You all know I am a fan of a playoff in college football. One Spartan Nation member isn't. Read what he thinks.

Although I am a fan of a playoff and support one, here is a very good article written by a Spartan Nation reader that doesn't want one. It is very well written and although I disagree, he has done an exceptional job. What do you think?

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Position paper on College Football Playoffs
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By William Bont
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Although there are many scenarios for a proposed playoff system in college football, in order to address my opposition to such a system, I have to pick one system, and make my arguments against it. Therefore, I have selected an eight-team system encompassing four quarter final games, two semis, and a championship game. Those seven games could be played as part of existing bowl structure on a rotating basis each year between the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, etc.
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I would now like to point out why this system, and any like it, in my opinion, would ultimately lead to the end of college football as we know it. I suppose turning college football into a Division of the National Football League would actually be welcomed by some fans, and certainly by most members of the media, but as a true college football fan, I personally would resent it.
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Right now, when the football season begins, there are roughly 116 Division I schools that have a shot at a bowl birth. Each team knows they have at least a chance to make one of the roughly thirty-five bowls that are played each year. Interesting enough, for many of the schools, the thought of a national championship never enters their mind. For the teams in the MAC or the Big Sky Conference, or lower tier teams in BCS conferences such as Indiana or Vanderbilt, any bowl will be a great accomplishment at the end of their season.
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For upper-tier mid-majors like Texas Christian or Boise State, or middle of the road BCS schools like Minnesota or Texas Tech, the goal of a New Year’s Day Bowl provides motivation for their season. Occasionally for one of these teams, everything will come together in a magical season, like it did for Boise State this year, and they will exceed those expectations and reward their fans with a BCS bowl game.
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For about 10 teams like Florida, Auburn, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Miami, the national championship is not only a realistic goal, but something they have to play for at least every couple of years or their coach better start looking for another job. For another group of teams such as Alabama, Louisville, Florida State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Oregon, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and maybe a few others, a BSC bowl game is a realistic goal, and the national championship game is at least a realistic dream. Because of these high expectations, the coaches at these schools are the best and most highly paid in the game. In fact, if a coach at one of the lesser programs, (Urban Meyer), establishes himself as a great coach, he is quickly snapped up by one of these “elite” schools.Â
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Once an eight game playoff is established the entire dynamic is going to change. Here is what I see happening within a relatively short time if a playoff is actually implemented:Â
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  1. The bowls other than the “big seven”, will soon become completely irrelevant. It will be sort of like what happened to the National Invitation Tournament in basketball. At one time the NIT was an important tournament. Once the NCAA became the championship tournament, the NIT became insignificant, and is now a tournament for losers. Some people may not care about this, but the fans of the schools that play in these bowl games certainly will.

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  1. College Football is probably the most popular sport in America judging by attendance and television ratings. Once a real playoff begins, money will pour into the sport at an unprecedented rate. Just like with the Super Bowl in pro football, the average fan will be forgotten, and big business and commercial interests will reign supreme. As the same teams (see above) continue to fight each year for these coveted eight spots, the difference between the haves and the have-nots will become more pronounced. The coaches at these schools will conceivably make as much or more money than NFL coaches because the money at stake will become so outlandish. Athletic budgets will be stretched to their limits as these teams sacrifice honor, ethics, and eligibility requirements in order to win.

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Currently, most conference schools share their bowl revenues with the other schools in their conferences based on some type of pro-rata basis. It all works out because, in an average year, about 6 teams from each conference go to one bowl game each, and split the revenues evenly. Under a playoff system, the elite teams from some conferences will play in two or three games. Each game will be more important, and will be played for larger sums of money than the last. How long will it be before Ohio State, for example, says enough is enough. We are out there playing in a quarter-final or semi-final game each year, and occasionally play for the national championship. Why should we have to split all the money we earn with Indiana and Northwestern, who often don’t play in any post season game. Look at the football budget we have to support. It is twice what they have, so why should we have to split the money with them. It isn’t fair.Â
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It is only a matter of time before the elites will get their way and keep all the money for themselves, or threaten to break off and form a new “super conference”. And for those who point to the NCAA basketball tournament and say it doesn’t happen there, just remember the money the final four teams and the eventually champion earns in basketball is nothing compared to the tens of millions of dollars a football playoff will generate.Â
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  1. Then let’s look at the players. How long do you think, given an eight-team playoff, and the incredible amount of money it will generate, will players continue to play for nothing. It is one thing to ask them to play one extra bowl game each year for their school, it is quite another to ask a player that is going to be a first round draft pick to play as many as three extra games. This is not basketball. Players risk career ending injuries every time they take the field in football. They are not going to take that risk, just to enrich their school by an extra $50,000,000, while they get nothing. If we go to an eight-game playoff system in college football, I predict it is only going to be a matter of time before the schools will be paying their players. At that point, the media gets its wish, and the NFL has a new Division.

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  1. One of the reasons everyone wants a playoff system rather than just a championship game each year is that under the current system, one or two teams often get “screwed”. A couple of years ago Auburn went unbeaten and did not make the championship game. This past year it was Michigan who felt they got jobbed. What makes anyone think if we go to an eight-team playoff, you won’t have just as much of a controversy for the team that finishes ninth and thinks they should have been one of the top eight. In this case, the stakes will be much higher. There could be as much as $50,000,000 dollars at stake. I can see lawsuits and other problems develop as teams jockey for position to get one of the eight available slots. Selecting those eight teams will be very subjective, and no matter what system you use, people will find fault with it. Just because you add more teams, you do not end the controversy of who should get the spots.Â

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Just look at the NCAA Basketball Tournament again. With 64 slots available, there is still controversy each year regarding who didn’t get in and who did. Just last year, George Mason was probably the most challenged team in the tournament. They could just as easily have been passed over, yet they wound up going to the final four.
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            Besides, what is wrong with controversy? This past season, with the controversy concerning who should be Ohio State’s opponent, college football was discussed far more than if there had been a playoff to determine everything. Is that a bad thing?Â
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  1. Finally, what does a playoff prove? There is probably less chance for the best team to win the national championship with an eight-team playoff, than under the system we have now. In the last 5 years, in Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NFL, out of those 15 playoff or World Series Champions that were crowned, 14 of them did not have the best regular season record. Therefore an argument can be made that, in those 15 playoff series, the best team did not win 14 times. If you believe they did, then what you are saying is the regular season is irrelevant, or is useful only as a means to decide who the eight playoff teams will be each year. At least now, with people voting on who the two best teams are, you have a reasonable chance of having the best team win the championship, and you have a regular season that actually means something.
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