In a league such as the CSFL rarely a season goes by without a little bit of controversy. It could be as simple as a disagreement over who should have been awarded Player of the Year. Or it could be a team or two feeling snubbed of one of the last two playoff spots. Maybe it is as major as a dismissal from a program or sanction placed on a program for one reason or another. There are many reasons for controversy to swirl within a league. And until the Ohio Bobcats upset loss on the road to Toledo there was the potential for another controversy to sweep up the CSFL powers that be.
The Bobcats were receiving votes and hanging around the top 15. These spots are not reserved for the Power 3 conferences. However, with rankings playing a major factor in the final two playoff spots any MAC team holding a top 15 ranking could be seen as taking away a poll spot for someone who potentially can make it into the playoff field. Sure, it is easy enough to skip the MAC team and insert the next P3 team. But there is where the controversy begins. If a MAC team is considered good enough by the voters why are they not good enough for the playoffs?
I understand the argument to keep them out, but let’s play Devil’s advocate and argue for the Bobcats, or the next MAC team to reach this position. In the case of Ohio they are 1-1 against P3 teams this season. They upset the Florida Gators week one and in the battle of Ohio they gave the Buckeyes everything they wanted and more before falling just short. Yes, they lost to Toledo, but they still have the inside track to win the MAC. Yes they lost to Toledo, but they are still 4-2 on the year. That record equals that of many Power 3 teams including half of the SEC and the leaders in the Big 12. And argument number three…they can only play the teams put in front of them.
A loss to Toledo may have destroyed Ohio’s true argument for making the playoffs. But their season may have opened up the doors for themselves or another MAC team later on down the road to start the controversy all over again. But if a MAC school making the playoffs will never be the case is there an alternative? What effect could the run the Ohio Bobcats had have on the CSFL. Maybe in the short run the answer is nothing. But maybe in the long run the answer is expansion. This of course would take time, and the numbers and the help would have to be there for the type of expansion I am speaking of. But it could be an option. Think of what could come of an entire Tier 2 type of system. The MAC and the Sun Belt or WAC. A second 6-8 team “lower level” conference that when paired with the MAC could produce another set of playoffs for the fans. And a chance for these “lower level” teams to have a championship of their own.
Yes, this is a little far fetched (for now). And yes, if it happens it would be well down the road. But again, if we are playing Devil’s advocate…why not make it happen?