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Should the NCAA expand the playoffs?


The talk of college football lately has been this new playoff system. It was first implemented 2 seasons ago and of course like most new things started out small. In this case, it started with only 4 teams making the playoffs. That was sufficient enough while it was testing the waters, but not anymore.

Keeping it simple is a smart idea. It allows you to observe the system and make changes and what not. However, 4 teams has run its time and it’s seriously time to rethink and re-do the playoff system.

With 100+ teams in the FBS, only taking 4 is NOT the right thing to do. There are 1 and 2 loss teams (out of a 12 or 13 game season) not making the playoffs and there could even be multiple 1 loss teams sitting out this year. Yet, expanding is easier said than done. So how would I expand the college playoffs? Well…..

  •   Step 1: The first thing you do is ditch the AP Rankings. They are inaccurate and in most cases make absolutely ZERO sense. Instead, go with the CFP rankings that take things like strength of schedule, conference difficulty, etc into play. Speaking of rankings…..
  • Step 2: NO MORE PRE-SEASON RANKS! As a matter of fact, don’t start ranking teams until after Week 6. Because by week 6 it’s very easy (in most cases; looking at you Ohio State) to tell who’s legit and who isn’t. With pre-season ranks you get teams like LSU that are ranked too high and teams like Penn State who weren’t ranked at all.
  • Step 3: Change the amount of teams from 4 to 16. Yes I know, 16 teams sounds like a lot but it honestly isn’t a lot of teams. Here’s how they could even do it. You take the Top 15 overall teams from the CFP rankings because strength of schedule, etc will already be brought in to play and then are you ready for this, the #1 team in the FCS. Yes that sounds crazy, but look at March Madnessfor example…One Ivy League team always gets in the tournament; so do something similar here and have the #1 team from the FCS face the #1 seed in the FBS standings.
  • Step 4: Start the playoffs the weekend that Bowl play starts. This seems it would drag on too long and eventually into SuperBowl territory, right? Actually, it wouldn’t. If they start the weekend of Bowl Games there is a simple way they could avoid trying to match the SuperBowl. Divide the tournament into 4 brackets (4 teams in each) and have each bracket play a different weekend. So weekend #1 have Bracket A play, then weekend #2 have Bracket B play, weekend #3 have Bracket C play, and weekend 4 have Bracket D play. Then after those 4 weekends, use weekend #5 to determine the winners of Bracket A, B, C, and D. On weekend #6 have the winner of Bracket A face the winner of Bracket B and the winner of Bracket C play the winner of Bracket D. Finally, weekend #7 arrives. Weekend #7 is the weekend before the SuperBowl. I’m sure some people are saying “but what about the pro bowl?”. There is an easy fix there too. Have the final 2 teams play the Saturday of weekend #7 to determine the National Champion, that way you avoid any run-ins with the NFL.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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