Talks of expanding the College Football Playoffs are getting serious. And the talks are heading toward having 12 schools landing playoff berths.
After observing the current four-team system since its inception seven years ago, I say ‘the more the merrier.’ The sport’s higher-ups sound like they tend to agree with me.
Through its first seven seasons, the playoff has received its share of criticism. I believe a 12-team playoff would alleviate many of the problems plaguing the four-team system. It would also provide a financial boost to the NCAA through additional TV and game revenue.
A 12-team playoff would likely see automatic bids from the five major conferences and one for the highest-ranked Group of Five champion. That would leave six at-large bids.
Since the playoffs inception in 2014, college football has suffered from the same lack of parity it hoped to curtail. Four schools, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma, are responsible for 20 of the 28 spots in playoff history, leaving little room for other programs. As a result of this, national interest in the sport come playoff time is waning. That issue would be solved immediately.
In replacing the BCS, the current playoff system was designed to match the best four teams against one another to produce a more entertaining product. Instead, a majority of playoff games have been non-competitive. Only six of the 21 playoff games to date have ended as one-score games. The format under consideration at this time means more games which increases the chances of close games as schools attempt to advance.
Most seasons, including last season, the playoff committee came under fire for its treatment of Group of Five schools. Undefeated Cincinnati finished eighth while undefeated Coastal Carolina finished 11th, both programs finishing on the outside looking in despite their unblemished records. A 12-team field would provide non-Power Five teams a more level playing field.
I believe this move would bring more parity to the sport. Recruits, of late, flock to the before-mentioned schools that have dominated the current playoff system. Because they know that is the only way to the playoffs. And in their eyes, the best way to the NFL. If enacted, the new system will open the playoffs to more schools. Top recruits will have options and the rich will not keep getting richer.