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  • Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: Crimson Tide Vincible?

First, just a thought. If Alabama is invincible, are they vincible if they lose?

Based on that premise, what will the college football selection committee do if the Tide doesn’t roll? And what if some of the other anointed ones prove vincible as well? Then we’ll end up having the committee deciding who gets to play in the playoff based on, well, based on a game of rock, paper, scissors? Lawn jarts? Cornhole anyone?

Just take a look at the landscape of the current college football season. Last weekend, Nos. 2, 3, and 4 lost, leaving one-loss contending teams all over the place. Now, consider these  possibilities: Two-loss Penn State could win the Big 10. Two-loss Virginia Tech could win the ACC, Two-loss Florida could win the SEC. Two-loss Colorado or Washington State could win the Pac 12. And… Two-loss Oklahoma could win the Big 12.

If that happens, leaving the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, Washington, and Louisville without conference championships on their resume, what does the committee do about getting their favorites back into the mix?

No doubt, they would probably say, “Well, Alabama didn’t win the SEC, but clearly they’re the best team, we’ve got to put them in.”


In every other team sport played, teams compete to win and advance. Those who lose elimination games are eliminated! Athletes understand this process. You don’t need some mysterious beta factor or strength of schedule to figure it out. Yet rather than have a system where teams get rewarded for eliminating other teams along the way, college football hands it over to a roomful of “experts” to decide.

When a Wild Card team in Major League Baseball, say, the Rays, advances in the playoffs by defeating, say, the Yankees, you don’t see MLB stepping in and saying, “We’ve decided the Yankees are a better team, so the Yankees will be moving on, not the Rays.”

No. The Yankees are eliminated.

If any of the above-mentioned scenarios do come to fruition, and flawed conference champions aren’t allowed to advance, college football’s selection system will show its true colors.

I’ve written my opinion on this subject a million times. College football needs a six-team playoff that includes automatic bids for the conference champions from the five major conferences. Under that scenario, the only duties of the selection committee would be to pick the sixth team (a team from anywhere but the five major conferences), and to slot the six teams, with the two top teams receiving byes.

Unfortunately, the prevailing system is vincible to say the least.

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