Ohio State football: New TV deal continues CFP losing streak

The new TV deal for the CFP isn't great for the Ohio State football team's exposure, nor is it good for anyone else except ESPN and the SEC.

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone loves to bash the NCAA. Sometimes, rightfully so. Other times, it is simply out of habit. The College Football Playoff has come under a lot of fire as well in its short existence, including from Ohio State football fans, but the barbs aimed at them have been for their committee’s rankings. But after news broke on Monday of their new TV deal with ESPN, I think it is time to put the College Football Playoff directly in the crosshairs after their less-than-impressive run in the last three-plus months.

I’m going to be very blunt about this new TV contract. It is bad for college football. It allows ESPN to keep its stranglehold on the playoff through the 2031-32 season and continue the committee’s SEC bias that seems to increase each year. This isn’t a sour-grapes, perceived bias-it is real.

The SEC is the only conference that could have a member jump from eighth to fourth in the final rankings and leapfrog an undefeated conference champion. ESPN has been in bed with the SEC since it created the conference’s network. The bias is real. The expanded, twelve-team playoff proposal is up for a vote next week. The PAC-12’s implosion means there will now be seven at-large teams in the playoff, instead of the originally-planned six.

Greg Sankey, the hubris-filled SEC commissioner, and the schools from that conference have to be salivating at the thought of the extra at-large berth. Each year, you will see a push for as many as four or more SEC teams to make the playoff field.

Allowing ESPN to maintain their exclusive grip on the playoff is just the latest loss for the CFP. Their losing streak began back in late October when the news surfaced of Michigan’s two-and-a-half-year run of blatant cheating. When the rankings were next released, committee chairman Boo Corrigan said the cheating was never discussed by the members and mumbled something about it being an NCAA matter and not a CFP matter.

So, the committee, who has said they consider EVERYTHING when ranking teams, did not bother to discuss how to view the team who perpetrated the worst on-field cheating scandal in the 150-plus year history of college football? Corrigan and his committee cronies, who included a noted Michigan Man (more on that in a bit), showed absolute cowardice in brushing off the scandal that affected the Ohio State football program and everyone else in the Big Ten and going about their business as if it never happened.

A little more than a month later, the committee showed just how good they are at selectively overlooking certain things when it suits them. When the final rankings were released, they conveniently overlooked Florida State’s undefeated season as if it never happened and leapfrogged SEC darling Alabama from eighth to fourth.

The Crimson Tide had upset top-ranked Georgia in their conference title game, while FSU struggled on offense in the ACC championship when they had to start their third-string quarterback because the top two were injured. The committee felt the Seminoles were not the same team without their top two quarterbacks.

They most certainly were not the same team offensively, but they still earned the right to be included in the playoff because they were an UNDEFEATED conference champion. But let’s take a step back and consider something else as well. The College Football Playoff committee felt injuries to quarterbacks were important enough to consider, but cheating was not. Think..about..THAT.

So, you’d think after all of this AND crowning a very tainted “champion”, the CFP would lay low for a bit and not do much to call attention to their little group. Oh no. We should know better. Since Boo Corrigan’s time as chairman was up, the CFP Board of Managers thought it was a good idea to name Warde Manuel, the noted Michigan Man from the selection committee and athletic director at the University of Michigan, as his replacement.

Yeah, the guy who can’t control his own athletic department is now the chairman of the College Football Playoff committee. This one is almost too ludicrous to comprehend. Manuel still employs a basketball coach who physically assaulted an opposing coach two years ago.

Best of all, not only did he make no move to fire the football coach who oversaw the cheating, he tried to sign the guy to a contract extension. Oh, yes, I know he put out the usual statements filled with faux outrage at assault and cheating, but his inaction should tell you everything you need to know about him.

Manuel, like the football program and administration at Michigan, has zero integrity. None. Then again, that just may be why those in charge of college football’s postseason tournament feel he’s the right guy for the job.

Next. Next story. Ohio State has hired its final full-time coach. dark

Fire away at the NCAA all you want, but this losing streak by the College Football Playoff tells me it deserves the same.