Point: The College Football Playoff rankings should start in Week 1
By Joel Devick
When Alan J. Gould, sports editor for the Associated Press from 1922-38, created the AP Poll to ranking college football teams in 1936, the goal was to create a clear idea of determining a national champion at the end of the season. Obviously, college football has moved on from waiting for the final poll of the year to determine a champion and now settles it on the field, but the polling system remains.
With the induction of the College Football Playoff in 2014, the NCAA has taken deciding a champion a step further from the flawed BCS system of having only two teams play for the title with a four-team playoff set up among the New Year’s Six bowl games. Last Tuesday, the first College Football Playoff Rankings for the 2017 season were announced. A committee of 13 people selects the teams in a top-25 format, much like the AP Poll, to determine the rankings and, more importantly, answer, “Who’s In?”
With the current system, teams have to wait and are unaware of what their standing is with the all-powerful committee until after Week 9. Teams should at least, from after Week 1 on in the season, know their standing with the committee. If polling is still going to be the main instrument of judging the teams on a strength scale and determine who is the best in the nation come the end of the year, then it should be done from start to finish.
Counterpoint: The College Football Playoff poll is not broken
By Hayden Bonine
In 2014, college football was changed forever. Instead of newspapers or computers deciding championships, a committee was formed to end all bickering. Its current system may be criticized, but any system put in place will have its critics. This season, the College Football Playoff committee met for the first time Oct. 30 and 31. The committee waits until after the Week 9 because it takes a while for teams and outlooks to take form. The initial meeting taking place after the Week 9 allows for five weeks of deliberation and observation thereafter. The committee is not to be swayed by the opinions of others. At the beginning of the season, college football media, experts and fans all had their own opinions and projections. The committee does not project. The committee evaluates the teams based on the performance it has seen thus far in the season. Although Alabama and Georgia are likely to meet in the SEC Championship, they are still the top two teams. The current system works well. The first meeting is at the right the time. Nonconference play has concluded in the weeks before conference play is heating up, rivalry games start impacting the standings and pressure quickly mounts on teams to perform. The College Football Playoff and its committee was carefully put together. Both the NCAA and those that it put in charge of this endeavor knew what it was doing. The committee decided not to let all the hype and the noise affect its decision making at the beginning of the season. It decided to let the season take form and the hype to die down. its decision to wait until the after Week 9 is a smart one. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.