It’s not exactly classified information that President Obama has long been a big proponent of some type of playoff system in college football. Shortly after his election in 2008, The First Fan told 60 Minutes during an interview that he was inclined to “throw my weight around a little bit” when it came to pushing the sport toward a revamped postseason.
Of course, since actually taking office, the President has been faced with more pressing matters with which he’s had to deal, although there has been the lingering and underlying threat of Justice Department intervention in the interim.
Fortunately for most fans of the sport, the “arrogance” of the powers-that-be in college football appears to be subsiding a bit, with some type of playoff likely in the offing beginning with the 2014 season. In light of this abrupt about-face toward the postseason, President Obama was asked by Bill Simmons of Grantland.com during his latest B.S. Report podcast — never thought I’d strings those words together in the same sentence — about the move toward a playoff in major college football.
While the President would prefer an eight-team playoff, he’s OK with the four-team proposals that seem to have the most momentum and the greater likelihood of being implemented, at least initially.
BS: Tell me about the college football playoff system that you once upon a time pushed for.
Obama: Looks like — I hear there’s talk that they’re going to at least start maybe with a four-team playoff, which —
BS: So you’re happy about this?
Obama: Well, I’d rather see it eight teams, but four is a good place to start. I think that gets us on the right trend. Nothing is more frustrating than at the end of the season, nobody knows who won. And what, there is some poll? Coaches make a decision? Nobody knows what that means. Because part of what makes sports great, part of what makes March Madness great, the NFL playoffs great, is every once in a while something happens during the playoffs that shows the character of a team.
Look at the Giants this year. Nobody would have picked them. They wouldn’t have been crowned as champions if you had a coaches’ poll at the end of the year. But they made the plays when it counted.
A final decision on a Div. 1-A playoff favored by the POTUS and many, many others is expected to come by the end of summer this year. Hopefully, as intimated by the President, whatever system implemented won’t involve a current coaches’ poll.