first_imgAL-KHATEEB: Jalen Hurts’ ‘fairytale’ moment is ‘cold, hard’ reality of BamaOf course, the reaction from those who aren’t in the final field is contempt. There’s the prerequisite talk of expansion to an eight- or 16-team Playoff. We debate the merits of a conference championship and blame the committee for everything.Since everyone has a take, here’s another: Expansion might come down the line, and it probably should. You’ll still miss these arguments about the best four teams when they gone. It’s better to argue about who is No. 4, instead of who is No. 8. Everybody will learn that when expansion happens.The teams that didn’t get in will try to blame the committee, but that argument just doesn’t hold for the snubs. No. 5 Georgia can’t blame the committee. No team has made the Playoff with two losses. Maybe don’t run the fake punt next time.No. 6 Ohio State can’t blame the committee. The Buckeyes couldn’t escape that 49-20 loss at Purdue on Oct. 20. A team that talented can’t leave room for doubt.No. 7 UCF can blame the committee, but that’s part of an issue where it’s clear the Power 5 aren’t going to let a Group of 5 school in the Playoff — even one that has won 25 straight games.You could let all seven of those teams in, add another team such as Pac-12 champion Washington or two-loss Michigan and give the top seeds a home-field advantage on campus. It would be great. So great, and nobody would dispute that.MORE: Oklahoma’s defense the difference-maker in Playoff hopesExcept, everybody would still argue. We’d argue whether all Power 5 conference championship game winners should be in (they shouldn’t). We’d argue about whether a conference should have three teams in the Playoff (they should, if it’s warranted). We’d debate human vs. computer. We’d yearn for 16 teams — which would be a disaster.That’s why the BCS worked for so long, and that’s why the four-team Playoff works better than you can think. From midnight to noon on Sunday, the debates involving Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Georgia and UCF were passionate, heated and provincial — which is everything that makes college football great. Three of those teams didn’t make it, and that’s fine.Expanding to eight teams isn’t going to change that larger issue within college football right now, and that is the monopoly at the top. Alabama (five), Clemson (four), Oklahoma (three), Ohio State (two) and Georgia (one) have combined for 15 of the 20 College Football Playoff appearances.You can expand it to eight, 16 or 32, but somebody has to beat those teams.Those five schools also have 16 Power 5 conference championships since the College Football Playoff era started. So, 75 percent of the Playoff berths and 64 percent of the conference championships rest with five teams. You can probably copy-and-paste three of those teams in for next year’s Playoff, too.Alabama and Clemson leave no debate, and that’s why the Tide and Tigers are on schedule for the fourth installment of their Playoff rivalry. There might be more Alabama-Clemson Playoff matchups than Rocky sequels before they are done. Again, it’s on somebody else to stop them.MORE: For once, it’s not complicated for Big Ten champ The politicking by everybody else makes the four-team Playoff go more than you could ever believe. Still, those teams that didn’t get in were left out for a reason. Georgia lost two games. Ohio State got blown out. UCF and the Group of 5 might consider their own four-team Playoff.The rest of the arguments have changed with nuance, but the theme remains the same. Perception still matters most in college football, and that has always been the reality.That’s why everybody argues. That’s why it works. Everybody argues. That’s why this works.The College Football Playoff committee released the pairings for the 2018 College Football Playoff on Sunday, and there were no last-minute surprises. No. 1 Alabama faces No. 4 Oklahoma in the Capital One Orange Bowl. No. 2 Clemson meets No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic.last_img