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Chart shows how great an idea the College Football Playoff was (for ESPN, at least)

For everybody but Alabama and Florida State this year, right?

College football fans spent decades telling the sport's powers that a multiple-round championship would be good for the sport. Huh, it's like the fans knew what they were talking about all along.

It certainly wasn't the TV networks that held back progress, as ESPN had a solid idea all along of how huge the Playoff would be. The network gambled $7.3 billion for the first 12 years of Playoff broadcasts, and it's clear to all that that wasn't much of a gamble.

That money will flow throughout the sport's top level, to varying degrees, and likely increase pressure on conferences to allow players more and more benefits.

So yeah, the new system is better for fans, schools, media, and hopefully athletes. (And even TCU gets to have a chip on its shoulder.) The Playoff has improved for everybody but Alabama and Florida State, which would've played for the title this year under BCS rules but instead lost in the opening round.