College Football Playoff: Will 2018 Be the Catalyst for Expansion?
The 2018 college football regular season is in the books. Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma were selected to play in College Football Playoff. All of this went down with only a minor amount of controversy.
There were many that thought, despite losing in the SEC Championship Game, Georgia should have been in over Oklahoma. There seemed to be less argument about Big Ten champ Ohio State. And there was barely a murmur about UCF.
So with little controversy, how can this season be the catalyst for a playoff expansion?
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE BIG TEN
After pulverizing Michigan, Ohio State breezed through the B1G Championship over Northwestern. However, at 6th, the 12-1 Buckeyes weren’t even close to getting in. But to hear Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney talk, it’s no big deal.
This is the system in place, blah blah blah.
The Pac-12 really had no leg to stand on this season either. Their champion, 10-3 Washington, was nowhere close to consideration. The Big 12 was left out in the cold more than once. However, since adding a championship game, they have been in the last two years.
To get more seats at the table added, it is going to take Jim Delaney and embattled Pac-12 president Larry Scott to band together to make a change.
Right now they seem content to sit back and just cash the checks. However, their institution’s respective fan bases are growing impatient with getting left out.
WHAT ABOUT THE LITTLE GUY?
UCF’s win over Memphis was the schools 25th straight without a loss. Last season, the Knights finished as the only FBS unbeaten team. They were even named national champion by a computer matrix. The NCAA then recognized them for it. UCF finished the regular season this year 12-0. Their reward? A trip to the desert to play a three-loss LSU team.
The current system only pays lip service to the Group of Five. They have no real shot to ever make the four-team playoff. An expansion to an eight-team playoff would give them a seat at the table. A chance to show they truly belong. Or they could fall on their faces.
WHAT WOULD THE IDEAL EIGHT TEAM PLAYOFF LOOK LIKE?
To start, all Power Five conference champs would get automatic bids. In 2018, that would be Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Washington. Three at-large spots would fill the rest.
For the three at-large spots, an automatic bid would go to the highest ranked, unbeaten, Group of Five champions. Notre Dame would automatically qualify if the Irish finish in the top six. After that, the highest ranked teams by the committee would fill the rest of the spots.
The first round games could be played at the home stadiums of the higher seeded teams. This year you could play those games on the weekend of December 22nd. You could then play the semifinals and championship as scheduled. Easy peasy!
HOW WOULD THAT LOOK THIS YEAR?
8) WASHINGTON AT 1) ALABAMA
5) GEORGIA AT 4) OKLAHOMA
6) OHIO STATE AT 3) NOTRE DAME
7) UCF AT 2) CLEMSON
Now that looks fun, doesn’t it? Let’s get on this conference commissioners and make this happen. You know the networks would love to have these extra games. You know the money will flow like wine. Get on it guys.
Do you think the College Football Playoff should expand? Let us know in the comments!
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