MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04: A detail of the Orange bowl trophy is seen after the West Virginia Mountaineers won 70-33 against the Clemson Tigers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Remind me again why the new college football playoff is that much different than the old system?
First comes the news that the ACC and the Orange Bowl have locked themselves into a 12-year deal that guarantees their participation.
The bowl will now be a day game, being played at 1 p.m. on January 1st. If an ACC team qualifies for the four-team playoff, then another ACC team will take their place. Also, in the years that the Orange Bowl is a playoff semifinal host, the ACC Champion would participate in one of the three host bowls established by the committee.
It's a good move for the ACC and, hopefully one day soon, the Syracuse Orange. There doesn't seem to be any such deal for the Big East impending, and that's not good news for them.
Of course, that also means that while college football has taken a step forward with the playoff, it's also taken a step back in terms of openness. Basically, the ACC now has the same deal with the Orange Bowl that the Pac-12 and Big Ten had for years with the Rose Bowl. It's that kind of exclusionary thinking that got the sport in the situation in the first place.
The whole point of the playoff system was to eliminate AQ status and even the playing field. And yet, if anything, the playing field is even more segregated today than it was before the playoff. We all know it's going to be almost impossible for anyone outside the Big Four to make it into the playoff. And when it comes to the six bowl games that the playoff selection committee is in charge of, most of the spots will go to 2nd place and 3rd place Big Five schools over 1st place "second-tier" schools.
Unless they want to kickstart that 12-team playoff possibility. That seems intriguing.
I shouldn't be complaining. We're on the better side of the equation. It just sucks that there is an equation. "The more things change...," you know?
Anyway, for the ACC, good move. For college football, what else is new?