Miller: A great holiday just came to a close
Jake Miller | Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Tuesday, October 31st, 2023 marked the last time the world will ever get the amazing opportunity to celebrate Rankings Day. Of course, 10/31 is home to some other irrelevant holiday as well. But the holiday I speak of, Rankings Day, is the annual tradition where Boo Corrigan, chair of the College Football Playoff selection committee, comes on our TVs and informs us what the committee thinks of the season so far.
Sure, next year, Rankings Day will still exist to some level. For those who don’t know, next year, the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams. The committee will continue to release weekly rankings on ESPN. But those rankings won’t really matter. At the end of the day, any good one-loss team will be a lock for the playoff. There will be ample spots.
Right now, there are not enough spots. Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Washington, Georgia and Oregon all stand out as among the best teams in the nation, yet only four of those six teams will get in. Because of that, fans like myself have the opportunity to debate for hours on topics like strength of schedule, eye test and non-conference opponents. In the current setup, every game is a playoff game for every team. Unlike any other sport, one regular season game can change a team’s season. A minor slip-up, like a muffed punt or a defensive holding call, can change the course of the league.
Next year, fans will still have the opportunity to watch the most volatile American sport. Teams will still try to win every game. However, the regular season will mean less.
Before the College Football Playoff, during the BCS days, the best teams in the country were determined by computers. Currently, a group of individuals — many of whom make mistakes — determine which teams are the best in the country. In the future, those individuals will still rank the teams, but in reality, the field will just play out. Maybe there’ll be controversy at the 11th and 12th spots. But for the most part, the field will be clear. Undefeated teams and good one-loss teams will be locks for the postseason.
Tuesday night’s rankings were shocking and the drama leading up to them was fun to watch. The committee dethroned Georgia, king of the college football castle since 2022. There’s a chance (albeit small) that the SEC could be left out of the party. Just think the SEC, the premier college football conference in the country, might not have a representative in the game’s postseason. I love it. It’s wild, fun and gives the small guy (we’ll call Florida State “small” for the sake of this argument) a legitimate chance to play semifinal games in front of 80,000 fans and many more watching on TV. This is a great day. We should rejoice and be glad in it, as unfortunately, it’s ending soon.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.