Let’s face it. The College Football Playoff system has been good for college football.
It’s better than back in the day when the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches Poll claimed national champions. Sometimes they had the same champions, like Clemson in 1981, and sometimes they didn’t, like Colorado and Georgia Tech in 1990 or Washington and Miami in 1991.
I think the CFP is better than the Bowl Championship Series which ran from 1998-2013. Most of the time the BCS got it right, but there were some years when you wondered if it did, like the year Oklahoma got in and was hammered by Southern Cal. That’s the same year Auburn went undefeated and was left out of the title game.
There was also the year before when Southern Cal was named the AP National Champion, while LSU won the BCS title, which was recognized by the coaches as their national champion.
Just like the two systems before it, the CFP has its flaws. Some will argue Alabama should not have got in the playoff last year or Ohio State in 2014 and ’16. The Crimson Tide proved their worth by winning the national championship last year, while the Buckeyes did the same in 2014.
However, you can make a strong argument they got it wrong in 2016 with Ohio State. Clemson downright embarrassed the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl before going on to beat Alabama in the national championship game.
Though it is not perfect, the CFP is pretty close to it. It at least creates a playoff scenario were four teams get an opportunity to prove they deserve to be called a national champion.
But, have you wondered what it would be like for Clemson had the CFP not been created? Would Clemson have been given a fair shot in the BCS?
I think it would.
The Tigers’ No. 2 seed in the playoff marks the fourth straight season in which Clemson earned a berth in the CFP. In all four cases, the Tigers have been ranked no lower than No. 2.
So, how would that translate in the old BCS system?
Let’s just say Clemson would have played in the national championship game the previous three years and this season as well.
In all four seasons it has earned a playoff spot, the Tigers have been an easy inclusion into the playoff. They were the No. 1 seed and only undefeated squad in 2015. They were the No. 2 seed in 2016, the year they won it all and then of course they were the No. 1 seed before losing to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season.
The only year, the BCS would have been different from the CFP result, as it pertains to Clemson, was last year. Under the BCS, Clemson would have played Oklahoma in the BCS Championship Game, and there was a good chance they would have won the game.
If the BCS was in place, the Tigers would play Alabama for the national championship for a third time and would be in their fourth straight national championship game. The 2015 and ’16 games would have been the same matchups based on the Tigers’ and Crimson Tide’s seeding.
So, I guess not much would be different if the BCS was still in place. However, there would probably still be a little controversy, as people would wonder if the No. 3 team deserved to be in over the No. 2 team. At least now there is very little argument.
This year, Notre Dame is also undefeated, but they got to join the party and they will have an opportunity, like Clemson, to prove that they belong.