Expanding the College Football Playoff

Expanding the College Football Playoff

Michael Mates, Sports Editor

The College Football Playoff committee worked tirelessly to decide the final four collegiate teams deserving of making the playoff. This time consuming process could be easily fixed if the committee took one easy step and expanded the playoff roster to eight teams.

The top four teams that made it this year are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Oklahoma

The list above leaves out the Big Ten champions, Ohio State. It also fails to include an undefeated University of Central Florida team, who has won 25 straight games and were self-proclaimed National Champions last year.

A simple solution that could realistically take place would be to expand the playoff list from four to eight teams. If the top teams list was doubled, the following matchups would take place:

  1. Alabama vs. 8. UCF
  2. Clemson vs. 7. Michigan
  3. Notre Dame vs. 6. Ohio State
  4. Oklahoma vs. 5. Georgia

The expansion to eight teams would allow major conference champions with impressive records to be included in the chase for a national championship. It would also allow for teams, like Michigan and Ohio State, to compensate for poor performances they had earlier in the year.

Senior Cooper Lewis, an avid Notre Dame fan said, “I think they should expand the College Football Playoff to eight teams because then it would allow each power five conference to be represented.” Lewis brings up a valid point. If they expanded the playoff selection list, automatic bids could be utilized, similar to the basketball tournament. This year, the ACC and Pac-12 conferences are not represented in the top four. Many conferences have up and down years, so it would be difficult to decide which conferences get the automatic bids.

In the end, expanding the list of eligible playoff teams could create extra drama but would emphasize the importance of the conference championship games.

The expansion of the playoff field would additionally allow for more games to take place between the conference championships and the semifinal games. There is currently a month for teams to prepare for their upcoming semifinal game. Following the conference championships played on December 1, the teams do not play again until December 29. The committee could easily decide to fit an extra game in the middle of December and still play the semifinal and championship games.

All in all, if the College Football Playoff committee were to expand the number of teams, it would generate more money, allow more student-athletes the opportunity to play in the postseason and provide an enhanced experience for fans.