Is CFP’s lack of team diversity hurting college football, and is the SEC falling? | Yahoo Sports College Podcast

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the College Football Playoff field of four, the lack of diversity amongst the teams and if the SEC is falling from its perch atop college football.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: All right, plenty to overreact to here, baby. The playoff field is set, and there's a lot of anger out there. There's a lot of bitterness. There's hurt feelings. There's insults. There's passive aggressiveness. All sorts of-- all the stuff we love about this sport.

And I have to say, we predicted this field for like a month. And yet, it was still funny last night, Saturday night, watching all of it play out, the ridiculous tweets, the arguments, the whole thing. But it was clear this is what the committee was going to do. If you listen to this podcast, we told you what they were going to do. Anyway, whatever, so thoughts on the playoff field.

Notre Dame drops from two to four. Obviously, resume was over recency. A&M never stood a chance. I think, really, at the end of the day, Florida had three losses. The only other team they beat with a winning record was Auburn. Ohio State, play six games, play four games, don't even play.

You're in, man. We love you. We love the Bucs. Sure, it's the 2020 playoff, but we don't care about 2020 as a season. Just have a bye week every week. Just ease into it. Ease into it.

You know, this is it. Look, I think Ohio State Clem is going to be great. Notre Dame, they better show a hell of a lot more. I think everyone was getting boat raced by Bama anyway, so that's my thoughts. Pat, what do you think of the field?

PAT FORDE: I think this. You said that we called it basically a month ago. We called it. We called 3/4 of it in July. We called 3/4 of it in January.

This is the same field it's always been. This is more of the same old, same old college football. It is Alabama. It is Clemson. It is Ohio State.

They have been-- this is now the fourth playoff appearance for Ohio State, the sixth for Clemson, the sixth for Alabama. We've only had a total of 11 programs make the field. This is the first year we haven't had one newcomer, because God forbid Cincinnati should get a chance.

Oh no, we can't have that. We can't have anybody from the outside coming in, and this is what the sport has become. You know, I'm not blaming those teams for being excellent, and dominant, and consistent over time.

But it's not good for the sport as a whole. It is shrinking the national interest in the sport. It's becoming more regionalized. There's fewer teams that really think they have any kind of a chance. So what we have is, even in a year like this, going to see the Rose Bowl be played in Texas. It sees Notre Dame in a conference.

It sees games getting canceled left and right, players opting out, teams are dropping Bowl bids. It's the same thing. Not even the pandemic can alter the power structure of college football.

PETE THAMEL: No, I agree with Pat. I had kind of two takeaways from yesterday. One is that I wanted to write a column about Cincinnati and argue for their inclusion. But it would be like a column arguing Albania should win the World Cup, like the odds the committee set were stacked so much against Cincinnati that you can't even make a reasonable argument for them.

They would have had to have jumped five spots, and that's just not going to happen. The other takeaway that I had from the macro-- and I wrote a column about this for Yahoo today that will surely be well received. My email will be certainly filled with well reasoned counterarguments tomorrow is I really think that when you distill the Notre Dame versus A&M argument, it's pretty fascinating.

The aura of SEC invincibility and inevitability, I think, was dull on Sunday. When you look at A&M's argument, so let's just cancel out the two elite wins, the undermanned Clemson at one and Florida win. Let's just cancel those out.

That's not quite equal, but one was four. One was one at the time, so you're basically-- Gary Barta said, well, they had two ranked wins. So that pierces the SEC soul. When you saying winning in Chapel Hill means more than winning an Auburn, that is like a big, big blow to the collective ego. The committee that matters the most said, I see your six straight SEC wins, and I do not care about them.