Monday, September 23, 2013

Playoffs? Four-Team Final Comes a Year Too Late

"Playoffs?" asked the elder Jim Mora? "Are you kidding me?"

There wasn't a playoff for the 2001 Indianapolis Colts. And there won't be one for the 2013 college football season.

And that's a shame, because we really could use one. The way this season is shaping up, there might just be four quality teams vying for a shot at the BCS national championship. That won't be a problem next season, as the College Football Playoff kicks off. But it'll be coming a year too late.

The latest simulated BCS standings reveal that there are seven unbeaten teams at the top, exactly the same ones as last week, in a slightly different order. They come from four different conferences and conveniently, six of those teams will meet later this season, essentially serving as quarterfinal games to narrow down the field.

But the question is, where do we go from there?

Alabama and LSU will meet on Nov. 7 to decide the SEC West, and perhaps the SEC title as well. Two days before that, Stanford will take on Oregon to settle the Pac-12 North, and also maybe the conference. Florida State and Clemson have a death match in Death Valley on Oct. 19, with at least the ACC Atlantic crown on the line.

If there were a four-team playoff, Ohio State is poised to seize that last spot, as it seems to be cruising toward a second consecutive undefeated regular season, thanks to a Big Ten that so far has had no answer for Urban Meyer, who's 16-0 and counting since taking over in Columbus a year ago.

But this is where we rudely awaken you from that nice dream. There is no four-team playoff this season, but the same-old BCS for one last go-around. Only two teams get to play for the BCS title and the rest will get nice parting gifts from one of those sunny bowls out west or down south.


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