The College Football Playoff is suffering from blowout fatigue. Fixing it won’t be easy.

The semifinals of the College Football Playoff brought a familiar problem back into the discourse for fans who have grown weary of the blowouts and mismatches that seem to be endemic to the sport’s postseason.

It can’t be considered a coincidence at this point: Of the 16 semifinal games in CFP history, just three have been close. After Alabama and Georgia advanced Friday in games that were comfortably in hand by the fourth quarter, the average scoring differential in semifinals stands at exactly 21 points.

You could make the argument this is exactly what the playoff was designed to do. As much as fans and administrators in other conferences might roll their eyes at an all-SEC matchup, further regionalizing a sport that has become heavily tilted toward the Southeast over the last decade, this year’s playoff unquestionably identified the two best teams. If you can strip away all regional bias, it’s the only matchup that would give us the possibility of a memorable championship game on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

But the trend of uncompetitive semifinals isn’t great news for the sport or its television partner on what is hyped up all season to be the showcase day. Not only is it a drag on television ratings, which have not produced blockbuster numbers, but it creates apathy when fans do not see college football as a competitive enterprise except for a very small handful of teams.

Every other American sport gets more exciting and attractive to casual viewers in the postseason. College football, which arguably has the best regular season of any sport, somehow gets worse.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) throws oranges as teammate Derion Kendrick (11) is interviewed by ESPN after defeating Michigan.

This conversation is happening at a time when the sport’s leaders are still haggling over the details of playoff…


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