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Fixing the College Football Playoffs

After just seven college football seasons, America should be fed up with the College Football Playoffs. I’m not entirely sure what’s worse between the two best teams playing or just four good teams, but not the best?

How do you compare college programs that don’t have similar schedules? How can anyone really compare Cincinnati with the SEC or Big Ten if they don’t consistently play against those programs? Instead, they play in the American Athletic Conference, which does not get nearly as much attention as a Power 5 conference. Having only four schools at the end to compete for the National Championship just doesn’t make sense anymore. We all saw Boise State be a top 10 team for years before the program took a turn. We never got the chance to see the undefeated Boise State teams fight for the title. It’s a shame; what could have been? It’s time to actually fix the College Football Playoffs.

How Can We Make the Playoffs Better?

This isn’t a new concept for anyone. You see it everywhere, just check the NCAA Football 2014 Facebook Groups. In 2008, I was in high school and had to write a paper on something I believed strongly about. I wrote about why the BCS needed to be demolished so that the NCAA could introduce a more comprehensive playoff system. I was ecstatic when it was coming to fruition, except they cut it short. 

The NFL has extended not just their playoffs, but their season as well. Soon, we will likely see 40 NFL teams and at least 16 playoff teams. Why can’t we continue to extend the College Football Playoffs? It’s time for a change. It’s time for there to be, at least, eight schools competing for glory. 

Extending the Playoffs

There is a point at which you need to think of the players trying to get to the next level. Adding more and more risk to their bodies right before their lives are changed forever isn’t the best idea. Right now, the National Champion is likely going to play 15 games, so let’s start with that. With eight teams in the playoffs, that sets up for a three-round playoff. This would end the season at just 12 games including the Conference Championships. This reduces the regular season to just 11 games. This will effectively allow just three non-conference games for each schedule. This is great for many reasons. There are fewer open slots for teams like Alabama paying to beat up on much smaller schools for easy wins. 

Moving to eight playoff teams allows for the five conference champions in each power five conference and three additional schools. The remaining three could include one conference champion from the Group of 6, allowing teams like Cincinnati (or Boise State of the past) to get in automatically. The final two teams would be filled by teams at large. These could be independents and conference runner-ups.

Current College Football Playoff Matchups

With the current standings, the Associated Press has ranked Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Cincinnati as the top four to make the playoffs. Notre Dame and Michigan are on the outside looking in. This would lock in Georgia vs Cincinnati and Alabama vs Ohio State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl and Capital One Orange Bowl. My prediction is that Georgia would end up meeting Ohio State in Indianapolis this January with Georgia getting the big win.

Expanding With Current Standings

If the College Football Playoffs expanded this season, we wouldn’t be worrying about the rankings each week. All that matters is who ends the season winning their conference. There’s no more being just good enough. It’s only being the best in your conference. Control your own destiny by winning games and beating out your conference. The seeding will then be based on the final standings of the conference winners and rank similar to today’s rankings for tiebreakers. So let’s look at some projected College Football Playoff teams.

  • ACC: Pittsburgh Panthers (11-2)
  • Big Ten: Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1)
  • Big 12: Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-1)
  • SEC: Georgia Bulldogs (13-0)
  • PAC-12: Oregon Ducks (11-2)
  • G6 Conference Winner: Cincinnati Bearcats (13-0)
  • At-Large: Alabama Crimson Tide (11-2)
  • At-Large: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1)

New College Football Playoff Seeding

With each of the conference winners and at large bids set in stone, we now move to the final seeding for the College Football Playoffs. 

Who wins out of this? Well isn’t that the fun part? It’s time for you to decide. Who wins? I got you this far, so you tell me! 

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