NCAA president Mark Emmert said Wednesday that he’d like to increase the College Football Playoff field from four teams to eight in an effort to allow the champions of all five of the Power Five conferences to be represented.
Emmert was speaking at the Learfield Sports Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in New York.
“I’m kind of old school about that, I guess,” he said. “It would be really fun to have a model where those five champions all got a crack at moving forward. I don’t know what that looks like.”
The four-team playoff field has been met with scrutiny since its inception three years ago. The manner by which the teams are selected, which is by a 12-person committee, also has come under fire. CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock has maintained the playoff has no plans to expand its pool of teams in the near future. The CFP already has contracts with game sites through the 2020 season.
However, if the CFP had decided to go with an eight-team playoff this year, here’s what it would have looked like:
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 7 Oklahoma
No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Michigan
No. 4 Washington vs. No. 5 Penn State
Quite honestly, that’s a pretty entertaining playoff. Of course, there would still be complaining, especially from USC and Colorado, which are ranked Nos. 9 and 10 and would be on the outside looking in. But that’s been the main argument against expansion. No matter how far you expand the playoff, there will always be teams that feel cheated. There’s no way around that and therefore no perfect system.
What if one conference couldn’t get a team into the top eight? Under Emmert’s playoff utopia, that wouldn’t matter as long as that team was a conference champion. How fair is that to teams that earned their spots in the top eight?
Again, there is no perfect system and the College Football Playoff is still in its infancy. Remember, the BCS went through two different iterations to adjust to various issues and still the complaints were loud and numerous. So there’s no doubt the CFP will look at its current model, study it and determine whether a better one is possible. But, it’s going to take some time.
If you have a better idea for the College Football Playoff, let us know in the comments below.
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