best year in year out recruiting classes. 

So, what steps should college football take to fix this problem? The answer is nothing. Due to the rules of college football recruiting there is nothing to stop this issue. As a college football fan that roots for anyone outside of the big four just sit back and wait because the only way these teams will disappear is if the coaches that recruit for them just magically up and leave assuming that whoever follows in their footsteps could not fill in like Ryan Day did following Urban Meyer’s retirement. However, do not hang your head too low if these schools are not the teams you root for because this is always how college football works. The sport has always been driven by power programs. If you look back to the 2000’s the decade was dominated by Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC. 

So, sit patiently fans as maybe at the end of the Saban dynasty your team will fill in that role from the South Eastern Conference. In short, I feel like the expansion of the playoff would only open up issues with length of schedule while also having issues working around the Christmas and finals season for these student athletes. However, with a little patience maybe we could all start to enjoy the playoffs for what they are if we could understand that the issues, we have been not necessarily the number of teams in the playoff but instead the fact that it continues to be the same teams every year. 

So, to the teams in the SEC, BIG 10, Big 12 and ACC I challenge you to step up to the plate and punch the giants of your conferences to the ground. Does anyone not remember the sensation we all felt as football fans to have a team in the playoffs last season from the SEC that was not Alabama. The College Football Playoff felt fresh for the first time in a long time thanks to the amazing season that LSU had put together. That can happen again in the future. Do not forget that the BIG 10 and the SEC as a whole are very competitive leagues and in any given season the giants of Alabama and Ohio State can fall. Just ask Michigan State of 2015 or LSU of 2019 if it is possible to take the conference from the giants. As far as Clemson goes just get used to them in the playoffs because there is no competition to the Tigers in the ACC.