CFP Title Game Opportunity Proves Invaluable For Ohio State Buckeyes, But System Must Still Improve

The Ohio State Buckeyes are celebrating. They should be. After all, OSU destroyed the Oregon Ducks in the inaugural CFP National Championship Game. After defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, as part of the College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes advanced to face the Ducks in the title game, after Oregon pulled away from the Florida State Seminoles in the second half of the Rose Bowl, which kicked off the first ever CFB Playoff. That means that the Buckeyes are the undisputed national champs of the college football landscape, right?

Wrong.

Look, I am not saying that Ohio State does not deserve to be called champions. They defeated the top two teams in the country, and they did so in impressive fashion with a third-string quarterback. They should be recognized as the national champions.

But my point is this. Only four teams had an opportunity in this new system. Sure, that is twice as nice as having just the top two ranked teams playing in one title contest. Had that been the case, under the old BCS system or any other flawed way that college football used to pick the top two teams in the country, Ohio State would not have been given a chance at competing for a championship. The BCS Championship, or whatever bowl game you wanted to call it, would have pitted Alabama vs. Oregon for the championship.

No Ohio State. No Florida State. Who knows which team would have been celebrating as champions under any previous system. All we know is that it would not be the Buckeyes.

That is how the TCU Horned Frogs must feel this morning. Champs? Sure. But, undisputed? TCU may use a different term.

The bottom line is that this new CFB Playoff system worked. Now, it just needs to be improved. Four teams is great.

Eight would be even better.

Had we had eight teams this season, ranked one through eight, we would have had Ohio State face TCU or the Baylor Bears or something in the quarterfinals. Maybe the Buckeyes still reach the title game. Maybe they don’t. Anything could have happened.

We’ll just never know.

Ultimately, college football knows that it took a step in the right direction this season. A playoff was a long time coming. Too long.

Now, I just hope that it doesn’t take as long to really get it right and double the number of entrants into the playoffs going forward.

 

About the author

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.