Now that both seasons are over and champions crowned, let’s take another look at the NFL playoff system vs. the college bowl system. It seems to me that this season offers a great example of the fundamental differences between the two.
In the college game, you had two teams from big conferences go undefeated, each earning a berth in the National Championship Game. This put great importance on every single regular season game since, as it turned out, one loss eliminated everyone else. The downside is that these two didn’t play the champions from other conferences, so we’ll never really know if they were the two best teams.
In the NFL, neither team that played in the Super Bowl had the best regular season record in their conference. The Green Bay Packers became league champions after barely qualifying for the playoffs the last week of the season. They won the championship on the field but, finishing with a 14-6 (.700) record, does this mean they are a better team than the 14-3 (.823) New England Patriots?
I have long advocated for a playoff system in college football, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the eighth-best regular season team out of thirty-two (and tied with five others at that) being crowned champions. Does Green Bay winning the title change your perspective at all?