College Football Playoff?
January 04, 2009, 01:52 AM
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I've never been hugely enthusiastic about the popular idea of instituting a playoff system for the college football season in the manner of the NCAA playoffs in basketball (as recently endorsed by Barack Obama).

Part of the problem is that football is a dangerous and destructive game, so adding intense, hard-hitting playoff games against the best opponents to the best players' college seasons will just cause that much more wear and tear on players who aren't getting paid (at least not paid above the table).

If the average NFL running back has maybe four good pro seasons in him, adding playoffs to the college season could end up reducing a running back at a top college's NFL career by a year, which is a lot. If you have an 8 team playoff instead of bowl games, a USC or Oklahoma running back might wind up playing six or seven more games in his college career, which is pretty close to the equivalent of a full season against mediocre opponents in which stars sit out the fourth quarter of blowout wins. If you have a 16 team playoff, that's more like ten or eleven hard games across four years.

Also, I'm not crazy about how college football has added two or even three games to the season during my lifetime. It's not like the college athletic directors sat down with the College Football Players Guild representatives and negotiated a bigger paycheck for the players in return for more work.