Five reasons why the College Football Playoff National Championship is better than the Super Bowl.
Daily Five: College Football Playoff or the Super Bowl?
There’s no lower form of human conversation than the My Sport Is Better Than Your Sport debate, so forgive the very nature of pointing out five reasons why the College Football Playoff National Championship is better than the Super Bowl.
Of course, this works the other way, too – for example, your school is probably already eliminated from the 2019 CFP, and the playoff is based on beauty not merit – but for now, yeah, the CFP national title is the better football championship.
And here’s why …
5. The Two Best Teams Aren’t Always In The Super Bowl
For all the issues with the College Football Playoff selection process, at least the committee is almost always going to get it close to the pin. From there, it’s a one-step tournament to eliminate the unworthy, creating the strongest possible matchup for the national title.
There might be a good team left out of the final four, but if it doesn’t get in, there’s a reason.
More teams in the playoff equals more of a shot at a fluky result, and a championship that doesn’t represent the two best teams from the regular season.
The NFL Playoffs almost never get the four best regular season teams into Championship Weekend, and we’ve lucked out as a nation with everything is right and just with a one-seed vs. one-seed Super Bowl four times over the last five years.
Everything is solid at the moment, but Atlanta was a two-seed in 2016, catching a break by missing the NFC’s top team, Dallas.
We got a 1 vs. 1 at the end of the 2013 (Denver vs. Seattle), 2014 (New England vs. Seattle), and 2015 (Carolina vs. Denver) seasons, but Baltimore was a four-seed when it won the 2012 Super Bowl, as were the New York Giants when they won in 2011.
Green Bay was a six-seed at the end of the 2010 season, and while it was 1 vs. 1 when New Orleans beat Indianapolis to end the 2009 campaign, NFC No. 4 Arizona got to the big game at the end of 2008.
And then there’s the end of the 2007 season, which was among the greatest of all playoff injustices because of …
4. The Wild Card
The 1980 Oakland Raiders, the 1997 Denver Broncos, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 2007 New York Giants, the 2010 Green Bay Packers and the 2013 Baltimore Ravens.
These teams represent everything that’s wrong.
All arguments against 2017 Alabama aside – this theoretical argument counts there, too – if you’re not one of the two best teams in your own conference during the regular season, why do you deserve to play for the championship of the entire season, especially if there’s a rematch involved?
The 1980 Oakland Raiders lost to the Eagles in Week 12. But they got a second shot in the Super Bowl.
The 2007 New York Giants? They lost in Week 17. At home. To New England. But that didn’t count, and the big puffy cloud game at the end of the rainbow did.
The 2010 Packers? They weren’t good enough to win their own division, but they won the Super Bowl. They also lost in the regular season to a Philadelphia team they played again in the playoffs. They lost to Atlanta, too, and then won Round 2 in the playoffs. So, did the regular season matter?
3. The Fans
The College Football Playoff National Championship will someday become a tricked out bag of corporate barf, but it’s not there yet. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl – at least seeing it live – is either for the 1%er CEO crowd, or the superfans blowing their kid’s college fund.
Georgia and Alabama fans packed the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the College Football Playoff National Championship. It was an almost all-fan crowd for Clemson vs. Bama title games, too, and Ohio State owned Jerry World in the first CFP title game.
The College Football Playoff National Championship is unlike any other title game in major sports. MLB, NHL, NBA – all of those championships are decided in front of a partisan crowd. The NCAA Basketball Championship has fans, but they’re a smallish percentage of the massive dome crowds.
The Super Bowl will have its representative fans for the respective teams, but not enough of them.
2. The Commercials & Halftime
At least 57% of the people at your Super Bowl gathering on Sunday will pay attention to the commercials, and then spend the rest of the time complaining about how Midge undercooked the rumaki and kibitzing about how Junior just played a tooth in the school play.
Halftime shows? This year?
Justin Timberlake vs. Kendrick Lamar.
But most importantly …
1. The College Football Playoff National Championship Is Just More Football-ey
Think of the most horrific nightmares mankind has ever unleashed upon our fragile planet.
Ear lobe expanders.
The Pitch Perfect trilogy.
Wrap all of those things up into a Nutella sandwich served on a giant lettuce leaf and you still don’t come within ten miles of how awful Super Bowl Media Day is.
The fans don’t care, the players just want to get through it, and for the media members actually trying to do a job, they get absolutely nothing, while some dopey actor makes a player or coach say something goofy.
In terms of unnecessary blather, throw in the entire buildup, pregame, and hype surrounding America’s biggest sporting event, too, especially when there’s a two-week delay.
Talk to any hardened, crusty, get-off-my-lawn football type and he’ll tell you he despises everything about the Super Bowl.
It might be the pinnacle of achievement in the sport, but for those who dig the game itself, it’s next to impossible to enjoy it with all of the periphery noise to tune out.
Meanwhile, the College Football Playoff National Championship has become sort of sports cool – like Daft Punk before falling into the Get Lucky abyss of the momjean crowd.
The Super Bowl game itself is just a part of the bigger overall package of stuff, which is why so many NFL fans like either the Conference Championship Sunday and/or the divisional round so much more.
But even with all of that, enjoy your Super Bowl anyway. It could be worse.
You could be in Minneapolis.