Football Playoff Proposal

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Last updated: 05/27/2014 12:34 PM
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It's Time to Expand the College Football Playoffs to Eight Teams
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the implementation of the College Football Playoff this coming season, it is BEYOND time to expand the current four-team plan to my much better plan involving eight teams.

The current plan allows for a committee to decide which four teams they believe the people want to see. My plan allows for the eight teams that earn a spot to actually have a spot.

Why is my plan better than the current plan? Because it will make the conference races the most important aspect of the college football season once again. Sure, they still get talked about now, but only in passing, and usually only as a side note.

In other words, with my plan, a division title and a conference championship will actually matter again.

You see, my plan would have the champions of the five power conferences earning automatic invites. The other three slots? How about we give two of them to the two highest-rated "non-power conference" schools, with the last remaining spot going to the highest-rated "Power Five" conference championship loser.

That last clause should appease the SEC fans and administrators, since they will assume that that final team will always be an SEC team.

If a national championship is going to be the goal of every team in the nation, why not give them a shot to actually get there?

By giving conference champions automatic invites, I have essentially made conference championship games the first round of the College Football Playoff.

Basically, if you win your division, you have a chance to win a national championship.

I know some people get upset about a team that has multiple losses also being in a position to win it all. They say that the great thing about college football now is that every game matters, but that's not really true.

Remember when Georgia lost their first two games of the season in 2011, or when Michigan did it in 2007? How much did their next 10 games matter? Not so much.

In my plan, every game will actually matter, most especially those after a loss or two.

College football is great for many reasons, but some of those reasons are being lessened, specifically the importance of a conference crown.

The most egregious example of this is Alabama's national title following the 2011 season when they couldn't even win their own division.

In my superior plan, winning a division is actually a requirement. If that seems unfair to you, then I would ask why you are trying to make games meaningless when I am actually trying to make them meaningful.

Another benefit of my plan? Teams won't be afraid to schedule entertaining non-conference matchups. People say with strength of schedule factoring into the current playoff system that that alone will increase the marquee non-conference games, but I don't really see that happening.

All it will likely do is end teams scheduling terrible FCS teams, and instead they'll just schedule nearly-mediocre Power Five teams.

Whereas my plan will allow a team to lose a gigantic (and highly entertaining) early-season non-conference game (or two) and still be unfazed when it comes to their conference race.

With my plan, not only will every game matter, the matchups will be better.

Now if you're reading this and saying to me, "But Tony, if Ohio State and LSU play in September and a loss for either team really doesn't impact their playoff potential, doesn't that make the game essentially meaningless?"

To that I would say, "Yes, sort of."

But would that be much different than the situation right now?

Heck, even when we had the BCS, a team could still afford a loss (and onetimes two), and play for a national championship. My plan would have teams more willing to absorb a loss, rather than scheduling for free wins and a default ranking.

That all being said, I just think it would be pretty cool if the conference championship games determined who made it to the playoffs.

And those small school folks would probably like my plan as well. Though they would still complain about something, since they love doing stuff like that.

So that's my plan in a nutshell. Give it some thought. I don't have everything fleshed out, especially since I'm trying to get this wrapped up and call it a day. But the gist is there, and I'm okay with it.

Even if you're not a fan of my plan, I'm pretty sure you'll see that it is way better than the current plan.

No, that might not be saying much, but when has that ever stopped me before?

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