Alabama Football: Tom Fornelli with unpopular idea that’s not wrong

(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

Tom Fornelli agrees with some Alabama Football fans, and many other fans. in not being a big fan of the current CFB Playoff format. Unlike most detractors, he is not in favor of expanding the Playoff field. Writing for CBS, Fornelli argues the two-team format of the BCS was better than the current Playoff structure.

Fornelli’s opinion will not be popular but he makes a good argument. College football fans should give some thought to some of Fornelli’s contentions.

  • “At least with the BCS, there was a cut-and-dry approach to how the two teams that would play were to be determined.”
  • “Now, all we do is debate which team should be No. 4 and whether it’s fair that teams from Group of Five conferences have no chance.”
  • “Instead of a set of rankings, we have a group of rotating characters with personal biases of their own … ranking teams based on whatever criteria fits at the time.”

Many college football fans can agree with at least some of Fornelli’s assessment of the current Playoff system. Some concurrence with Fornelli will not tip the scales against expanding the Playoffs to six, eight or even more teams.

One reason for the current expansion momentum is human nature. Everyone wants an invite to the biggest party in college sports. Hoping for an invitation and being thwarted season after season ‘feels’ unfair even if it is not.

Alabama football fans have no basis to complain about the CFB Playoff system. The Alabama Crimson Tide has failed to make a four-team Playoff field only once. When it missed the field at the end of the 2019 season, Alabama Football was not one of the nation’s best four teams.

Alabama football fans can argue the SEC should always have two or more teams in the CFB Playoff. A Playoff field expansion to eight teams would not guarantee such an annual result. It would result in frequent mismatches when undeserving, automatic qualifier, conference champions falter.

A better debate can be made from the claim parity will be achieved through an expanded Playoff. That claim is not grounded in fact. Since the Poll Era began in 1936, 33 college football programs have won outright or shared 103 National Championships. This calculation is based on this NCAA source. Using the NCAA list excludes certain ‘claimed’ National Championships, including one by Alabama Football for the 1941 season.

A closer look at the NCAA list shows just six teams have won 49 of the 103 National Championships.  Almost half of all National Championships, in the Poll Era and beyond, being won by just six college football programs shows the game of college football has never had parity.

dark. Next. You can't make college football fair

And it never will, unless some arbitrary, artificial constraints are created to hamstring the development of excellence. What Alabama football fan could possibly want that?