How to Expand to 8 Team College Football Playoff

by Matt Fischer

Every college football postseason, talk of expanding the playoff is brought up and debated.  Well I’ve got a solution and that’ll quiet the debate somewhat. Nothing ends a debate in sports…nothing.

We’re going to an 8 team college football playoff.  I was never more convinced of the need than this year.  Largely that was due to my lack of interested in the New Year’s Six Bowls.  With them coming after days after the semi-final games this year, they didn’t seem to have as much meaning.  We need 8 teams in the playoff.

Automatic Bids to the College Football Playoff

College Football should take a page out of the NCAA Tournament playbook and guarantee playoff spots.  Every Power 5 Conference Champion should get a spot at the playoff table. So if you win the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC, you’re in the College Football Playoff.

I wouldn’t guarantee a spot to anyone outside of the Power 5 conferences.

At-Large Teams and Seeding

Just like the NCAA Tournament, a committee will choose the at-large teams and seed the playoff field.  This year we’d have automatic bids to the College Football Playoff. for Clemson (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Ohio State (Big Ten), Washington (Pac-12) and Alabama (SEC).

Then we have the three at-large bids to award.  While I wouldn’t guarantee a spot to a team outside of the Power 5 Conference Champions, I think they’ll definitely get consideration from the committee.  You can see my plan to boost the chances of the group of 5 conferences in the Formulator College Football First Four.

One rule, I’d add is no more than two teams from one conference.  If you’re third best in your own conference, you probably don’t deserve a shot at the National Championship.

Selection Committee

The committee should be composed of nine members.  I wouldn’t have anyone currently active in college athletics administration or coaching on the committee.  So no active AD’s or head coaches.

The committee should have one representative from each of the Power 5 conferences, two representatives from the group of 5 and two at-large members.  Former coaches, players, AD’s, media members.

The committee would hold off longer on releasing rankings.  I’d recommend releasing them on the pregame show on Black Friday each year.  That’s a great weekend of football that’s usually wrapping up the regular season for most teams.  So teams would know where they stand heading into their final game and would help hype the conference championship games.  Knowing the rankings heading to that game can show a team, they must win to get in the playoff.

2018-19 College Football Playoff Rewind

Just to rewind a bit on this college football season as we wait for Alabama vs. Clemson III, here’s what I would have made an 8 team College Football Playoff look like:

  • 1) Alabama vs. 8)  UCF
  • 2) Clemson vs.  7) Washington
  • 3) Notre Dame vs. 6) Georgia
  • 4) Oklahoma vs. 5)  Ohio State

Once the bracket is set, we play the seven College Football Playoff games to crown a National Champion.

Review of 8 Team College Football Playoff

  • 5 Guaranteed Spots for Power 5 Conference Champions
  • No more than 2 teams from one conference
  • Committee has 9 members
  • First Rankings are released on Black Friday

The 8 team playoff will lead to a better regular season, conference expansion (get in a conference Notre Dame) and a more meaningful postseason.  Get it done ESPN and NCAA, you’re who runs college football. If you want to offer me a spot on the committee, send my invitation here.

What do you think of the 8 team College Football Playoff idea? Let me know on TwitterFacebookInstagram.