That has been practically the mantra of college football for decades. And that notion certainly distinguishes it in a major way from what college basketball has become—a regular season that seems to have barely more significance than spring training in Major League Baseball.
But the situation today almost perversely rewards Ohio State and LSU (and possibly even Clemson) for their regular season performances in a way the organizers of the CFP system probably didn’t intend.
By that I mean, it is commonly thought that both Ohio State and LSU are probably going to be in the CFP Final Four even if they both lose today. And there’s a possibility that Clemson could make it in as well after a loss depending on how things shake out.
And those selections would be based on their undefeated regular season records which are so superior to just about all of their competition this year.
So, today, the conference championships don’t have their traditional significance.
I admit to being old-fashioned but I think that, if you don’t win your conference championship, you don’t deserve to compete for a Natty. Let people earn their berth on the field into the CFP.
I think a much more sensible system would be to have a 6-team playoff with the 5 major conference champs and the highest-ranked champ of the other conferences (with the top two seeds getting a bye in the first round. And ND would finally have to join a conference in football).
That would still preserve the importance and integrity of the regular season because the teams would still have to earn their way into a conference title game to have a shot at competing for a natty.
I’m relatively relaxed heading into tonight’s game—precisely because Ohio State is all but guaranteed a CFP berth—and that is a strange feeling in the hours leading up to a Big Title Game.