The New College Football Playoff Proposal Is Not Good

The New College Football Playoff Proposal Is Not Good

by June 11, 2021 1 comment

The College Football Playoff committee has officially proposed a 12-team playoff expansion. While expansion has been inevitable, and with it likely being a few years before we see any expansion, the new proposal is bad.

Let me just say, I have always been on board with expansion. It has been very clear for a few years that the current four-team format has not worked. These past few years, the playoff has turned into the Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State (and LSU in 2019) invitational with another team having the pleasure of getting waxed in the semifinals. Every single year we have had the same argument.

“Would (the 5th ranked team) have fared better than (the 4th ranked team?)”

We have also been screaming into the void that some deserving teams are being punished for not achieving perfection. Just last year, teams like Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Georgia were all deserving of a chance to play for a title, but they had a slip up earlier in the season.

That brings us to the group of five teams. What more did UCF have to do in 2017? It is the same thing for Cincinnati last year, what more should they do? We having been telling these deserving teams that perfection is what matters. Don’t lose that tough out-of-conference matchup or that trap game in your conference. However, if you are not a power-five school, it doesn’t matter, and neither do you.

But why is this format bad? First of all, 12 teams are way too much.

Very rarely do we get more than 6-10 championship contenders per year. If you add 12 teams, you are just watering down the product with teams that are not ready to go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights. One problem that the CFP has faced is the number of blowouts we have seen. Why should we add more?

Secondly, while conference champions do not get an automatic bid, the top six conference champions would get in, and then six at-large teams. This is just the fancy way of saying that if you are a power five conference champion, you are getting in. This is also rewarding one group of five conference champions, which is not what we asked.

We want the committee to put the best teams in. If it is the best 12 teams, so be it. If it is six or eight teams, even better. But one of the cooler things about college football is that it does not necessarily reward conference champions. What happens when a seven-win Pittsburgh team catches Clemson on the wrong day in the ACC championship game? Pittsburgh would be one of the six highest-rated conference champions nine out of ten years. Now we have a seven-win team taking away a spot from a better at-large team.

The one thing I like about this proposal is the first-round byes. While it would go to the four highest-ranked conference champions, getting rewarded with a bye, and then a home game in the second round seems like a proper reward for being in the top-four.

This would be a good proposal if they just came out and said “We are taking the 12 best teams.” No conference champions, no rating games, no pandering to historic programs, and no “well this team has this player.” Just give us the best teams available. Personally, eight teams seem like the right number. This allows the true contenders to get their shot and allows that darkhorse to have a better shot without letting half the top-25 make it.

Unfortunately, this proposal will be passed. It is very popular amongst the college football community, and it is probably popular amongst the FBS programs. At the end of the day, more college football is better than less college football. But we are still rewarding teams that don’t need rewards. There will never be a perfect format because of how many programs there are, but this proposal just doesn’t cut it.

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