The field of four is set. On New Years Eve (still ridulous that's when the playoff games are but that's another rant for another day) Alabama will take on Washington in Fiesta Bowl. Clemson will take on Ohio State in the Peach Bowl. The two winners will then play for the National Championship on January 9th.
There is only one problem to me, and that is that the playoff is only four teams.
Don't get me wrong. I'm happy the playoff exists. It was long overdue infact, the BCS sucked. That being said the fact that only four teams qualify for the playoff is absolutely riduclous IMO. The College Football Playoff should be 8 teams and should've been 8 teams for the jump and here is why. I've been saying this for deep and it was briefly featuring in a classic blog a few months back. my-presidential-platform.html
1. Size of Field of Teams in Division 1
There are currently 128 FBS schools in the NCAA. That means 128 teams are fighting every week for a chance at a National Championship. If you eliminate non-power conference teams from the discussion then there realistically are about 65 teams from the Power 5 Conferences (plus Notre Dame) who at the beginning of the season at least technically have a chance to make the field.
Yet only 4 teams qualify which I find really odd. That means only 3% of the teams in all of college football qualify for the playoff. 6.5% if you wanna talk about the Power 5. Seems way too low to me.
In college basketball where there are 347 D1 progams 68 qualify for the NCAA Tournament (aka March Madness). Nearly 20% of college basketball gets the right to compete for the championship.
I don't want college football to have a 68 team tournament because that would be riduculous. Even 16 seems like too many. But 8 just feels right. Enough teams so there's no gigantic snubs, and it should still be competitive.
2. Power 5 Conferences
Winning your conference should matter for making the playoff but apparently it does not. Just ask Penn State.
If you expand the playoff to 8 teams, guess what now you can have a format that actually makes sense instead of this committee bull shit that is essentially just a popularity contest. They care more about having bigger fanbases in the mix, buying tickets, spending money on travel and everything else that is associated big schools that "travel well".
If expanded to 8 teams which again seems like the perfect number now the five conference champions from the Power 5 get automatic big to the tournament. Which they should. Even if a conference has a down year which will happen the conference champion deserves a chance. That's why you play the game.
Then you have 3 at large/wild card spots for the remaining teams. A team like USC who started slowly but is playing as well as anybody right now could get a chance to sneak in as an 8 seed.
I'd go highest ranking non-conference champions to fill out the rest of the field. I'm fine with seeding teams however you want. If you want Ohio State as the 2 seed this year that's fine, they are worthy. I just think a team like Penn State who beat them head-to-head and won the Big 10 which was the toughest conference in college football by a longshot, deserves a chance to play for the National Championship. They earned it in my eyes.
Btw If there were 8 teams this season this is how I would seed them.
1. Alabama (SEC Champion)
2. Clemson (ACC Champion)
3. Ohio State (Big 10 At-Large)
4. Penn State (Big 10 Champion)
5. Michigan (Big 10 At-Large)
6. Washington (Pac-12 Champion)
7. Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion)
8. USC (Pac-12 At-Large)
3. More Football = More Money
Now I'm no accountant, but here me out with this plan.
All conferences are happy now because are all guarenteed at least one playoff team. They're making more money from getting their cut from tv revenue, tickets, etc.
Now instead of 2 playoff games and a national championship game you now have 6 and a national championship.
That means more money made with tickets, concessions, merchandise etc. Plus they're going to need to televise these games so there's even more money made for college football and all parties involved by tripling the amount of playoff games to make money off of. Which we all know is the NCAAs number 1 goal. Don't believe anything else you hear.
4. It's Good For the Game
Did you know the NFL used to decide the champion by best regular season record? No playoffs just whoever had the best regular season was the champ. When they realized that sucked they added a championship game. Then over-time they added the wild-card, divisional and conference championship rounds of the playoffs and it has only gotten better for the league.
Think of all the champions in recent NFL history that were not top 2 seeds. Off the top of my head the 2005 Steelers, 2006 Colts, 2007 Giants, 2010 Packers, 2011 Giants and 2012 Ravens would all have not even qualifed for the playoffs had the NFL not adjusted and evolved over time to make the product more exciting by including more teams. Had the NFL not expanded the playoffs history would be remembered so differently. Instead there are classic upsets that have created some fanastic moments for the league.
If expanded to 8 teams that is bound to happen for college football. People may not think so now because Alabama seems so much better than everybody else, but if they had to play more top level teams in a playoff, sure seems like there would be a monumental upset at some point.
March-Madness always has a handful of awesome upsets and Cinderella stories, that's not really possible in the current CFP format. With an expansion to 8 teams that now would be much more likely.
Now will this happen for next season? I highly doubt it but it doesn't take away from the all the benefits it would have on the sport. Similarly to how the extra wild-card has given more teams a shot to win the World Series and have teams still fight til seasons end instead of giving up. Having more teams in the mix has been great for baseball and I think it would also be great for college football. What do you think is 4 not enough spots? Is 8 too many? Should it be something completely else? LMK in the the comments or on f book.