This upcoming Saturday, Division I-A (FBS for the new school) college football will be in full conference title mode. The Big Ten, SEC, ACC, PAC 12 and Big 12 all are hosting their conference championship games. These games are a big money grab for the conferences and its members and also help with the position for 1 of the four coveted playoff spots.
The top 4 ranked schools in the playoff poll each receive a slot in the playoff to determine what we will now accept as a true National Champion. This was supposed to ease the debating that was brought forth by the bowl system when I was a kid and later the BCS which matched up #1 vs #2 to try to determine a true champion. The thing is that even if we put 64 teams in there would be somebody complaining that they got left out.
Now as somebody who once advocated for an 8-team playoff, I can safely admit that I was wrong. The drama we have week to week in determining the 4 teams that will make it in is must watch television. College football might be the best reality show that exist right now. The subplots are amazing and there doesn’t appear to be too much interference from the producers.
Every week on Tuesday night fans wait to hear which teams will be slotted in the top 4. Since the playoff began a few years back no team that started out #1 in the initial poll that takes place after week 8 has held the spot the entire time. Fans around the country still are arguing for their teams to have a slot.
Right now, the top 4 teams are Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. All who are playing Saturday for their conference titles and against teams who think they have a shot at taking their spot. Clemson has found its way back to the top of the polls after an early season slip against Syracuse. They are now back in the mix but face a Miami team who was high as #2 a few weeks ago.
Then there is Georgia who wants revenge for what happened in Auburn three weeks ago. The Dawgs saw themselves high as #1 in the mix. A win and Auburn is out, and Georgia is back in the mix. Adding to their subplot is that if them and Miami both find a way to win then there is a potential playoff match-up between Georgia and their old coach Mark Richt whom they fired 2 years ago. All a set-up for great television.
Oklahoma and Wisconsin are both trying to hold onto their slots. If they lose their opponents are not guaranteed a spot but its their best shot at getting in by creating chaos. With all of that going on Alabama is sitting on the side with 1 loss and that dominant reputation over the past few years that they hope will allow them to get into the party. Fans get to sit back and watch all the magic happen.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr