Expand This Thing to 8
The College Football Playoff should grow up
Unless you are over the age of 60, no one wants to return to the old ways of college football by playing the bowls, the polls, and letting regionally biased voters determine a champion. The Bowl Championship Series was flawed but better than what we had for a number of generations, but now that we have a College Football Playoff that determines a winner on the field, it needs to grow up, expand, and let us finally have a champion.
It wouldn’t be that difficult to expand, we can still use the CFP committee to determine who gets slated where, but it’s just not right that a conference champion, a one loss marquee team, or undefeated Cinderella “Group of Six” shouldn’t have a shot to win the whole enchilada.
Here is my eight team College Football Playoff criteria. Tell me how you could possibly be against this.
The “Power Five” conference winners are automatically in, leaving three spots to be awarded by the committee to next three teams deserving of a shot, those three “At Large” could be any team from any conference or situation with the caveat if there is an undefeated “Group of Six” team, they too would get an automatic bid.
For Example, given that listed criteria, here is how the rankings would have shook out for 2017.
- Clemson (ACC Champion)
- Oklahoma (Big XII Champion)
- Georgia (SEC Champion)
- Ohio State (Big Ten Champion)
- USC (Pac-12 Champion)
- Alabama (At Large)
- Wisconsin (At Large)
- UCF (Group of Six Undefeated Automatic Qualifier – GOSUAQ)
Give these teams a week to recover after the Conference Championship Games, allow for awards week and Heisman festivities, then we get into these CFP Quarterfinals matchups.
Higher seeds host the lower seeds, winners advance to the designated rotating semi-final bowl games (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, or Orange), losing teams play in the Cotton and Peach bowls.
Everyone is happy. Fans, schools, conferences, casinos, networks. Total win-win for everyone involved and in all reality would make for a more fair champion. Is there going to be a year where a team that didn’t even win their division or conference wins a title? Sure, but is that what intrigues us and gets us to watch every week?
Are there flaws in this system? Of course, the team that gets bumped in favor of a GOSUAQ (this year would have been Auburn who went 2-2 in games against playoff teams) could be a playoff wrecking ball but wont have a shot. What happens in a year when two or more Group of Six teams go undefeated (Never happened before, but conceivable)? Would teams who share stadiums with NFL teams (Miami, USC, Pittsburgh) be able to host these playoff games on short notice?
We have grown the game from its post World War II monster to this thrilling behemoth, but the time has come to take it to its next logical, and final version.