If there was a ever a chance you were the commissioner of the College Football Playoff, would you expand it from four teams?
This was a topic discussed at Big Ten Media Days and coaches, including Jim Harbaugh, think it should be more than four.
“Thoughts on the playoff system, I guess the first thing that comes to mind is more would be more. More would be better in the playoffs. Four right now, go to eight and eventually get to 16,” Harbaugh said.
Nebraska’s new head coach Scott Frost was another that likes the idea of an expanded playoff. His UCF team last year would have had a legitimate chance of making a playoff that included more than four teams.
This is a topic every college football fan has an opinion about. Some think four is perfect and doesn’t dilute the regular season, while others think it’s absurd that a Power 5 conference champion is left out, like how we saw this past year in the Big Ten with two teams from the SEC make it.
People who are sports fans in general sometimes root for the underdog if their team is not still standing. UCF is a prime example from last year and could have made a run to knock off an SEC powerhouse.
We like to see upsets in sports and for chaos to ensue, that’s just part of it, and nobody likes to see the favorites win all the time. It then comes down to how expanding the playoff would diminish the importance of the regular season. That’s not what the CFP committee wants to see happen and likely the prime reason it’s not been expanded yet.
Go back two years — as much as that gut wrenching fourth down in Columbus that still hurts to the core. Michigan was really good, had all the pieces to make a run, but lost three games by five points, ending 10-3. If the playoff was eight teams, they likely would have been an at large bid kind of team and would have a great argument. They beat a top 10-rated Wisconsin, beat Michigan State on the road, lost to Iowa on the final play on the road and then lost to Ohio State on the road in overtime.
For now, we have four, and I don’t see that being the case in a few years. If they can find the right formula to make money and give teams a chance to prove they earn a spot, they will change it.
I asked a couple experts in the business that cover college football and here’s what they had to say.
Tom Luginbill, ESPN sideline analyst/Recruiting and Scout (@TomLuginbill)
“I’m in favor of expanding to six where you give the top two teams a bye and the other four teams play.”
Bill Bender, College Football writer for Sporting News (@BillBender92)
“If ‘most playoff-caliber teams’ is the qualifier, then the Big Ten is the best conference. Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all could get there this year. The problem is that they have all those contenders. The nine-game schedule is good for fans but could end up hurting the conference if all Power 5 conferences don’t adopt that. The Ohio State-Iowa game is a classic example. It’s almost impossible to go 13-0 in the Big Ten, 12-1 has become more difficult and the playoff hasn’t let in any two-loss teams. That could be a problem long term.
“I still like four for now, and Bill Hancock has made it clear that expansion isn’t a discussion right now. I’d rather argue Alabama-Ohio State like last year than the 8-9-10 teams after conference championship Saturday. I’m more open to the eight-team playoff format, but somebody will still be left out. That’s always going to happen. The selling point for expansion for me would be putting those first-round games on campus and maybe cutting a game off the regular season.”
I also took this question to Twitter and over 3,500 votes are in. The overwhelming favorite was eight with 76 percent of the voters.
Jim Harbaugh and Scott Frost want an expanded playoff. What do you think?— David Noe (@DavidRNoe) July 24, 2018
Now it’s your turn to chime in!
Vote how you want to see the College Football Playoff in the future and sound off in the comments.
Jim Harbaugh and Scott Frost want an expanded playoff. What do you think?
This poll is closed
Keep it at 4 teams
Add a play in game
Move it to 8 teams
Move it to 16 teams