PRUETT COLUMN: Leave CFP the way it is

Published 8:35 pm Saturday, December 3, 2016

So, a four-team playoff system is not good enough for you?
There needs to be more, you say, because there are quality teams being left out in the cold.
How can Ohio State possibly make the College Football Playoff over the Big Ten champion when the Buckeyes didn’t even play for the conference title? The Buckeyes are a better team with a better body of work, even if the Buckeyes did lose one Saturday to Penn State.
College football has the number of teams it should have in its playoff system. Four is plenty, and those who want more are not thinking correctly.
The playoffs have already started and have been going on for quite some time. Go ask Louisville if it feels it played its way out of the playoffs.
If the playoff system was eight teams, realize the game between Ohio State and Michigan last week would not have been as intense except for those invested in the contest. There are going to be teams left out and a team from outside the Power 5 conferences will not make it either. That isn’t the end of the world.
The committee each year is going to make decisions some of us do not agree with, and the people doing the deciding will have to compare resumes. That is why they are there.
College football fans should want this exact formula each and every year. It should be hard to get to be one of the top four teams in the country.
The teams near the top having been going through playoff games for the last two months or so.
A team’s margin of error is so thin when there are only four teams. This year there are a group of one-loss teams followed by a group of two-loss squads, and they all are staring at Alabama.
It is for certain those one-loss teams understand it’s just one slip up, and its season will end without a playoff berth. The same goes for the teams with two losses. Plus, those teams want to keep piling up wins to stay in contention if a one-loss team loses again.
It makes for the perfect amount of drama.
The addition of even four more teams to the CFB almost eliminates that drama at the top and puts it down to teams with three losses.
Do we really need to start worrying about teams like USC, who is 9-3, and if they deserve to get in to face either Alabama or Ohio State in the first round? We do not.
Oh, but the drama is coming on who the Tide will face among Washington, Michigan and the Big Ten champion. That is exciting because we have watched those teams fight and claw down the stretch to even get to this point.
If you want an expanded playoff system, stop and realize it is already here. You have been watching the playoffs and might not have even realized it.
Washington versus Washington State was one and the next one was Washington against Colorado. Colorado had its playoff game and lost out.
Oklahoma can sit back and realize defeats to Houston and Ohio State eliminated the Sooners from the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if the Sooners beat Oklahoma State 38-20 Saturday or not.
Michigan played its playoff game and also lost a chance to advance with the loss against the Buckeyes.
The NFL has a playoff system that allows six teams out of each conference to make the postseason. Dallas has made the postseason already and in a couple weeks can probably wrap up home field advantage. It is not realistic to think once that is done that the Cowboys will play full strength.
Plus, the playoffs are a tiny bit watered down with teams like the Miami Dolphins and even the Houston Texans as possible entries. Heck, even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a realistic shot this year.
That is not how college football does it. The degree of difficulty on making the CFP is what makes it so exciting.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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