This is the second year in a row that we have a National Champion that has gone 15 games undefeated. Interestingly, 2018 Clemson and 2019 Louisiana State stand atop the list of QPRS Top 100 American College Football Teams since 1920. What the College Football Playoff has done by adding the Championship Game after all the traditional bowl games is to make it that much harder to become the National Champion. The prior gradual introduction of Conference championship games had already done this at the Conference-level. The result is we are seeing a regular rise in the QPRS ratings of modern era football teams as they play tougher opponents to make it to the top and the public is being treated to some of the most competitive and interesting match-ups we have ever seen in college football!
That said, I still have reservations about both the Conference championship games and the College Football Playoff. The Conference championships should always match-up the top two teams in any conference after the regular season is over. None of this North vs. South or East vs West divisions.sometimes it just happens that the top two teams of a conference are near-neighbors and the opposite division simply had a weaker set of teams that year.
I still do not like the idea that the College Football Playoff committee of 20-odd selectors (I call them the Politburo) get to choose which four teams will get a shot at playing in the National Championship title game. The previous Bowl Championship Series (BCS) selection method was far superior. It was much more representative and professional since it incorporated the opinions of over 60 professional sports writers, over 60 FBS football coaches, and the average of 6 math-computer generated rankings (each of varying merit due to different formulas but at least, they did help offset human bias). The FCS has the best playoff system but some would argue that represents too much football in one year at the FBS level. One way to resolve that might be to keep the FBS regular season to a maximum of 10 games by eliminating non-conference games and those against FCS teams. It would also promote more consistent schedule strengths among FBS teams. Alabama had a title contending team this year but it was also playing one of the weakest schedules in the SEC. One may not be able to anticipate which are going to be the toughest SEC teams from one year to the next but it is possible to avoid scheduling Western Carolina, New Mexico State and Southern Miss all in the same year. As a result, when Alabama lost against its two toughest SEC opponents by a combined total of only 8 points, it still put itself out of contention for the CFP playoff and dropped in the QPRS ratings.
Happy New Year and Best Wishes to all until this Fall and the start of the 2020 college football season!
Clyde Berryman / hardbraking at hotmail dot com