Dooley: Don’t count on college football playoff expansion

In this Dec. 2, 2017, file photo, Central Florida head coach Scott Frost holds the winning trophy after defeating Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game, in Orlando. Scott Frost is The Associated Press coach of the year after leading UCF to an unbeaten season and a spot in the Peach Bowl. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

So we got what we wanted.

We wanted chaos. We wanted a playoff with two teams from one conference so two conferences would be left out. We really wanted those two teams to win so we’d have only one conference represented in Atlanta.

We wanted everyone to freak out and take a step toward a six-team or an eight-team playoff.

But I’m not feeling it.

I’m not getting a sense that it’s any closer than it was before Georgia and Alabama made it an All-SEC final.

Sure, there have been those who have questioned whether it’s good for the sport and the ratings Monday night will probably show that it isn’t. The lowest rated championship game this decade came when Alabama faced LSU.

But expanding the playoffs is only going to make it more possible for this to happen again, which is why you’re not going to see any expansion of the playoff any time soon.

Chaos isn’t the answer.

I’m not sure there is one.

We all know that the Alabama-LSU final after the 2011 season was the biggest reason the commissioners finally agreed to go to a four-team playoff.

The theory was that two teams from the same conference wouldn’t get in because conference championships were supposed to matter. But Alabama is a different animal that gets the benefit of the doubt. The Tide will be playing for the title for the second time in seven years without winning its conference.

This has caused an outcry from a lot of people who pay minimal attention to college football. Forget that it’s possible to have two teams from the same city play in the Super Bowl or that two teams from the same conference played for the national championship in baseball or that it’s certainly possible for it to happen every time March Madness rolls around.

Because this wasn’t supposed to happen.

But it did because Georgia and Alabama were two of the best four teams at the end of the season who won their golden tickets on the field.

I’m not going to lie, I wish Oklahoma would have won Monday night because I’d rather watch the Sooners play with their tremendous offense and awful defense. The chances of a great game are always increased when Baker Mayfield is on the field.

But this is what we have, a Southern-fried finale.

You can complain about UCF not getting a chance, but the Knights are a product of the college football environment. Everyone wants to be like Alabama and UCF has succeeded by claiming a national title that doesn’t really exist (check out the 1941 Alabama “title” when it finished with two losses and was ranked 20th).

They’re going to have a parade and raise a banner, but there will only be one true champion when this is all over and the confetti falls in Atlanta.

So who are you rooting for?

I can’t think it would be good for Florida to have a rival claiming a national crown, but it would be good for the downtrodden East to finally have something to hang its hat on.

Either way, the SEC will still rule college football.

And the best football players are still going to favor playing in this conference.

The most interesting fallout from this year’s developments will be to see whether the conferences that wanted only conference champions in the playoff — a battle the Pac-12 and Big Ten lost when the system was put into place — can convince enough of the other Power 5 conferences to make it a rule rather than a tiebreaker.

I’m guessing I know which way the SEC will vote. It just means more, right?

Never as much as this year.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at

Pat Dooley: @@pat_dooley