Pat Forde's column today (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=5755060) has an interesting quote from the Butler basketball coach about how the NCAA Tournament made it possible for Butler to get to the championship game. It's supposed to be an argument for a playoff in college football. But the quote from Coach Brad Stevens helps to explain why I don't want a playoff in college football. He says, "The best thing about the NCAA tournament is that the talking doesn't matter."
The talking is one of the things that I love about college football. I love arguing with fans from other conferences about why the SEC is a stronger conference and should get consideration ahead of other conferences. I love arguing about whether Boise St. or TCU is good enough to play in the championship game (BTW, I think they are good enough to win one game against anyone; the problem is that their obstacles are not as challenging as other teams.) A playoff would make all of this bantering irrelevant. And I would miss it.
What I love about the banter is its dependence upon myth and mystery. I know that most national championships in football are mythical; that's what I love about them. I love being able to argue that Bama was robbed of one in 1966. That is the stuff of legends. It is mysterious and beautiful in a way that a playoff absolutely cannot be. I don't mean to say that a playoff is worthless; I only mean to say that with a playoff we would give up much. And I would miss the talk.