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A four-team playoff would have ruined the Iron Bowl

Would the playoff era have taken anything away from the 2013 Iron Bowl? Photo: USA Today Sports

 

The BCS sucks. It’s true. We have spent more than a decade begging to get out of this mess.

It has taken a small part of our souls away. It has taken years off our lives. We so desperately want a playoff so we can REALLY KNOW WHO THE BEST TEAM IS.

It is supposed to make college football better. Odds are, it will.

One thing is for sure, though: A four-team playoff would have ruined the Iron Bowl.

College football has the most sacred regular season in all of sports. Sure, the postseason is a little twisted, and there’s really only one game that matters, but for four months there is so much tension, so much drama, so much on the line that captivates us all.

Will some of that drama remain with a four-team playoff? Sure, but it will never ever be the same again.

Just think, given identical circumstances as we have right now, only with a four-team playoff instead of the BCS rankings, it is conceivable to think that a loss would have actually helped Alabama on Saturday. At the very least, it would have not affected Alabama's chances for a national title.

Had the Crimson Tide beaten Auburn, they would have to play Missouri in the SEC Championship Game next week. A loss in that game would put them in essentially the exact same position as if they had just lost to Auburn and never played for the conference title in the first place. Either way, they would still be the best one-loss team in the country and a lock for (at worst) the fourth spot in the playoff.

In essence, if there were a four-team playoff, Alabama would have walked into Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday with a spot in the semi-finals all but secured already. So basically, what amounted to the greatest college football game I have ever seen — not just for how it ended, but for what it meant in the greater landscape of the sport — would have meant almost nothing instead.

At least for Alabama.

Auburn, on the other hand, would have been eliminated with a loss. They needed this win. I get that. The ending would have still been spectacular. We would have danced on bar stools, cursed at our TV, and screamed our lungs out over Chris Davis’ 109-yard missed-field-goal-turned-touchdown on Saturday.

It just would have only been half the story it is today.

There will still be important games late in the season. There will still be drama. It just won’t be the same as it is right now.

It is probably for the better. The playoff is going to be awesome. We will see some of the most exciting and highly anticipated match-ups in the history of the sport. A lot of good will come from it.

It just sucks that the moments like what happened Saturday will never be quite the same.

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