On Saturdays, I enjoy sitting down and watching some good old college football. What I don’t enjoy are the talking heads exclusively mentioning the teams that have a chance at making the College Football Playoff. Created in 2014, the CFP fields four teams chosen by a committee of thirteen football personalities. These members can vary from ex-coaches such as Bobby Johnson to legends of the game such as Ronnie Lott. These football legends have certified football resumes and are considered to be the correct men for the job. The yearly process is dramatic and unpredictable, but very exclusive. But should just four teams have the opportunity to claim college football excellence?
Not so long ago, college football was about more than being good enough to crack a fourth-place ranking or better. The rivalries, the headlines, and all of the teams made college football as diverse as it was entertaining. Now that the CFP has been implemented, the priority of a playoff qualification takes away from every single program that isn’t in the running for a playoff spot. There are 130 Division-I football teams, and for only four of those teams to qualify for college football’s “big dance” is fucking ridiculous.
A four-team playoff system doesn’t only take away from other schools, it leaves them with a criminally low margin for error. Last year it was Ohio State. Even after winning the B1G championship, losing a game in Iowa City to the Hawkeyes cost them their spot in the 2017 playoff. Bad luck struck Ohio State again as they won their conference championship, but their albatross of a loss came in form of the Purdue Boilermakers. This year, three “bubble” teams had a chance to make the playoff, but only Oklahoma got in, leaving OSU and Georgia fans to suffer. We now live in an era where one-loss teams are excluded from college football’s biggest stage. For three historically strong football programs to be considered “on the bubble” with just one loss to their names is absolutely absurd.
I hope the committee changes the championship structure sooner rather than later, mainly because I hate to see so many talented players and teams be neglected for just four divine powerhouse teams. Though there are bowls for any team eligible to participate. To be eligible to participate in any bowl, a team must have six wins of any kind to their name. These regulations make the postseason of college football a more inclusive and fun event for fans and so many more teams. Why not let four more teams battle for college football’s heralded crown? Instead of letting four powerhouses have all the fun, let in the four schools who have been doubted by a crucial loss or injury, and let them put their money where their mouth is. If the NCAA were to enlarge the playoff field to eight teams, four extra teams would receive name recognition, extra funding, and the NCAA would do nothing but benefit from this logical change regarding profit.
On the contrary, the winner of an eight-team playoff would theoretically play three games in a concise amount of time. Granted, the players would be worn out by the time the big game rolls around, but hey, the players of the similarly busy March Madness find a way to power through. An eight-team playoff would provide more fireworks, unpredictability, and create more of a championship atmosphere.
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