Yes, we will have controversy later on Sunday when the Selection Committee announces which four teams it has selected to participate in the four team College Football Playoff semifinals.
And every expert, pundit, analyst in college football can analyze, criticize, praise and attempt to explain the decision why either Ohio State or Alabama was left out of the Final Four.
But there is NO solution. FIVE does NOT DIVIDE EQUALLY INTO FOUR. Not even Coach Albert Einstein or Director of Athletics Isaac Newton could solve that equation.
Neither will the committee later on Sunday when the announcement and bowl pairings are made.
There will be arguments (valid) about Ohio State being a conference champion and having more quality wins (and more damaging losses, including a second loss, which NO team in the four year history of the playoffs has brought to the table).
There will be arguments (valid) about Alabama being one of the four "best'' teams in college football, which should be considered.
There will be arguments about the "eye'' test. If you compare the two teams, who do you think is better? Who looks better in the minds of the committee, including the five former head football coaches on the committee?
Make no mistake, THEIR voices are heard in the discussion room.
The"eye'' test was used last season when the committee chose a conference runner up (Ohio State) over the conference champion from the same league (Penn State). It ignored the most basic element used in tie breakers because Penn State also won the head to head match up with the Buckeyes.
It didn't ignore a second loss by Penn State, which if it chooses Ohio State this season, it will also overlook.
Instead, the argument you heard was that in the minds of the committee when the season ended and for its overall body of work, Ohio State ""looked'' better than Penn State, despite Penn State's victory over the Buckeyes.
We will hear the same chatter this season, only in Alabama's favor. The Tide did not win the SEC, it didn't even win the SEC West. But Alabama has only one loss (a loss on the road against Auburn) which was competitive for most of the game.
Ohio State, the pro Bama voices will say, had TWO major one sided losses, against Oklahoma (acceptable, except for the 16 point margin of defeat) at home and a bad bad loss (not acceptable) on the road against a mediocre Iowa team.
And besides, its Alabama. There isn't a team in college football in which Alabama would be an underdog on a neutral field.
So what will happen?
I have no idea, although the trend seems to be tilting towards Ohio State.
But there will be consequences because the two teams involved in the dispute come from the Big Ten and SEC. They are the Big Dogs in college football. And Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey have the most power and exert the most influence in college football.
As my good friend, TMG partner, Tony Barnhart, a true southern gentleman, would say, ""When Mama's unhappy, EVERYBODY is unhappy.
Delany dealt with the same situation a year ago when his champion Penn State was left out of the Final Four, but the Big Ten had another team, Ohio State, in the mix.
This time if Ohio State is not included, the Big Ten will not have a seat at the intimate Final Four table.
But here's a solution you will hear, and if the discussion is led by Delany and/or Sankey pay attention, because it will be discussed.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Expand the playoffs to six or eight teams. It is not a new idea and there have been and will continue to be arguments for and against.
The pro expansion advocates say that with 6 or 8 teams no deserving team will be left out.
The opponents say, the debate will then be about the 7th team or the 9th team. They will say it will increase the length of a college football season to as many as 15 games, which is TOO long for college players. It will diminish the regular season and days like Saturday, which was truly a showcase day for college football.
So be it.
But at TMG we like to stir the pot.
So here is a compromise (starting with 6 teams).
Let's start by giving the Top 2 teams a first round bye. This year that would be Clemson and Oklahoma.
Our semifinal Final Four would be: Georgia (SEC champion), Ohio State (Big Ten champion), Alabama (SEC runner up) and UCF (American Athletic Conference champion and highest ranked champion from the Group of 5 conferences who aren't included in the primary discussions).
From that group, No. 3 Georgia would face No. 6 UCF in the Sugar Bowl and No. 4 Alabama would face No. 5 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl).
Those games would be played on January 1.
The two winners would then advance to the Orange and Fiesta Bowls where they would face Clemson in the Orange Bowl and Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. .
Those winners would then play in a neutral site stadium (Atlanta this season) the week before the Super Bowl.
The only real extension of the season would be one game for two teams and it would extend the season for at least three weeks, which would have to be worked out with some fiddling of the dates in the regular season and perhaps even the number of games teams play (drop from 12 to 11).
Will this happen?
Probably not, at least for the next several years and it will require a few more years of controversy.
For now, enjoy the Playoff announcements.
Let the controversy begin..[/membership]