Playoff in College Football Won’t Be So Bad…

For years, I have been on record saying that the Bowl Championship Series was a necessary evil in college football.  It was better at choosing a national champion than the dreaded poll-system that was place for several decades before the BCS.

Now that a playoff in college football is imminent, I guess I have to do a SLIGHT 180 and say that it may be such a bad thing after all – just as long as they get it right.

The talk is over a four-team playoff format that will go into effect in 2014.  The only thing is how the four teams will be decided.  Certain conferences (the SEC and Big 12) wants to have the top-four teams in the final regular season polls qualify.  Others (the ACC, Big 10 and Pac-12) wants only conference champions – as long as they are in the top six (or eight).  That would give flexibility for either a wild-card entry (a strong non-conference winner) or a champion from a lesser conference such as a Boise State.

I think too much money would be left on the table if they settled on just four teams.  Hell, open it up to eight.  That way there would be more conference champs, and more importantly, more strong wild-card entries.  Better yet, the first round should be played at the home of the higher seeds.  The subsequent rounds would be played at the bowls.  The national championship would be played at the highest bidding city.  Everyone would make money, making it a win-win all the way around.

While I think we will eventually see eight teams in the playoffs, four is not a bad start.

More importantly, the regular season has not been made any less relevant.  If anything, it may make it that much more exciting.  As long as it doesn’t over-expand its playoff field in the future, college football has stumbled upon a gold mine.

2014 could not get here quickly enough.

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5 replies

  1. The Four Team Format will work, as long as there are no automatic bids. Let the polls or a committee decide. The eight team format is still many years off. It’s three extra games for winning teams. A 15 or 16 game season is a lot for a college player, especially considering what we’re finding out about head trauma and concussions.

    If I were a college player, I would say, “Hold on. You want me to play these extra playoff games and make boatloads of cash for the networks and the NCAA? And I just get my same tuition, books and laundry money? Until you can figure out how I get my cut of the take, my answer is, no thanks.”

    • JAG,

      The last part of your comment is another discussion for another day. I would see how that would become an issue, which is why I think it should be capped at eight…

      • Eight teams are a few years off but it’s coming. If four is profitable, and it will be, then eight will be more so. That way, the four major bowls will have a critical game every year.

        I don’t ever envision “home playoff games”. Places like Boise, Idaho or Gainesville, Florida simply cannot accomodate such a matchup.

      • I agree with the last thing you said. I also do not see the SEC commish agreeing to travel to Boise, Idaho for ANY game…

  2. I’m not quite as on board with the new changes as everyone else is. I think it poses some problems and more so than what other people think. More fair for sure but, as a casual college football fan, I don’t know if I’m quite behind the playoff changes. This is a big change and definitely will quiet down the BCS critics but it’ll be more interesting to see how this affects College Football over the next 5 or so years and if there are going to be even more changes down the road. Also, you think you could take a gander over at my latest blog post because I would absolutely love to hear what you have to say

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