College Football Playoff system leads to controversial selection among fans

Tyler Brooks, Sports Editor

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The College Football Playoff replaced the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system in 2014, creating a four team playoff rather than a single match-up between the top two teams in the country.

This change was a long time coming, as many people thought the previous National Championship was an unfair representation of the field of teams. It was nearly impossible to make the playoff unless a team finished the regular season undefeated.

With every change comes controversy, and that controversy arose immediately. In the first year, Ohio State shocked the football world and snuck into the playoff as the fourth and final team. While opposing teams were heavily favored in both match-ups they played in, they found a way to win the National Championship.

This just proves two things: the playoff system makes predicting the winner much more interesting, and it allows teams that may have had a midseason struggle to still prove to be the best in the country.

This year’s playoff selection was especially interesting. Ohio State was selected into the College Football Playoff despite not winning a conference championship and having a single loss. This is the first time that a non-champion has been selected in the playoff’s short three-year existence.

“The Ohio State selection was ridiculous,” said junior Seth Miller. “Penn State was snubbed even with a win over Ohio State and the Big Ten Conference Championship.”

Many people believe that this selection was undeserved. Over the past two years, the selection committee has been very clear how heavily they value conference championships when selecting teams into the playoff. This year, it seemed that they chose teams based on ability and who is truly the top four teams in the country.

“Ohio State was definitely one of the top four teams in the country, and they played well down the stretch, so it makes perfect sense that after beating Michigan, they would make it,” said sophomore Jared McBride.

When New Year’s Eve rolled around, all four teams were seemingly prepared for their match-ups after weeks of rest and practice. Down in Atlanta, Alabama was the clear favorite in the Orange Bowl. However, coming out of the gates, Washington was the first team to strike on the scoreboard, taking a 7-0 lead. This quick start also turned into the quick end of Washington’s scoring for the night. Alabama handed the Huskies a 24-7 defeat to advance to the National Championship.

Out west in the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State was favored by many, but by a very small margin. The Buckeyes came out and seemed a bit lackluster from the start, unable to find the end zone. Their first two drives resulted in missed field goals, and that was the story of the night for the Buckeyes. Clemson’s defense was Alabama-esque, shutting the Buckeyes out in a bowl game for the first time since 1920, and shutting out Urban Meyer for the first time in his coaching career.

Clemson advance to the National Championship after crushing Ohio State 31-0. In a small poll taken by Deep Run students, 41% of students believed that Alabama would win the National Championship prior to the semifinal games being played. However, not a single student in this poll thought that Clemson would come out as champions.

The National Championship will be played on Jan. 9, in Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. Alabama and Clemson will face off in a rematch of last year’s championship game. Clemson will be looking for revenge, and their first National Championship in program history.

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College Football Playoff system leads to controversial selection among fans