By: Matt Turner
Training camp has started, and the weeks of hard knocks are upon us. As the summer slowly comes to an end, we look forward to arguably the best season in all of sports, college football. Every team in Division 1 football has began their journey with the same goal in mind: to be able to hoist the illustrious 26.5 inch, 35-pound golden college football playoff trophy. With the overwhelming fan desire for more playoff games, an extreme revenue opportunity, and deserving teams not being granted playoff bids, the College Football Playoff Committee should give everybody what they want and expand the playoffs into an eight-team field. Here are three simple reasons why:
Championship Caliber Teams Should not be on the Outside Looking in
With only four teams being able to play for all the marbles, not only will a Power Five conference champion be left out of the mix, championship caliber teams will be denied the opportunity to play for the National Title. We witnessed this last year as the Georgia Bulldogs, who pushed the number one team in college football at the time to overtime in their conference championship, fell one spot short of a playoff berth after boasting an 11-2 record. Arguments can be made as well for Ohio State with only one loss, and with University of Central Florida going undefeated. Implementing more seeds to the playoff picture is a feasible solution for more teams being able to play for what they deserve.
There is Nothing Better than Playoffs
Win or go home. With seasons, careers, and legacies on the line, they can be built or destroyed within 60 minutes of play. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, and teams leave nothing out on the field in order to survive and advance. With an eight-team playoff, every game matters. A playoff-like atmosphere throughout the regular season, as well as a larger playoff pool, will have millions watching week in and week out on the edge of their seats, making victory that much sweeter.
Money, Money, Money
*With the current playoff system, each of the Power Five conferences’ revenue in the ’14-’15 season was around $70 million in comparison to the $30 million from the old ’13-’14 FBS system. Power Five conference teams receive six million for each team that is selected to a semifinal game, and conference teams also receive four million for each team that reaches a New-Years Six bowl game. More playoff games would most likely raise the CFP’s value from just over $600 million per year, to more than $1 billion per year. This would surpass March Madness, the current leader in college sports revenue, which is currently at $700 million per year.
*Numbers via B. David Ridpath of Forbes.com
How it Would Work
Keep the top-25 rankings, and have the committee select the top eight teams who will be competing in the playoff. As for scheduling, you simply add one more week for playoffs. If an eight-team playoff were to have happened this past year, the four quarterfinal games would be played on Saturday, December 29th, the semifinal games would be on Saturday, January 5th and the National Championship would be on Saturday, January 12th. This format adds only five days to the regular season, and doesn’t affect bowl season in any drastic manner.
The College Football Committee has been clear that they are not ready to expand to an eight-team playoff just yet, but the future is looking bright for what we all want, and that is more teams in the playoffs. I leave you with an eight-team bracket of what could have been, and this very intriguing tweet from Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt.
- Alabama vs. UCF at the Sugar Bowl
- Clemson vs. Michigan at the Orange Bowl
- Notre Dame vs. Ohio State at the Rose Bowl
- Oklahoma vs. Georgia at the Cotton Bowl
Cover photo via: ESPN
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