Here’s the funny thing about college football’s new playoff: It was designed by men who, until about five minutes ago, hated playoffs. It’s like Bart Giamatti writing the text for Pete Rose’s Hall of Fame plaque. Or Jonathan Vilma nominating Roger Goodell for the Nobel Peace Prize. But if, like me, you’re suspicious of playoffs, you can see a certain genius at work.
The first thing the playoff-hating playoff architects wanted to do was keep the thing small. So they devised a four-team format. “A four-team playoff doesn't go too far; it goes just the right amount,” Virginia Tech’s president explained, sounding like he was reading The Three Bears.