Should the CFB Playoff Expand

The college football playoffs is an annual post-season tournament that determines the NCAA National Championship. There is a 13 member committee that decides on what teams make the playoffs. In 2013 the NCAA decided to expand to a 4-team playoff instead of the top 2 teams just playing for the Championship. Based on each team’s resume, the committee makes its ranking late into the season. Since it has started, we have seen at least 1 Power 5 team (4 of 6 years 2 teams) left out of the playoffs. We have also seen two 4 seeds win the National Championship and a 12-0 team left out of the playoffs. The biggest debate in college football currently is if they should expand it again for an 8 team playoff.

College Football Playoff Logo

Arguments for expansion

  • CASH $$$
  • Bias Committee for highly Televised teams (Bama, OU, Clemson)
  • Each Power 5 Champ has a spot
  • FCS, Divison 2, Divison 3 has a football playoff
  • Every other sport has a playoff
  • Get better non-conference games
  • Make Conference Championship games that much more important
  • Eliminate the undefeated Group of 5 team (2017 UCF)
  • Campus playoffs games (1st round at higher rank)
  • More high level football
  • Everyone loves playoffs (1st playoffs the semis had most views ever, then beat for the Championship)
  • More people will be happy because their will be more good football games
2017 8-team playoff bracket (Photo by Espn.com)

Arguments to leave it

  • 2 or more lost team has a chance to be the Champion
  • Teams could play for a third time
  • Focus would be at the 8 spot instead of the top
  • The players could play up to 16 games with this format
  • More games like LSU and Oklahoma (Blowouts)
  • If you aren’t talked about for the playoffs then its your program fault
  • Already expanded from 2 to 4, when does it end
  • Last spot will always be controversial
  • Expansions still favor Powerhouses
  • Less meaningful regular season
2019 Playoff bracket (Photo by Espn.com)

How an 8-team playoff would work

  • The Champions of the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 12, and SEC receive an automatic bid
  • The highest-ranked “Group of 5” Champion receives another automatic bid
  • The last 2 at-large spots will go to the two highest-ranked teams not already qualified

My Opinion

I think the playoffs should expand to 8 and stay there. I understand that their will always be a debate for the last spot but this will leave it to less of an argument of deserving teams. There are many more pros than cons for the playoffs and the biggest one is it will bring in more money. Where people believe these athletes should be getting paid even though most programs are losing money, but 1 more game where the higher rank team gets a home playoff game will help every conference including the Group of 5 teams that makes it. I also understand that this will put a toll on the players playing up to 16 games and for the potential blowouts between the 1 and 8 teams. Most of these players don’t make it to the NFL or play football after college so I believe they won’t be upset to play another game for a potential championship and will eliminate top players sitting out of these games. 16 games for a Power 5 team will be just fine with the facilities they have. North Dakota State played 16 games this year (FCS Champ) and North Central (D3) played 15 games but, you wanna tell me a player at Clemson where they have a barbershop, slide, mini-golf course can’t recover in time for a playoff game. When the Power 5 coaches voted about the playoffs 53% said to expand, probably Pac-12 said yes and Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, and Lincoln Riley said no. No one cares more about the players than their coaches and they understand how much it will benefit them. An expansion to the playoffs will make teams build up their non-conference to help their resume and conference championships will be more meaningful since the winners could see a home playoff game. If a 3-loss team wins the conference or gets an automatic bid and then beats two highly rank teams in the playoffs don’t they deserve to be champs. Also, a Group of 5 team that is undefeated or have 1 loss should have a chance for the title. You might think they don’t have a chance but the 2017 UCF team beat Auburn who beat Alabama who won the title game that year. In sports, you never know what will happen and that’s why playoffs are the best for every sport. Why don’t we let the teams decide on who is the best team each year instead of a committee of 13 people picking who they think are the best 4 teams based on a resume. An 8 team playoff will eliminate any bias the committee has toward the highly televised teams and even though people will always be upset about the last spot, they will be happy about more football. At the end of the day, everyone should want them to expand the playoffs to 8 it gives every Power 5 team a shot, a Group of 5 teams a chance, brings in more money for these programs, less debate/bias, and better non-conference games to build resumes.

2020 Championship in New Orleans (Photo by NewOrleans.com)

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