Dye-Gest Column: Football/Basketball Playoffs

Pat Dye writes about changes he would like to see in the college football playoffs and why he likes how college basketball determines its champion.

I was disappointed to read that Archie Manning has decided to step down from being a member of the College Football Playoff Committee, but I really like his replacement, Bobby Johnson.

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Without question Bobby Johnson has the qualifications and the integrity to do a great job taking Archie Manning’s place.

Now that Archie is no longer involved the thing that stands out to me is there is nobody with an SEC background on the playoff committee, which is odd because you would think that the number one football conference over the last 15 years would have at least one representative.

Jeff Long, who is the athletic director at Arkansas, can claim to be an SEC guy, but he really has a Big 10 background.

I don’t have any problems with the selections the committee made last year and I don’t question the integrity of any of the members, but it seems to me there should be someone represented who has a long-term background in the SEC and there are plenty of people with those credentials who could be included.

Watching the NCAA’s Elite Eight round games in basketball reminded me that it sure would be great to have eight teams in the college football playoff. Thankfully, the national championship in basketball isn’t decided by a four-team playoff. It would have been interesting to see who would have gotten left out if they were picking just four teams to have a chance to compete for the NCAA title.

I just know there is enough intelligence in the NCAA with the college presidents and athletic directors for them to come up with an eight-team playoff. One idea that should be considered is to seed the teams for the first round of an eight-team playoff and give the top four teams the advantage of playing at home.

After that the four winners of those games would play in the semi-final round at neutral sites with the championship game also at a neutral site. To me that makes more sense than what we are doing, but three playoff games is better than none and the four-team playoff created a lot of interest last season. If we had eight teams you could probably double the interest we had last year.

I enjoyed watching the Elite Eight basketball games and am looking forward to the Final Four because the kids on those teams are playing so hard. You can understand how they got to where they are if you watched those four games on Saturday and Sunday.

The championship game is set for Monday night, but I think the best two teams will meet in the semi-finals on Saturday when Kentucky and Wisconsin play. Whoever plays the winner of that game will have a tough time, I believe. My guess is it will be Duke instead of Michigan State because the Blue Devils look to be the more talented team, but that game could be close. One thing I know for sure is Michigan State with Tom Izzo and Duke with Mike Krzyzewski are teams with great coaches and the guys they put on the court couldn’t play any harder.

The game I am really looking forward to watching is Kentucky vs. Wisconsin, a rematch from last year’s Final Four. The Badgers have key players back from the team that barely lost to Kentucky and those guys have to believe they have a good chance to beat the Wildcats. Looking at how Wisconsin plays I think the Badgers are as well equipped as anybody out there to ruin Kentucky’s attempt at going undefeated. I am looking forward to see what happens.

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