Rhom, on 29 June 2012 - 02:28 PM, said:
I honestly can't think of a year in the last decade where the argument honestly went beyond number 3.
looks at the last five years with a 4 team playoff. Summary:
2007 - 5th Best team was 10-2 Georgia. 4 team playoff is fine.
2008 - The final four teams in the BCS were Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and Alabama. But it's uncertain if Texas or Alabama would be selected ahead of #5 USC (11-1, PAC-10 winner) or #6 Utah (12-0). I would hope it would be Oklahoma, Florida, USC and Utah, but maybe I'm being optimistic. Utah crushed Alabama in their bowl game, if you remember.
2009 - This is the messy year. Boise State, Cincinnatti, Alabama, Texas and TCU all went undefeated. One of those teams would have to be left out (possibly two if defending champs Florida could lobby their way in at 12-1).
2010 - Oregon, LSU, TCU all undefeated, along with 11-1 Wisconsin. No problems for 4 teams.
2011 - LSU, Alabama, OSU, and Oregon. I have no problem with that.
Looking at just this small sample, three years (2007, 2010, 2011) would work just fine with a 4 team playoff. 2008 is a bit of a mess, although if the selection committee can get off the SEC/Big 12 bandwagon, then it would work fine. 2009 is the only year that really required 8 teams, since there were 5 undefeated teams and all of them had put together pretty impressive seasons. In such a case, I would lobby for Cincinnati to be the odd man out, because that year they really didn't beat anyone particularly good, although you could make the case that Boise has only one quality win at home against Oregon.
Regardless, I feel pretty satisfied with these results. They preserve the integrity of the regular season, because some years you have to win em all just to make it. And at the same time, the winner has to at least win two tough, neutral field games, so their final resume is going to be far stronger than anyone else.