College Football Playoff System Might Need to Change
The BCS (Bowl Championship Series) was introduced to us in 1998 and for 15 years, the BCS computer system, Associated Press and Coaches’ poll were the determining factors on what two teams made it to the championship game.
For years, fans and coaches complained that their team got left out of the top two, or that the smaller schools didn’t get a lot of recognition.
In 2014, the College Football Playoff was created in order for more teams to get a chance to play for the National Championship. Four spots for the playoff was the decision, and most Americans would agree with you it was the right choice.
However, just like teams 3 and 4 were unhappy with the BCS rankings, now teams 5 and 6 are just as unhappy with the playoff rankings and feel like they could’ve been in the playoff instead of that last team in.
According to ESPN polls, 77% of Americans thought changing from the BCS to the CFP was the right decision. Although last year’s playoff was a success in many people’s eyes, there was obviously a lot of questions, anger, and controversy.
Baylor and TCU, both one-loss teams, had been ranked number 4 and 5 leading into the conference championship weekend. Ohio St won big in their conference championship game against Wisconsin, 59-0, and moved from 6 to 4. A huge win in a conference championship game definitely helped Ohio St move into the final playoff spot, but them having a conference championship (Big Ten) was more than likely the deciding factor that put them over two Big 12 teams that didn’t have a conference championship game.
There were many mixed feelings about this situation throughout the country.
Many thought the Buckeyes earned their way in and deserved the spot due to a huge conference championship win, but some believed that at least one of the two big 12 teams should’ve been in over the Buckeyes. With three possible teams that could’ve been that final fourth spot, doesn’t it raise another question; maybe an expansion to the already expanded “answer”.
Possibly making the playoff larger was certainly talked about after all of this controversy in just the first year. The thought is, no matter how many team you give a chance, somebody will be one or two spots away and feel like they were hosed. However, I might have a more solid solution than many. I suggest there either be 6 or 8 teams in a playoff. Every conference, no matter how many teams, should have a conference championship game. Every conference having a championship game makes it a guarantee that there will be a for sure conference champion. With that said, if you are a power five (P5) conference, your championship team would automatically make the playoff whether it is 6 or 8 teams. If it is 6 teams, the 6th team should be the best non-P5 team in my personal opinion since part of the reason behind making the playoff was to give smaller schools a shot. With 6 teams, the first two seeds would have a bye and number 3 would play 6 and 4 would play 5, much like the NFL playoffs.
Also like the NFL, the 1st seed would then get to play the worst seeded team left. If it were 8 teams, the P5 teams would make it, followed by the best non-P5 team, and then the next two best teams no matter what conference they are in. The biggest concerns about expanding the playoff is bowl games and more games for some of these players.
First, more games for these players wouldn’t hurt, it would actually better help them prepare for a very long NFL season if lucky enough to get there. I also believe I have an answer for the bowl game issue; leave the top 3 or 4 bowl games (Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, and Rose bowl) open to the losers of the playoff. Once your team is booted from the playoff, they then play another playoff loser in one of the featured bowl games.
Not only does this keep those bowl games alive, it gets the NCAA more games, viewers, and money!