Should College Football Playoffs Remain at Four Teams?
CFP should remain at 4 teams
As we approach the postseason of College Football, many people think it’s necessary to evaluate the current system that is used to determine a College Football champion. Some can argue that it already needs to be changed, while others think that it should be kept the way it is.
Since 2014, the College Football Playoff (CFP) has been used to crown the National Champion each year. This four team tournament replaced the old National Championship, which was only one game played by the top two teams in the AP Poll. Many people favored this switch from a two team championship game to a four team playoff because it gave a few more teams a shot at the trophy while also keeping it very exclusive with only the strongest teams being invited.
The CFP should remain at four teams rather than expanding because it only allows teams with strong resumes to be invited. Currently in NCAA football, there are five Power Conferences, which are the five strongest conferences in the league. It is said that only teams from these conferences would realistically have a chance at the CFP. But even these conferences have bad years with weak teams. With only four teams in the CFP, at least one of the champions from each of these conferences will not make the playoff. This prevents that one weak conference champion from being admitted into the CFP. For example, in the inaugural CFP in 2014, TCU won the Big 12 conference but was left out of the playoff behind Ohio State, the Big 10 champion. TCU had a very weak schedule, including their Big 12 conference schedule, and Ohio State had a much stronger schedule out of the Big 10.
Remaining at four teams also makes the other bowl games more important. If the CFP expands to more than four teams, the other bowl games will become less important and may even become obsolete. Some of these bowls are big money makers that will no longer exist.
Overall, the CPF, for now, is in good shape. It includes only the top teams in the country and effectively determines a fair champion. But who knows, in the future, it could possibly turn into a much bigger tournament.
CFP expanding to 8 teams?
The College Football Playoff is very flawed as it is, especially considering there are five power conferences, but only four playoff spots. These 5 conferences consist of the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12 and the SEC. However, at least one conference champion gets left out of the playoff every single year. By having four teams, teams are left out and left feeling cheated at the end of the year. Obviously, teams have all year to build up their resume, but teams that come from conferences like the Pac-12 often don’t have the opportunity to prove themselves.
Let’s take a look at March Madness in college basketball, perhaps the most exciting tournament in the world. The most fun part about it? The cinderella teams! The “Cinderella” teams are the small schools that do not take their chances for granted, and go far in the tournament. The CFP could be the exact same, in a way. For instance, Western Michigan is a team from a non-power five conference. This year, they went undefeated in their 12 game season. However, they were left out of the playoff. They do not get to compete for a National Championship because they played a weaker schedule than other teams. This is a big reason that the CFP should expand to 8 teams, to give teams like Western Michigan a chance to earn their spot. Something has to be fixed with the situation, four teams just simply is not enough.
Feature photo from College Football Playoff