The college football playoff expansion is something that all fans should have realized was inevitable. The moment that the BCS was abolished and they moved to a four-team playoff, it was only a matter of time before it would grow. But before the last 2 months, most would have expected growth to eight teams.
It now appears the new magic number is 12. A sub-group of the College Football Playoff’s management committee officially presented a proposal to the full playoff management committee to change the current four-team model to a 12-team event. The sub-group members were Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson, and Notre Dame Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick. The following is a direct quote from a press release put out by the college football playoff committee for the proposed structure:
The proposal calls for the bracket each year to include the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the six highest-ranked other teams as determined by the College Football Playoff selection committee. No conference would qualify automatically and there would be no limit on the number of participants from a conference.The four highest-ranked conference champions would be seeded one through four and each would receive a first-round bye, while teams seeded five through 12 would play each other in the first round on the home field of the higher-ranked team. (The team ranked #5 would host #12; team #6 would meet team #11; team #7 would play team #10; and team #8 would meet #9.) Under the proposal, the quarterfinals and semifinals would be played in bowl games. The championship game would continue to be at a neutral site, as under the current format.
1) Playoff games ON CAMPUS
College football is unequivocally better when it is on campus. This is a fact. If you are a fan of the sport, getting to watch four games on campus has to get those juices pumping.
2) Rematches are going to be more common
A quick look at how the playoff would have shaken out the last four to five years reveals either a direct rematch in the first round or the potential for at least one in the 2nd round. This is one of those items is unavoidable granting more teams access.
3) Do teams want a bye week or a home game?
Under the current proposal, teams ranked 1-4 would get a bye week, but then would have to win three neutral site games in order to win a National Championship. Is it really a fair trade-off? I know Athletic Directors have to be giddy at the thought of a playoff game on their campus. But this is asking a lot out of respective fan bases to do that much extensive traveling. Keep in mind, this is just a proposal at this time, but certainly needs to be discussed.
4) The Group of 5 is the biggest winner
A key component of this new structure states that it “include the six highest-ranked conference champions.” Original proposals thought it would be all Power 5 conferences and one highest-ranked Group of 5 team. This proposal puts no limits on who could be in. So if the AAC and MWC both have undefeated conference champions, there is an excellent shot they both will get into the playoff.
5) Everyone is gonna get just as much Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State as they are right now.
The blue-blood programs currently dominating the landscape of college football aren’t going anywhere. They aren’t magically going to lose out on four and five-star recruits. There is also still a great chance these teams will still be the ones standing most of the time at the end of the playoff. However, a 12-team playoff now means new matchups for the fans and for the teams to battle in order to earn a national championship.
Playoff Football in Lubbock
Also for those asking, under the proposed new 12-team playoff, the Jones would have hosted an undefeated Boise State team in the 8-9 matchup in 2008. Picture it now, it’s mid-December. It’s about 50 degrees outside at kickoff. A Kellen Moore-led Broncos team would have to travel over 1,000 miles to challenge the high-powered Air Raid of Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree, Baron Batch, and Shannon Woods behind a few future NFL offensive lineman. How could anyone be opposed to these types of future games for college football?
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