10/1 Edward Explains it All: Win or Go Home: October Edition

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In case you are unfamiliar with the FCS Playoff format, 16 teams are invited to compete in four rounds of playoffs (yes, playoffs in college football) to determine a National Champion.  Eight conferences receive automatic bids for its winners and the best remaining eight teams receive at-large bids.  Though this system may seem far more intrinsically better than what the bowl subdivision teams do, politics and debate still reign supreme.

Take Southern Illinois.  The Missouri Valley Football Conference is shaping up to where the winner of the SIU/Northern Iowa will win the conference championship.  That leaves the second-place team hoping its resume is adequate for earning an at-large berth.  The Salukis are ranked eighth in the latest FCS poll, but a loss to UNI could conceivably bump the Dawgs far enough to keep them from earning a playoff spot, even if they run the table.  What the Salukis do have in their favor are players with gawdy stats (Deji Karim and Korey Lindsey) who can convince voters that these players and dynamic and exciting enough to deserve a spot in the postseason.

Meanwhile, the OVC has not had two teams from its conference compete in the postseason since 2006 (Eastern Illinois and UT Martin).  The conference does not have the weight that many other conferences have, meaning one game early in the regular season can affect the playoffs that are months away.

It's politics, yes, but no matter what postseason format you conceive, politics will not go away.

Thankfully, beginning next year, the playoff format will expand to 20 teams.  But, as we have seen in basketball with a 65-team format, there will always be debate as to who should be in the playoffs and who shouldn't be.

Let me know what you think.  Email me your comments at eegros@wpsdlocal6.com

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